Showing posts with label McLaren Vale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McLaren Vale. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2015 Brash Higgins 'ZBO' Zibbibo

 Zibbibo is the Southern Italian name for the aromatic Muscat of Alexandria grape. Wine maker Brad Hickey sources the fruit for this wine from Ricca Terra farms in South Australia's Riverland region, winners of the 2015 Gourmet Traveler Wine 'Viticulturist of the Year' award.

The fruit is all hand picked and placed in amphorae, where wild yeast fermentation is allowed to do it's thing. Everything is then left as it is, with the juice staying in contact with seeds and skins for another 5 months. The juice is then hand pressed off into old french barrels, prior to bottling.

This is a wine I look forward to seeing each new vintage, and one of the most interesting and best produced skin contact whites in Australia. Powerful and complex aromatics ranging from the spice cupboard to apricot jam, with so many things difficult to describe. Time on skins and seeds impart a great texture on the palate, with a touch of chalky grip. This wine loves food, and is pairs very well with Korean food, particularly kimchi.

Price:      $40
Source:   Wine Emporium
Varietal:  Zibbibo (Muscat of Alexandria) 
Rating:    94
Website: www.brashhiggins.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 SC Pannell Aromatico

I sure do love a good blend of aromatic white wine varietals. They tend to really suit these warmer summer months, as well as my penchant for spicy S.E. Asian dishes. This one comes from one of Australia's most celebrated wine makers S.C. Pannell, who has been producing a lot of great wines over the past few years. This one is a blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris.

Aromas of lychee and rosewater alongside lime and a hint of pear. The palate is clean with citrus tang and maybe a touch of saline character, which adds some nice complexity.

Overall, a fun, delicious, and crowd pleasing wine.

Price:      $25
Source:   Wine Emporium
Varietal:  Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris  
Tasted:    December 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.pannell.com.au

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2013 Yangarra Estate Shiraz

A McLaren Vale Shiraz with wonderful restraint and balance. This wine was fermented with wild yeasts and included 20% whole bunches in the ferment.

Aromas of blackberry, blueberry, prune/plum,  and a bit of leather and pepper. Nice round palate with fine grainy tannins. Keeps you coming back for more, while definitely providing enough tannin and acidity to see it age for a few more years.

Excellent Shiraz for this price.

Price:      $25
Source:   CRU Bar and Cellar
Varietal:  Shiraz
Tasted:    December 2015
Rating:    93
Website: www.yangarra.com

Monday, December 14, 2015

2012 Wolf Blass 'Grey Label' Shiraz

A mid level Shiraz from the Wolf Blass range, with fruit from McLaren Vale.

Dark, ripe shiraz aromas with moderate oak. Tastes of dark cherries and blackberry fruit. Tannins a touch grippy for my taste. Over all a fairly good Shiraz on the riper end of the spectrum.

Price:      $36
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Shiraz
Tasted:    November 2015
Rating:    92
Website: www.wolfblass.com

Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Oliver's Taranga Mencia Rose

chica_spritzedHailing from Spain, the Mencia grape is one of my favorite red varietals. The best examples of which can be reminiscent of a cross between a cool climate Shiraz and an earthy Pinot Noir. Oliver's Taranga are one of only two growers in Australia that currently have this grape (along with Dell'Uva) and have been making this tasty rose for the last two vintages, with their first red Mencia about to be released.

Leading with strawberry fruit, their is a hint of spice on the nose which I find very charming. It almost smells like it might be a touch sweet, however it is refreshingly crisp and dry with a nice little flick of acid. Great summer wine, sure to go well with lots of food and win over a crowd.

Price:      $24
Source:   Winemaker
Varietal:  Mencia
Tasted:    September 2015
Rating:    92
Website:  www.oliverstaranga.com

2014 Jauma 'The Message' Shiraz

Winemaker James Erksine has sourced fruit from McLaren Vale grower Fiona Wood to produce this Shiraz in a rather 'hands off' manner. Allowed to ferment with the wild yeasts found on the grapes themselves, this wine is left unfiltered and unfined with only a small amount of sulfur added.

Juicy red berry aromas are predominant, with support from a hint of earth. Light and dusty tannins are just right to make this wine interesting, yet very drinkable at a young age. A great wine for this price.

Price:      $25
Source:   Stewart's Wine Co.
Varietal:  Shiraz
Tasted:    September 2015
Rating:    93
Website:  www.jauma.com

Monday, August 24, 2015

2014 Coriole Barbera

Another good Italian varietal from Coriole in McLaren Vale. Nice fresh Barbera, ready to drink right away.

A delicate savory nose, with plenty of dark cherry fruit aromas. Soft tannins and a good level of acidity. A very approachable young wine. Great for a group and quite food friendly.

Price:      $22
Source:   Different Drop
Varietal:  Barbera
Tasted:    August 2015
Rating:    92
Website:  www.coriole.com

2014 Coriole Nero D'Avola

Another great Nero D'avola hailing from McLaren Vale. Made in a fresh and easy drinking style this wine is very approachable and ready to drink right away. Coriole are helping to lead the way in the production of great wines from Italian varietals in this region.

Bright fresh red fruit aromas, with plenty of cherry, mingle with some light spicy notes and a hint of aniseed. Silky soft tannins with decent palate length. Found myself going for a second glass pretty quick. Paired very well with pan seared duck breast.

Price:      $22
Source:   Different Drop
Varietal:  Nero D'avola
Tasted:    August 2015
Rating:    93
Website:  www.coriole.com

Monday, May 4, 2015

2011 Alpha Box & Dice 'Tarot' Grenache Shiraz Tempranillo

Made in Mclaren Vale using fruit sourced from the Barossa. There seems to be no shortage of interesting small wineries in this region lately. I was really impressed with how well this wine drank, and also with its price tag.

Fresh and lively nose showing dark cherries, plum, and spice. Grenache really shines through, and I suspect there was a large percentage of whole bunch fermentation (the producers website isn't big on wine making details). Very juicy with soft supple tannins make this a super easy drinking and enjoyable wine.

Price:      $17
Source:   The Cellar, Bangalow, NSW
Varietal:  Grenache (70%), Shiraz (20%), Tempranillo (10%)
Tasted:    April 2015
Rating:    94
Website:  www.alphaboxdice.com

2013 Hither & Yon Nero Davola

Made by brother winemakers Richard and Malcolm Leask in McLaren Vale, this is a great example of one of my favorite new varietals being produced in Australia. Nero D'avola, originally from Italy, seems well suited to the Vale. I look forward to watching the progression of this grape variety here in Australia.

Plenty of raspberry and cherry to be had on the nose. Good varietal expression. With lush round tannins and fruit forward appeal, this is dangerously easy to drink. Drinking excellent right now and would likely do well with plenty of tomato based pasta dishes.

Price:      $20
Source:   The End Bar, West End (by the glass)
Varietal:  Nero D'avola
Tasted:    April 2015
Rating:    94
Website:  www.hitherandyon.com.au

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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/

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/