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Thursday, February 12, 2015

2014 Ochota Barrels 'Fugazi Vineyard' Grenache


Sourced from 66 year old dry grown bush vines in Mclaren Vale. The vineyard takes it's name after a post-hardcore punk band from Washington, D.C. A large addition of whole bunches (70%), this wine spent 82 days on it's skins prior to six months in old oak barrels. 

Another fantastically aromatic wine from Ochota with heaps of fresh, bright cherry and raspberry aromas. Fresh and juicy, yet textural and complex palate offers more red fruits with some spice and white pepper.

Price:     $40
Source:  Wine Emporium
Varietal: Grenache
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   94
Website: http://www.ochotabarrels.com/




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2010 S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo


S.C. Pannell's sixth release of Nebbiolo consists of a blend of five different clones from the Adelaide Hills. This wine had an extended 24 day maceration imparting unique tannin characteristics. The wine then spent 21 months in old Hungarian oak puncheons, resulting in great varietal expression that is not overwhelmed by oak.

Remarkably orange in color for a wine this age. Still plenty of ripe cherry, rose, and earthy aromas. Medium bodied with fine grippy tannins and a slightly savory finish. Paired excellent with butternut pumpkin Gnocchi. A real treat and drinking very well at the moment.

Price:     $50
Source:  City Wine Shop, Melbourne
Varietal: Nebbiolo
Tasted:  December 2014
Rating:   95

2013 Tscharke 'Matching Socks' Touriga Nacional


Touriga Nacional is a grape varietal originating from the Douro Valley in Portugal, where it is traditionally blended with several other grape varietals to make port. However, it is increasing being used to produce interesting and distinct table wines here in Australia.

Tscharke (sounds like sharky) have been growing grapes in the Barossa Vally for 6 generations and are currently producing some very interesting alternative varietals such as Touriga Nacional, Savagnin, and Montepulciano. Their cellar door was a definite highlight of my recent trip to the Barossa.

Deep purple in color, this is a lively aromatic wine with plenty of violet and lavender aromas. Drinking well right out of the gate, it's juicy without being jammy or overripe in anyway. Fresh blue fruit flavors dominate and good levels of acidity make for a nice clean finish.  

Price:     $20
Source:  Cellar Door
Varietal: Touriga Nacional
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   93

2012 Glenlofty Single-Vineyard Pyrenees Chardonnay

Glenlofty hails from the the foothills of the Pyrenees region in central Victoria. In previous vintages their wines were blended to make premium wines for larger wineries such as Penfolds, Seppelts and Rosemount. However, in 2013 Glenlofty opted to bottle these wines under their own label and are offering many of the wines as single vineyard releases. 

An inviting nose with aromas of white peach , tropical fruit and some toasty brioche. A soft mildly complex palate offering more peach and creaminess. Finishes clean with a nice acid kick. 

Price:     RRP $20
Source:  Vinomofo
Varietal: Chardonnay
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   91
Website: www.glenloftywines.com.au

2013 Torbreck 'Cuvee Jeveniles' GSM

While Torbreck are better known for there big, bold, age worthy wines, it was this young drinking and playful GSM that caught my eye on a recent visit to their cellar door.

A beautiful perfumed nose that's both somewhat restrained and fruit forward, offering notes of cherries and blackberries alongside hints of five-spice. Soft juicy tannins make this enjoyably soft on the palate and a very food friendly wine.

Price:     $22
Source:  Cellar Door
Varietal: Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   93

2013 Vasse Felix Chardonnay

Recently Vasse Felix have ben producing some of the best Chardonnays from the Margaret River region, and in all of Australia for that matter . This wine is their mid-level offering falling in between the Filius and Heytesbury and offers fantastic bang for buck.

Delicate white peach, mineral and cashew aromas with some complex brioche like nuances. Seamlessly integrated palate offering some more peach flavors and finishing with a touch a citrus. A very clean and elegant chardonnay, with subtle oak influences.

I tasted this alongside several Chardonnays that were at least twice its price and was blown away by how well this wine stood up.

Excellent value at this price.

Price:     $33
Source:  Wine Emporium
Varietal: Chardonnay
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   96

2014 Bird in Hand Pinot Rose

Residing in Adelaide Hills, Bird in Hand was first established in 1997 and their first vintage was released in 2001. In spite of their youth, they have been making some very solid wines and have quickly become quite successful, making many of their wines easily to find.

This time of year I love a good rose, and this one fits the bill quite well. Blushing pink  in color with a fragrant yet delicate strawberry nose. So easy to drink, offering more strawberries with a touch of citrus. A nice clean, dry rose that is not overwhelmingly fruity.  


Price:     $22
Source:  BWS
Varietal: Pinot
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   90

2013 Kalleske 'Fordson' Zinfandel

The Kalleske family have been growing grapes in the Barossa Valley since 1853and winemaker and 7th generation family member Troy Kalleske  has been producing organic/biodynamic wine under the Kalleske  label since 2002. 

2013 was a particularly dry year, resulting in low yielding but good quality fruit in the Greenock region of the Barrossa Valley.

This is a great example of how well suited this grape variety is to the Barossa region. Elegant yet restrained, offering a nice balance between spice and fresh purple fruits. A medium bodied  wine with decent length and fine dusty tannins.

Zinfandel is quite common in California and Italy (where it is known as Primitivo), however it is not very common here in Australia, as of yet. I recently tasted three while in the Barossa Valley and this was certainly my pick of the bunch, and the least expensive. I hope to see more Zinfandel coming out of the region in the future.

Price:     $24
Source:  Winery
Varietal: Zinfandel (Primitivo) 
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   92

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2014 Andrew Thomas 'Braemore' Semillon

Winemaker Andrew Thomas is one of the best regarded winemakers in the Hunter Valley, and with good reason. For this wine Andrew was able to source fruit from a vineyard in the sub region of Pokolbin, known as Braemore.  The Braemore vineyard is thought by many to be one of, if not the best vineyard in the Hunter Valley for growing Semillon. He's put this fruit to good use producing a wine with great focus and balance.

Crisp flavors of lemon and lime, with slatey minerality and excellent length. Hunter Valley Semillon at it's best. Certainly has the acidity and clarity to improve over many years, however I thoroughly enjoy drinking this already.

I've had it both with seafood and slow roasted rolled pork belly and it was a perfect match on both occasions.

Price:     $32
Source:  Wine Emporium
Varietal: Semillon
Tasted:  January 2015
Rating:   95