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Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Ochota Barrels Green Room Grenache Syrah


Ochota Barrels are producing some of my favorite wines in Australia at the moment. Winemaker Taras Ochota has previously worked at Murray Street Vineyards and Two Hands in the Barossa Valley, as well as Nepenthe in Adelaide Hills. In more recent years he has been working as a fly in wine maker in Italy, as well as making some beautiful and interesting Australian wines, such as this.

This wine is predominantly grenache at 88 percent, with the remainder of the wine being syrah. All fruit is sourced from old vines grown on dry loamy red clay, delivering great fruit intensity. There was a large percentage of whole bunch (grapes along with stems) used in this wine, which adds some interest and depth.

I get lots of bright red fruit cherry fruit and aromas that remind me more of a grenache heavy Rioja than any other Australian grenache I've had. Nice chalky tannins and great length. The thing that really stands out to me in this wine is the purity of the fruit. The low levels of oak allow you to really taste just how good the Grenache fruit really is.

I shared this at a friends Birthday and it was an absolute hit. A crowd pleaser, for sure.

Price:     $39
Source:  Craft Red Hill
Varietal: Grenache, Syrah
Tasted:  December 2014
Rating:   95

2008 Pewseyvale Eden Valley Riesling

Pewseyvale sits 250 meters above the floor of the barossa valley, providing a slightly cooler climate ideal for Riesling production. The Pewseyvale winery is one of the oldest in Australia and said to be Eden Valley's first vineyard. They are also one of the most consistent high quality Riesling producers in the country and have produced many of the best Australian Riesling I've tried.

The 2008 is drinking beautifully right now. Starting to develop a small amount of aged Riesling aromas, which sit beautifully alongside aromas of lemon, lime, and hints of tropical fruit. Great refreshing acidity and minerality to this wine.

A fantastic bargain at this price point. I can't believe how good Australian Riesling generally is for the small price tag it so often carries.

Price:     $23
Source:  Dan Murphy's
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted:  December 2014
Rating:   94

2013 Yalumba 'Y Series' Viognier

In Australia Viognier is most commonly seen blended with Shiraz, where it helps raise the aromatic profile of the shiraz, as well as enhance the texture and color. However, I'm glad to see more and more Viognier is becoming readily available as a single varietal wine.

This wine smells to me of tropical fruit, lychees, and honeysuckle. Some savory bready flavors with an unctuous feel across the tongue. Good level of acidity and not too much alcohol (a common problem in some Viognier).

I enjoyed this bottle without food, however next time I have a bottle of Viognier I will try Fiona Beckett's recommendation of pairing it with a mild korma curry. As an aside Fiona Beckett's website www.matchingfoodandwine.com is a fantastic resource when trying to decide which foods pair well with certain wines.

Price:     $11
Source:  Dan Murphy's
Varietal: Viognier
Tasted:  December 2014
Rating:   90
Website: www.yalumba.com 

Monday, December 15, 2014

2011 Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling

An Australian ice wine? Being Canadian I've tried my fare share of ice wines. In the Niagara region of Canada most ice wine producers wait until there are three days in a row where the temperatures stay below -8 degrees Celsius. While it's a bit cooler in Tasmania than many other parts of Australia, they still require freezing units to produce their ice wine. I think this difference in production yields a slightly different product.

The first thing I noticed about this wine was that it was less syrupy than other ice wines I've had. Great aromas of apple blossoms and orange zest, followed by sweet but not cloying flavors of green apple and honey. Lacks some of the interesting elements I expect from an ice wine, which likely develop from the extended hang time prior to picking in Canada and Germany.

Worth noting that this is available at a fraction of the price of any good German, Austrian, or Canadian ice wines. Given the option, however, I'll take a good Aussie botrytis over any of these.

All in all, great way to end a meal. I'd pair this with a good quality, mild blue cheese.

Price:     $23
Source: Gift
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted:  December
Rating:   90
Website: http://www.frogmorecreek.com.au/

2013 Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir



Montalto have been making wines in the Mornington Peninsula since the mid 1990s and have several vineyards in the region. Fruit for the Pennon Hill wine has comes from the cooler south facing slope of their home vineyard in Red Hill. This wine recently won best pinot noir, best red wine, and best wine at the 2014 Victorian Wine Show.

A beautiful perfumed nose of cherry and  pomegranate, with notes of violets. Such a clean and beautiful drinking pinot with fine structured tannins and a hint of spice on the finish.

This is a great example of why I love Mornington Pinot, and an absolute steal at this price. I'll be grabbing another bottle or two of this for the cellar.

Price:     $30
Source: Wine Emporium
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Tasted:  December
Rating:   95
Website: www.montalto.com.au 


2013 Tahbilk 'The Tower' MVR

MVR is a blend of Mouvedre, Viognier, and Rousanne; all white grapes from the Rhone Valley in France. Tahbilk is well known for the quality or it's Marsanne, and the fact that it is one of Australia's most consistent and best value white wines. Their Tower series of wines are the first from Tahbilk to be certified carbon neutral.

The viognier is distinctly noticeable on the nose, offering aromas of stone fruit and baked apple, alongside some citrus notes. A lovely savory pallet with a somewhat slippery texture and a fairly crisp and clean finish. I quite enjoyed drinking this wine, however it wasn't much of a hit with the friends I shared this one with.

Paired well with Manchego and seared prawns. I'll buy this again, but not for sharing with guests. I think the Viognier is a bit unusual for some, and is maybe an acquired taste.

Price:     $15
Source:  Dan Murphy's
Varietal: Mouvedre, Marsanne, Viognier
Tasted:  December
Rating:   90
Website: www.tahbilk.com.au

Monday, December 8, 2014

2012 Godelia 'Viernes' Mencia



The Mencia grape is most commonly found in northwestern Spain, and is a primary constituent of many well regarded wines of the Bierzo region. Mencia has some beautiful aromatic qualities and here it has been put to good use to produce an excellent young drinking wine. While Viernes translates into Friday, this is a wine I'd be happy to have any day of the week.

Complex earthy and cherry aromatics mingle alongside some floral elements, followed up by a hint of anise. This is a well integrated wine with fine and persistent tannins. For me this wine begs for a charcuterie board and good company.

I managed to track a bottle of this down after having it at a tasting and will be ordering another half dozen. I look forward to trying some more wines made from Mencia. Currently the only Australian Mencia I've come across was a rose produced by Oliver's Taranga, which was both interesting and delicious.

Price:     $29
Source: Stewart's Wine Co.
Varietal: Mencia
Tasted:  December
Rating:   94
Website: www.thespanishacquisition.com/

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 BK Wines Rose

A Rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes that were pressed as whole bunches, to which a small portion (2%) of red pinot was added back. This hits all the right notes for me. A textural, interesting, and refreshing wine; pretty much everything I want in a rose.

Some savory elements on the nose mingle well with rose petal and strawberry notes. A soft textural wine with flavors of water melon, strawberry and a hint of pink grapefruit. Mild but persistent acidity resulting in a clean finish.

I paired this with Thai green curry chicken and coconut rice, and it was excellent. I'd buy this again.

Price:     $25
Source: Cellerbrations, West End
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   94
Website: www.bkwines.com.au

2014 Yalumba Y Series Vermentio

Yalumba Y Series Vermentino 750mLMy favorite of the Yalumba Y series wines I've tried  and certainly one of the best Australian white wines in the under $15 price range. 


Very light in color, it pours almost transparent. Quite aromatic, with plenty of tropical fruit and citrus aromas.  An easy drinking wine, with clean, crisp acidity and plenty of lemon and lime flavors.   

A great bargain that seems to be readily available at plenty of bottle shops. I have a feeling I'll be drinking a few more bottles of this over the summer.  

Price:     $13
Source:  The Cellar, Bangalow
Varietal: Vermentino
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   92
Website: www.yalumba.com 






Monday, November 17, 2014

2013 Chaffey Bros 'Tessalation' Riesling


Chaffey Bros have sourced the grapes for this Riesling from three different vineyards in the Eden valley and created a well balanced wine that definitely stands out from the pack. Tessellation is the name given to a combination of shapes that are able to cover a surface perfectly, without any gaps. True to its name, all of the elements of this wine fit together very well.

Great aromatics featuring lychee, lemon, lime, and floral notes, with maybe a hint of kerosene developing. Perfect acid sugar balance, with 7 grams/litre residual sugar. A very refreshing and easy to drink Riesling. 

This was absolutely perfect with an array of different Thai dishes. Highly recommend getting your hands on some of this the next time you are having Thai food, or pretty much any time you feel like a Riesling.

Price:     $24
Source: Chalk and Cheese, West End
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted: November 2014
Rating:   94

2013 Leeuwin Estates 'Art Series' Riesling


Leeuwin Estates are winemakers situated in the Margaret River. They are very well known for their excellent 'Art Series' Chardonnays and also produce a few other varietals, such as this Riesling.

This was a quite dry Riesling, offering green apple and lime on the nose and then some minerality and citrus fruit on the palette. I found it a bit acidic for a Riesling this dry.

This Riesling was quite good with oysters. I'd like to see this wine again in several years time when it has had time to mellow out and develop some more complex characteristics.

Price:     $23
Source: Cru Bar
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   89
Website: http://www.leeuwinestate.com.au/

2014 BK Wines 'Inox' Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are wines made from the same grape, which evolved from the Pinot Noir grape or a common ancestor. The difference is largely in the style of wine produced with the french Pinot Gris often being sweeter with more stonel fruit notes and the Italian Pinot Grigio generally being drier with more citrus like characteristics.

This Australian version, while Grigio in name, seems to walk the line between these two styles. A mildly fruity nose, with a hint of apricot and pear, is followed by a nice dry pallete and crisp citrus acidity. A touch of spice and maybe a hint of salinity.

A nice wine, sure to provide summer refreshment. Drank well with barbecued prawns.

Price:     $23
Source: Grand Central Cellars
Varietal: Pinot Grigio
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   90
Website: www.bkwines.com.au




2009 Tahbilk Marsanne

A varietal from the Rhone Valley in France, Marsanne was first planted at the Tabilk winery in Victoria in the 1860s. They now have some of the oldest plantings in the world and are one of the largest producers of this varietal. This wine is an absolute bargain, and is often released after several years of cellaring for very little more than the latest vintage.

The 2009 is starting to show some developed, honey suckle like characters on the nose, alongside citrus fruit and a hint of kerosene. Still has a very lively citrus palate with bright acidity. I suspect this wine still has many good years ahead of it, so I'll be holding on to a few bottles.

Remarkable wine at this price.

Price:     $16
Source: Dan Murphy's
Varietal: Marsanne
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   94
Website: www.tahbilk.com.au

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2012 Hayshed Hill 'Block 6' Chardonnay


Coming from the Willyabrup Valley in the Margaret River, this Chardonnay was dry grown, resulting in lower yields of grapes with greater fruit flavor and intensity. Only the free run portion of the juice was used and fermentation took place in both old and new french oak barriques.

A fine and refrained nose, the oak balances nicely with grapefruit, pear and flinty aromas. Has a lively freshness and crisp acidity, likely resulting from minimal malolactic fermentation. An elegant chardonnay worthy of consideration.

Being a somewhat restrained Chardonnay I wouldn't recommend eating this with strongly flavored foods. Paired well with roast chicken and I can imagine it doing well with scallops in a thyme butter sauce.

Price:     $40
Source: Gift
Varietal: Chardonnay
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   93
Website: http://www.hayshedhill.com.au/

2013 Dodgy Bros Mataro



Mataro (a.k.a. Monastrell or Mouvedre) is a grape variety believed to originate from the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Here in Australia (much like the Southern Rhone region of France), it is often blended with Grenache and Shiraz to produce the wonderfully drinkable GSM blend. That was the initial intention with this wine, however winemaker Wes Pearson decided it was so good that it was bottled along with a small amount of Grenache..

There is a beautiful interplay of dark cherry and black fruit with some more savory elements on the nose. This wine has excellent length on the palette with supple tannins. A wine worthy of contemplation and appreciation on its own, however I may try the next bottle alongside some lamb cutlets.

I'm going to try to  age my remaining bottles for a few years, but that will be a serious test of my willpower, as this wine is already drinking fantastically.

Price:     $29
Source: Dodgy Bros Website
Varietal: Mataro (87%), Grenache (13%)
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   95
Website: http://www.dodgybrotherswines.com/

2013 Tahbilk Marsanne

Tahbilk's Marsanne is a serious contender for the best value white wine in Australia. A consistently beautiful wine, with great precision, balance, and incredible aging potential. You will often find newer releases, such as this, at large retailers for well under $15.

Lots of citrus aromas, featuring lemon and grapefruit. A very lively, minerally palate brings more citrus along with some flavos of stone fruit and apple. Lots of bright acidity to the finish.

This is a great wine to stock up on for cellaring, if you have a large enough cellar. If not, don't worry to much as you can often find releases of earlier vintages for around $20. I like to grab a couple from each year for my wine fridge regardless.

Awesome value. A great summer go-to wine.

Price:     $11.50
Source: Dan Murphy's
Varietal: Marsanne
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   92
Website: www.tahbilk.com.au

2013 Vinomofo 'Gusto Mama' Sangiovese


Sangiovese has made it way from its native home in Italy and is producing some very nice wines here in Australia. This one comes from a collaboration between retailers Vinomofo and winemakers Islander Estate, Located on Kangaroo Island.

It has a rather spicy nose with cherry notes. It smells to me as though there were some whole bunches in the ferment, lending a green, herbaceous nose to this wine. The tannins were a bit grippier than many of the Italian Sangiovese I've had.

Was good with pizza, but maybe a little overwhelming. Reminds me more of a young Adelaide Hills pinot, than an Italian Sangiovese.

Price:     $15
Source: Vinomofo
Varietal: Sangiovese
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   88
Website: www.vinomofo.com

Saturday, November 15, 2014

2014 Turkey Flat Rosé

Turkey Flat make consistently excellent Rosé from the Barossa Valley. Predominantly made from Grenache this wine also contains small portions of Shiraz, Cabernet, and Dolcetto. It appears to be available at many of the larger retailers in Australia, making it easy to track down.

Generous fruit forward nose offering lots of fresh strawberry, raspberry and Turkish delight. Great almost creamy palette offers a hint of spice and finishes clean .

Paired quite well with a number of Indian dishes, including butter chicken and lamb korma. A very food friendly wine.

Price:     $25
Source: Liquorland
Varietal: Grenache (93%), Shiraz (4%), Cab Sauv (2%) Dolcetto (1%)
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   93
Website: www.turkeyflat.com.au


2014 BK Wines Pétilliant Naturel

Pétilliant Naturel translates roughly into naturally sparkling, a reference to the fact that no additional sugar is added during this process of sparkling wine production. Instead the wine is bottled and sealed with a crown cap before fermentation has completed. This produces a lightly sparkling wine and also leaves some sediment in the bottle.

This was a fun refreshing wine, unlike anything I've had before. The residual yeast left in the bottle becomes more prevalent as you work you're way through the bottle and adds a bready character, which is balanced by apples and a bit of citrus. Reminiscent of a very dry apple cider, with more finesse.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for another release of this Pet-Nat, as it was a refreshing and interesting summer treat.

Price:     $24
Source: Cellarbrations, West End
Varietal: Chardonnay
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   92
Website: www.bkwines.com.au


2012 Glaetzer-Dixon überblanc Riesling

Nick Glaetzer was Gourmet Traveller's 2011 Winemaker of the year and also took home the Jimmy Watson award for his 2010 Mon Pere Shiraz. The name überblanc comes from a 2001 harvest Nick experienced in Germany with Stepan Mueller at Weingut Eugen Mueller. Grapes for this Riesling were sourced from both the Tamar and Coal Valley regions of Tasmania.   

It Displays a lovely subtle nose with kaffir lime and a bit of green apple. A well structured Riesling with great minerality, length, and intensity. Drinking very well now, but will no doubt improve over time in the cellar.  

Price:     $24
Source: Dan Murphy's
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   93
Website: www.danmurpys.com.au

2014 Wines by KT 5452 Riesling

Winemaker Kerri Thompson has been making wines in South Australia's Clare Valley region since 1998, and has been specializing in producing Riesling from this area. The 5452 is her entry level Riesling and comprises grapes from two vineyards in the Watervale (area code 5452) sub-region.

Green apple up front is joined by lemon, lime, and some floral notes. With a soft round texture this wine slides across the palate, making it almost dangerously easy to drink. Good acidity makes for a nice crisp finish urging you to take another sip.

If this is her entry level Riesling, I cannot wait to get my hands on some more of her wines.

Price:     $23
Source: Gift
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   92
Website: www.winesbykt.com


2013 Vinomofo 'Arcadia Bohemia' Chardonnay


Another collaboration wine from Vinomofo, this one was made by Brendon Keys from BK Wines in Adelaide Hills. BK wines are producing a lot of really interesting wines, and this barrel fermented Chardonnay offers good value.

It balances the line of ripeness quite well, offering both some tropical fruit elements alongside some citrus fruit. Nice buttery and soft with decent length on the palate.

A good quality chardonnay at a very  fair price point. I would buy this again. Paired well with barbecued chicken.  

Price:     $15
Source: Vinomofo
Varietal: Chardonnay
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   90
Website: www.vinomofo.com
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

2012 Vinomofo Old Money Cabernet Sauvignon


This is probably my pick of most recent batch of collaborations between wine retailers Vinomofo and wine makers around the country. This Cabernet was made by Sam Brand, a fourth generation winemaker in the Coonawarra region, from fruit sourced from his family vineyards.

A very approachable Cabernet in it's youth with a nose delivering plenty of dark berry fruit and a hint of mint, characteristic of the region. Super soft tannins and good fruit character make this easy drinking, smooth, and very ready to drink now.

Not one for the cellar, but a very good wine to share with friends over food.

Price:     $15
Source: Vinomofo
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasted:  November 2014
Rating:   93
Website: www.vinomofo.com


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2013 S.C. Pannell Syrah

S.C. Pannell has quickly become one of my favorite wine makers, as of late. He seems to have the right balance between exploring different varietals and wine making styles, and knowing what works well here in Australia. I was pleased to see this wine recently win the Jimmy Watson trophy, however had it been up to me I would have probably picked his even more amazing Grenache.

This was for me an excellent example of what can be done with Shiraz in the cooler wine growing regions of Australia, such as the Adelaide Hills. Refined with nice tight structure and some mineral elements. Still has many of the things I've come to expect from good Australian shiraz. Already drinking beautifully, but sure to reward a bit of patience over the next few years.

Price:     $30
Source: Craft Red Hill
Varietal: Shiraz
Tasted:  October 2014
Rating:   94
Website: www.pannell.com.au


2013 Vinomofo 'The Orgy' Grenache Shiraz Mouvedre


This is a pretty top notch GSM and provides excellent value. This one was made by Malcolm and Richard Leask in McClaren Vale. Another tasty, great value wine from the VinoMofo boys.

Smells to me of strawberry and raspberry. Soft ttannins and oh so juicy. This is a super easy drinking wine. It went over well with my friends and I could easily see myself drinking more of this (likely buy it in another collaboration case, as I've liked all of the wines so far). Probably best to drink it in the next couple of years, as it wasn't drinking as well on the second day.

Price:     $15
Source: VinoMofo
Varietal: Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre
Tasted:  October 2014
Rating:   91
Website: http://www.vinomofo.com

2014 Battle of Bosworth 'Puritan' Shiraz



If you are looking for a Shiraz to cellar for a few years, this is probably not what you're after. However, if you are looking for a great juicy Shiraz to drink right away, you're in luck. This Shiraz has been produced without the addition of the usual preservative sulfur dioxide, hence the name puritan and has been made in a style for drinking in its youth.

Pours a very dark purple and smells of fresh berry fruit with some nice floral overtones. A very easy drinking wine, resulting from soft tannins, mild acidity and a big round palette. I definitely recommend giving this one a try, as it's unlike any other Shiraz I have tried so far. Excellent wine to take to a BBQ.

Price:     $20
Source:  Chalk & Cheese, West End
Varietal: Shiraz
Tasted:  October 2014
Rating:   91
Website: http://www.battleofbosworth.com.au/

Monday, October 27, 2014

2012 Hither & Yon White Frontignac

Hitther & Yon are yet another McLaren Vale producer utilizing less common grape varietals to produce great quality wines that are also unique and interesting. White Frontignac is an alternative name for a grape variety known to the french as Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, which translates roughly to "white Muscat with small berries". This is an absolutely perfect wine for hot summer days, as it's easy drinking, floral, and crisp.

Pale in color with nice subtle tropical fruit on the nose, featuring lychee and pineapple. More tropical fruits on the palate are balanced by a crisp lemon acidity with a nice dry finish. Was decent with sweet soy pork belly, however the sauce slightly over powered this wine. I would pair it with something more delicate next time, such as a pad thai or crab cakes, although this wine is plenty good on it's own and would do just fine while sitting by the pool.

Price:     $24
Source:  Cellarbrations West End
Varietal: White Frontgnac
Tasted:  October 2014
Rating:   92
Website: http://www.hitherandyon.com.au/

2013 Yelland and Papps Sete Di Vino

Yelland and Papps are not your average Barossan wine producers. Unlike many wine makers in the region, Susan Yelland and Michael Papps are a young family of first generation wine makers. They source many of their grapes from vineyards around the region and have a small vineyard of their own. Most importantly they are making really great and unique wines.

Sete di Vino translates from Italian into "thirst for wine", a sentiment I can relate to. This blend of Barbera, Lagrein, and Dolcetto is a perfect everyday drinking wine, that is great with food. Some savory elements on the nose meld well with flowery aromas and good fresh dark berry flavors. A bit of sour cherry, soft tannins, and a nice oak finish.

This wine is drinking great right from the start, so no need to cellar. Paired fantastic with pizza and cured meats, and would likely do well alongside plenty of other dishes. I'll be buying this again.

Price:     $22
Source:  Malt Traders
Varietal: Barbera (36%), Lagrein (34%), Dolcetto (30%)
Tasted:  October 2014
Rating:   92
Website: http://www.yellandandpapps.com/

Sunday, October 26, 2014

2010 Soul Growers "The Defiant" Mataro



This is one great big serious wine. I decanted this wine over two hours and felt like it was just really hitting it's stride. On the suggestion of a friend I didn't bother trying to pair this wine with any food, and just drank it on it's own with a little help from my neighbors.

The first thing that hit me was the level of alcohol, a bit hot at first, but was balanced well by strong oak influence and intense flavors of the Mataro grapes. Great depth of flavor with abundant dark fruit and grippy but not overwhelming tannins.

Certainly not an everyday drinking wine, but worth getting for a special occasion. A great big wine best suited for the cooler months.

 Price:     $50
Source:  Grape Therapy
Varietal: Mataro
Tasted:  October 2014
Rating:   94
Website: www.soulgrowers.com

2013 S.C. Pannell TempranilloTouriga

S.C., Pannell was recently awarded the Jimmy Watson trophy for his 2013 Syrah (reviewed here), however it's really his work with Grenache, Tempranillo, and Touriga Nacional that have me excited. This is another beautiful wine from a great wine maker. An easy drinking wine perfect to share with friends. Excellent with cured meats and soft cheeses.

Nice aromatics displaying characters of blackberry, jasmine, and some nutmeg spice. A medium bodied wine, juicy with mild but grippy tannins. An easy drinking and food friendly wine.

Price:     $25
Source: Craft, Red Hill
Varietal: Tempranillo (72%) Touriga (28%)
Tasted: October 2014
Rating:   92
Website: www.pannell.com.au



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2012 Brash Higgins Semillon/Reisling Field Blend



I love to try new varietals, unique blends, and wines that have been produced using interesting technques. Brash Higgins wines seem to be doing a lot of this with very cool results. I'm suprised I haven't seen more of this particular blend. Winemaker Brad Hickey has taken two of my favorite Australian varietals and created a new and interesting blend that works fantastic with Thai and Indonesian foods.

For such a young wine I was surprised to get some aromatics characteristic of a more aged Riesling. This was a pleasant surprise, and it was definitely nicely balanced with the Semillon and citrus fruit characteristics of this wine. The palatte had mid level acidity and good length, a nice roundness, a bit of lime, and a lot of interest.

Was a real crowd pleaser, alongside some good Thai food, and paired particularly well with salt and pepper soft shell crab. I'd buy it again and look forward to the release of the 2014 vintage of this wine.

Price:     $37
Source: Grand Central Cellars
Varietal: Semillon, Riesling
Tasted: October 2014
Rating:   93
Website: http://www.brashhiggins.com/

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2013 Vinomofo Fanny Limehead Riesling



Spring has been hitting us here in Brisbane and I'm starting to crave fresh, zippy, refreshing Rieslings. This one fit the bill pretty darn well. Another collaboration from Vinomofo, it was produced in collaboration with Penna Lane, in the Clare Valley.

This hits all the notes I like in a fresh young Riesling; good aromatic intensity with lots of lemon, lime, and a bit of green apple, followed by nice bright and crisp citrus acidity.

Overall, a refreshing good quality riesling, delivered at a very fair price. Best served in a hammock, after a hard days work, by the pool, or anytime you realize it's summer.

Price:     $15
Source: Vinomofo
Varietal: Riesling
Tasted: October
Rating:   90
Website: http://vinomofo.com/

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2012 La Vendimia Rioja

Sourced from Palacios Remondos vineyards, some of the highest in the Rioja region, this blend of Grenache and Tempranillo is wonderfully drinkable and very food friendly. This wine has spent less than six months on oak, and is therefore termed a jovenes by the Spanish.

A delicate savory nose with notes of rasperry jam, cherry and lavender, along silky soft tannins and low acidity, make this a very nice drink now wine. I served this with manchego, chorizo and boar salami and it was a treat.

An all round enjoyable Rioja, drinking well now, and best served with food.

Price:     $30
Source: Cru Bar, Brisbane
Varietal: Grenache (50%), Tempranillo (50%)
Tasted: September 2014
Rating:   92






2013 Vinomofo 'Duck Sauce' Pinot Noir



Retailers Vinomofo have collaborated with winemaker Steve Webber from DeBortoli, in the Yarra Valley, to produce an excellent value pinot worthy of a careful considerate tasting, but cheap and easy drinking enough to slurp back with your mates, while watching the footy.

I found this to be quite light, although it did start to open up and deliver some more fruit after a little while in the decanter. An overall delicate nose featuring aromas of strawberry and raspberry, alongside some forest floor and herbaceous notes. Somewhat thin, but precise palate with soft red berry flavors and silky tannins, balanced by excellent acidity.

I'll be buying some more of this, as I've not come across many pinots of this quality for under $20. It's only available directly from Vinomofo in six packs, however it can be purchased as part of a mixed six pack, alongside some of their other collaboration wines. A very good go to pinot to keep around the house for every day drinking.

Price:     $15
Source: Vinomofo
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Tasted: September 2014
Rating:   92
Website: http://vinomofo.com/