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Showing posts with label 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2012. Show all posts

Monday, December 14, 2015

2012 Quealy Pinot Grigio

My first time trying a Quealy Pinot Gris, and I'm not sure this was the best example for me to have. Perhaps having this wine three years past vintage was not ideal, but I found it a bit disappointing having heard winemaker Kathleen Quealy dubbed as the 'queen of Pinot Grigio'.

Soft aromas of pear with a touch of grapefruit. Fairly high levels of acidity and nice and dry. I will definitely try to seek out a more recent vintage of this wine.

Price:      $30
Source:   Grand Central Cellars
Varietal:  Pinot Grigio
Tasted:    November 2015
Rating:    89
Website: www.quealy.com.au

Thursday, October 29, 2015

2012 Hayshed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Hay Shed Hill Cabernet Sauvignon2012 was a strong vintage for the Margaret River, as well as many other regions in Australia. Fruit for this wine all came from the estate vineyard. Grapes were open fermented prior to spending 18 months in good quality french oak.

Ripe dark berry aromas with hints of chocolate and just a touch of mint. Wonderfully balanced and finely structured palate, with well integrated oak. Paired fantastic with braised lamb shanks.

Price:      $30
Source:   CRU Bar and Cellar
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.hayshedhill.com.au




Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2012 Rusden 'Chritine's Vineyard' Grenache

ChristinesVineyard NVSourced from vines that were planted over 40 years ago, this wine takes it's name from winemaker Christian Canute's mother, who is particularly fond of this old vine block.

Spicy herbal aromas mix well with dark cherry fruit and a bit of licorice. I found it lighter on the palate than the nose suggested, which was a pleasant surprise. More spice on the palate with nice chalky tannins and a good acid finish.  Paired very well with roast lamb.


Price:      $40
Source:   Gift
Varietal:  Grenache
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    93
Website: www.rusdenwines.com.au




Monday, August 24, 2015

2012 Yabby Lake 'Single Vineyard' Pinot Noir

Coming from one of Australia's best viticultural and winemaking teams, Keith Harris and Tom Carson, this is a good example of just how good Victorian Pinot Noir has gotten. An excellent Aussie Pinot, I'm now super keen to get a taste of some of the single block Pinots from this vintage.

Plum and red cherry aromas with some forest floor and mushrooms. Great length on the palate, offering more purple red fruit alongside some more savory flavors. Everything I want from a Mornington Pinot Noir.

I think I may have plucked this one from the wine fridge a touch early, as I suspect it still has lots of development potential.

Price:      $55
Source:   Wine Emporium
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    August 2015
Rating:    96
Website:  www.yabbylake.com




Sunday, May 24, 2015

2012 Tim Adams 'The Fergus' Grenache

Taking it's name from the owner of a neighboring vineyard who was kind enough to sell them Grenache grapes during a shortage of Shiraz and Cabernet during. This vintage the grapes were fermented with Tempranillo skins and blended with a significant amount of Tempranillo and Malbec. 

Good varietal distinction with aromas of cherry, raspberry and spice. Nice hardy tannins, mid level acidity, and good length. Paired very well with Turkish lamb pide (something like a Turkish pizza). A pleasant surprise to find such an enjoyable Grenache from a region not well known for this varietal.  

Price:      RRP $24
Source:   Bottle at Restaurant 
Varietal:  Grenache, Tempranillo, Malbec
Tasted:    May 2015
Rating:    93
Website:  http://www.timadamswines.com.au




Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2012 Tscharke 'Girl Talk' Savignin

Savignin  is a grape closely related to Gewurztraminer, Traminer, and Albarino which has made proper identification a little bit confusing. An excellent article by James Halliday on the history of this grape can be found here.

Originally brought to Australia in 1832 by James Busby, the grapes for this wine, as well as some others around Australia, were imported by the viticultural arm of CSIRO and were thought to be Albarino. It wasn't until an expert in grape identification from France (an ampelographer) toured some Australian vineyards and noticed that it more closely resembled Savignin than Albarino, that the grape wines were reclassified.

The confusion is quite understandable when you taste this wine, as it really is reminiscent of a nice Albarino. Smells of pear, lemon, wet stone, and perhaps a whiff of honey. A nice clean, dry wine with a good lick of acidity. I've had a couple of bottles of this now, and am sure to have more.

Price:      $20
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Savignin
Tasted:    May 2015
Rating:    94
Website:  www.tscharke.com.au


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2012 Chain of Ponds 'Morning Star' Pinot Noir

Chain of Ponds are said to be the first to plant extensive vineyards in the Northern region of the Adelaide Hills, for cool climate viticulture. The best barrels from the better vineyards are generally selected for the top tier 'Morning Star' Pinot, with the remainder going into their 'Section 400' Pinot.

An earthy nose with raspberry, cherry and beetroot, are followed by some sour cherry and raspberry notes on the somewhat short palate. Tannins are a touch chalky and drying to my taste. Mellowed out a bit on day two, so probably best to give this one a good decant.

 Price:      RRP $50
Source:   Vinomofo
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    May 2015
Rating:    90
Website:  www.chainofponds.com.au


Monday, May 4, 2015

2012 Helen and Joey Premium Pinot Noir

The first wine I've tried from this producer. An excellent example of Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, coming from an outstanding vintage in this region. I suspect there was a fairly long maturation in new oak on this one.

Fine french oak is predominant on the nose, followed by cherry, raspberry and some spicy characters. This wine has silky fine tannins and excellent length. Well worth pondering, it benefited from some time in the decanter. It also held up very well after a few days of being open in the bottle. Likely still on an uphill trajectory and should do well in the cellar for the next several years. 

Price:      $48 RRP
Source:   VInoMofo
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    April 2015
Rating:    94
Website:  www.hjestate.com.au

2012 Skimstone Shiraz Cabernet

Skimstone produce estate grown wines in the Mudgee region of New South Whales. While they predominately make wines using Italian varietals they have also produced this Shiraz Cabernet.

Moderate aromas of red berries, chocolate, and anise. Acidity seems a little unchecked and tannins were a touch grippy, for my taste. Perhaps this wine just needs more time to settle down. Might be one for the cellar.

Price:      $30 RRP
Source:   VInoMofo
Varietal:  Shiraz, Cabernet
Tasted:    April 2015
Rating:    88
Website:  www.skimstone.com.au

Sunday, May 3, 2015

2012 Yelland and Papps 'Devote' Old Vine Grenache


Yelland & Papps Devote Old Vine Grenache 2012

Made from fruit sourced from 45 year old vines at the Materne Family Vineyard in the Barossa Valley, this wine was open fermented for two weeks before being basket pressed and aged in old and new french oak for 20 months.

Wafts of cherry and other red berry fruits meld with aromas of black pepper, spice, and licorice. Soft fine tannins flow effortlessly across the palate. A well balanced wine with clean acidity and fine structure. Drinking well now, but will likely improve over the next few years.

Price:      $35
Source:   Cellar Door
Varietal:  Grenache
Tasted:    April 2015
Rating:    93
Website:  www.yellandandpapps.com





Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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

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/

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/

Saturday, November 15, 2014

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

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


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/

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/

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






Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2012 SC Pannell Tinto

I came across the following quote from wine writer Nick Stock, regarding winemaker SC Pannell: "I wouldn't be surprised if in 40 years time that we’re talking about this guy as one of the greatest Australian winemakers ever to make wine in our age." So, the bar was set pretty high before I even tried this wine. I was still super impressed with this one, and look forward to trying the rest of his range.

Stephen Pannell was chief winemaker at Hardys, prior to founding his own McLaren Vale winery in 2004. Since then his goal has been to produce wines that express a sense of place. He's approached this by using natural yeasts for fermentation, and minimizing contact with oak.


The Tinto is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Touriga Nacional, a wine grape considered by many to be Portugal's finest.  A very inviting nose, with an interesting mix of sweet raspberry and cherry alongside some savory notes. The palate follows through with more berries and wonderful soft but textural tannins. Reminiscent of some of my favorite elements in good Rioja, with the plus of great aromatic intensity.  

I'll definitely buy this again. Drank great with a margherita pizza, and I imagine it would suit many other styles of food. Definitely over-delivers for this price.

Price:     $23
Source: Cru Bar, Brisbane
Varietal: Grenache (60%), Touriga Nacional (40%)
Tasted: September 2014
Rating:   93
Website: www.pannell.com.au

Monday, September 22, 2014

2012 Smallfry 'Schliebs Garden' Grenache

It being International Grenache Day this past Friday, I took it upon myself to try a few different grenache and grenache blends. Among these was this straight grenache from a biodynamic producer in the Barrossa Valley. Having previously tried two excellent wines from Smallfry, I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed by this offering.
Opens up with an interesting nose, indicative there was likely some addition of whole bunches of grapes (stems and all) during fermentation. A bit spicy with some dark berry notes and possibly a hint of acetone.  The tannins were a bit sandy and overpowering for the level of acidity and berry flavors present. This may develop over time and become quite good, but it's not for my taste right now. While I likely won't be buying another bottle of this, I will surely be grabbing up some other wines from this producer.

Price:     $27
Varietal: Grenache
Tasted: September 2014
Rating:   87
Website: http://smallfrywines.com.au/