Cumulus Luna Rosa Tinto 2013

I like this style of wine. It’s tasty and screams for generous pours. Buckets of cherry flavours from the Sangiovese (70%) are chased down by equal amounts of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Merlot (10%) adding some grunt on the finish. Housed in old oak for twelve months, the fruit is fresh and expresses itself with a savoury finish. This is a classic Chianti style and priced perfectly. Match it with...

The new and improved (?!) Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Lindemans St George Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Like the new packaging? I put this picture out on twitter today and most of the feedback was negative. I think it’s ok, though it doesn’t actually improve anything – the label isn’t the problem. What do you think? This release is all arms and legs too. Deep red, there’s clearly warm year ripe fruit on the nose and palate,...

Bimbadgen Estate Shiraz 2013

I really like the style of this wine. Medium bodied, this is delicious and made me feel all comfy on the inside. Raspberries and plums with a scattering of dried savoury herbs and a lick of dusty road. This is soft and delicate juice which moves to a generous length where some cherries hover and complete a great example of what Hunter Shiraz can deliver. I’d have no hesitation buying a bottle...

Thomas Wines Synergy Shiraz 2013

Brighter than the Two of a Kind, it was interesting comparing the two wines. The former carried some more density, the McLaren Vale component making it more robust whilst this just sits nicely. Medium bodied, the fruit sweetness grabbed me immediately. Coming from a selection of older barrels, this throws up plump dark fruit and is smooth in its delivery. Hunter spice not making too much noise whilst...

Punt Road Chemin Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2013

Punt Road Chemin Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2013 If there is one thing to be said about these latest Punt Road releases, it is that they’re complex drinks. Clever winemaking for sure. This Chardonnay is a suitable example. Golden straw yellow in colopur, there’s a delicate balance between oatmeal yeasty sulphide characters, vanilla icecream oak and white nectarine fruit. Intriguingly, it...

Thomas Wines Sweetwater Shiraz 2013

Sweetwater. Sweet as! I reckon Andrew Thomas could charge double and still get it. This is class at a neat price. Gentle peppery spice and very attractive purple flower florals. Buckets of juicy red berry fruit wrapped by savoury tones. Hunter earth ringing true. Every time I go back those purple flower and powerful violet aromas create a sense of uplift and vibrance. The finish is long and laced...

Giallo 2013

This is the fourth release of this unique skin contact Sauvignon Blanc. Made by Tom Shobbrook, some of the detail surrounding the wine is hard to locate, such as price. Skin contact isn’t my thing. I’ve given it a go a few times and just can’t seem to find something that appeals all that much. This is different. It smells good. It tastes good. I like it! Pineapple husk, canned peach...

2013 Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier

Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier is an Australian winery founded by Anthony J. Terlato and Michel Chapoutier based on a friendship that goes back to the 1980s. I’ve said it many times before, but Viognier does such a great job of softening the edges of Syrah/Shiraz in the style of Côte Rotie. Not to say that the latter grape is harsh, but it’s a pairing that works so well and in such...

Cooks Lot Handpicked Chardonnay 2013

Tasted blind in a bracket of four Chardonnay, mix of years and regions. Handpicked, whole bunch, free run juice. Barrel fermented, partial solids and wild yeast. Some good inputs there, deliberate choices from winemaker Duncan Cook, pursuing a style. Shows the barrel ferment character floating over citrus – mandarin segments even – with some vanilla creme. Good old fashioned Chardonnay:...

Willow Bridge Dragonfly Shiraz 2013

Another bang for buck special from winemaker Simon Burnell. This Dragonfly range has serious potential to leave many other wines around the place standing with their pants down. A quick swirl of the glass and black fruit, chocolate, plums and some red fruit get going. There’s a dab of spice in there too. Down the hatch and you are flooded with smooth and soft fruits. Tannins are soft and persistent....

Domaine de l’Octavin Vin de France Corvées de Trousseau 2013

Domaine de l’Octavin Vin de France Corvées de Trousseau 2013  Welcome to the pointy end of natural wine. This Trousseau is instantly fascinating and divisive, all at once. The low alcohol (9%) dictates that this had to be bottled as a ‘vin de France’ rather than ‘Arbois’ as it doesn’t satisfy the requirements of the appellation (10% alc. minimum). Indeed Alice...

Punt Road Shiraz 2013

This is right in the slot and an excellent expression of a medium bodied Shiraz. Only 13% alcohol, the gates are thrown open here as you head down the driveway to pleasure country. I’ve got to say, I have been very impressed with the quality of the Punt Road wines I have sampled recently. They expressive, damn tasty and are modestly priced. This Shiraz weighs in at $ 29 and is fresh with uplifting...

Down to Earth Cabernets Shiraz 2013

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz (55/17/28% respectively). The Cabernets spent time in a in a 3-4 year old 4000L foudré – a very large barrel. Cedar, dried herb with lovely fruit mix adding to the package: plum skins, mulberry and perhaps a little black cherry. Squarely medium of body, carries that interplay of fruit and savoury characteristics – the latter:...

Levantine Hill Pinot Noir 2013

Loaded with berries in the form of strawberries and raspberries with sour cherries tossed in for good measure. Quite fragrant but the red fruits dominate here. Elegantly poised, some earthiness adds stability as does a warmth in the form of a spice tickle to liven things up. French oak is integrated beautifully and appears late on a super smooth length. Tasted with six other Pinots, this was on the...

Ten Minutes By Tractor 10X Pinot Noir 2013

This is Ten Minutes By Tractor’s entry level Pinot. Generous lashings of cherries and strawberries with some kicked up undergrowth. The fruit has some clout which brings dark plum like characters with it too. Little tannin impact to speak of but the lingering spice has a zing type effect and finishes with a smart savoury edge. Lots to like here and money well spent. Very good. Region: Mornington...

Go-To-Wine Tuesday: Valle dell’Acate 2013 Il Frappato Vittoria

It has been brutally cold this winter, and like everyone else, I’m eagerly anticipating spring. But rather than whine about the cold I figured I would check my fridge and see what I need to stock for when the warmer weather finally arrives. One wine that I’ve always enjoyed is the Valle dell’Acate Il Frappato Vittoria. I had a bottle of the 2013 that I had not tasted yet, so I thought I would...

Montalto Main Ridge Pinot Noir 2013

Tasted single blind in amongst a trio of three Montalto single-vineyard Pinots Noir. So, wine identities are known, but hidden at the point of tasting. Why? Because I can and to keep me on my toes. Clone: DSV12 Vineyard Profile: Red clay loam Aspect: 156m on a North-East facing slope Aromatic spice clearly evident here: sandalwood, possibly some ground coriander, ‘brown’ spice...

Inside IWM, October 20-13, 2014: Travels with Wine

This week began with the original wine teaching tool–the Pythagorean Cup. Is it a trick? Is it a treat? It’s certainly ancient and interesting. Read about it here, and learn how to make your own! The week ended with something else you can make–a recipe for Osso Buco, winter’s signature dish. In between, Jessica Catelli offered a sentimental take on a wine to enjoy all year long,...

Montalto Pinot Noir 2013

Interesting to review this in the context of the 2012, which was somewhat belatedly posted. That wine very good, very enjoyable but paling somewhat compared to this younger sibling. Cherry, spice, lavender – moving back to woody spice – an even hand of vanilla scented oak. Delicacy and balance, could be the watch words of winemaker Simon Black one suggests. Nigh weightless, a freshness...

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2013

To put it simply, this is a delicious wine and an excellent example of Chardonnay. The highlight for me was the layers of flavour which just kept revealing themselves delivering a soft and sophisticated wine. Loaded with fleshy peach, nectarine and a little toast, the restrained oak an fruit are integrated beautifully yet the fruit finishes on top. Just what you want in a classy drop. And then the...