Showing posts with label Yarra Valley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yarra Valley. Show all posts

Thursday, June 9, 2016

2015 Hoddles Creek Chardonnay

Winemaker Franco D'Anna has been producing great value Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Yarra Valley for several years now, and the release of these wines has become greatly anticipated by many, including myself, seeking to get top quality wines at a great price.

Fruit for the Chardonnay under the Hoddle's Creek range comes from the home estate, where it  is all hand picked and fermented on site.

Great fresh and clean chardonnay aromatics of apricot, white peach, and grapefruit. A touch of struck match. Delicate with a bit of slatey minerality. Great line of acidity. Delicious stuff.

Price: $22
Varietal: Chardonnay
Would I Buy It?: Absolutely. Great value for money.
Website: www.hoddlescreekestate.com


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2014 Soumah 'Single Vineyard' Brachetto

Soumah are based in the Yarra Valley where they focus on Northern Italian style wines, alongside some of the Eastern French styles more common in this area. The Brachetto grape originates from Piedmont region of Northwest Italy and is commonly used to make a slightly sweet sparkling wine in the DOCG region of Brachetto D'aqui.

Here these grapes have been used to produce a sweet, still wine with great aromatic intensity. It opens up with distinct notes of strawberry and roses. The palate is less sweet than many other dessert wines (certainly less sweet than most botrytis wines or other stickies) and is nicely balanced with a touch of acidity. 

An all round interesting and enjoyable wine. Ideal for pairing with desserts, particularly fruit and/or not-too-sweet cakes. 

Price:      $29 RRP
Source:   Tasting
Varietal:  Brachetto
Tasted:    December 2015
Rating:    93
Website: www.soumah.com.au

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2014 Giant Steps 'Applejack Vineyard' Pinot Noir

Giant steps produces to excellent single vineyards each year. This one from the Applejack vineyard, located in the upper Yarra Valley, distinctive for it's altitude, cool climate and red volcanic loam.

The 60% of the grapes that were left as whole bunches during ferment definitely make themselves known, but don't overwhelm. I get violet, red cherry, cedar spice, and some savory earthy aromas. Fine silky tannins linger with more red cherry fruit on the palate. An elegant and interesting Pinot Noir.

Price:      $50 RRP
Source:   Tasting
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    December 2015
Rating:    95
Website: www.innocentbystander.com.au

2014 Jamsheed 'Harem Ma Petite Francine' Cabernet Franc

Image of 2014 Ma Petite FrancineAll of the fruit for this wine was sourced from a single vineyard in the Yarra Valley. It was fermented in whole bunches with wild yeast and no additions, outside of a small amount of sulfur dioxide.

Herbal aromatics with plenty of fresh fruit and savory complexity. Lacking the pencil shaving character I tend to associate with this varietal, but not missed here. Carries juicy soft palate, with moderate length and more fresh dark berry fruit character.

A light and easy style that is very food friendly. A good one to chill down slightly if your craving a cooler glass of red for the warmer summer months.

Price:      $25
Source:   Craft Red Hill
Varietal:  Cabernet Franc
Tasted:    December 2015
Rating:    92
Website: www.jamsheed.com

2015 De Bortoli 'Villages' Pinot Noir

Another vintage of this excellent value Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley. You can see my recent review of the 2013 vintage of this wine here.

There seems to be a bit more fresh raspberry and red fruit aromas than the 2013, perhaps associated with a bit more carbonic maceration  (a great article on this wine making technique is available here from Jamie Goode.). Just a pleasant and accessible Pinot Noir. I would have a hard time thinking of a better Australian Pinot Noir for under $20.

Price:      $17
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    December 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.debortoli.com.au

2011 Mac Forbes 'Hugh' Cabernet Blend

Fruit for this blend was sourced from a small vineyard in the Gruyere sub region of the Yarra Valley. The grapes were all dry grown and fermented separately. One of the most complex and beautiful Bordeaux style blends I've tried from Australia.  

Powerful dark cherry and plum aromas are dominant, with lively herbal scents and perhaps a touch of pencil shavings from the Cabernet Franc. A firm taut palate follows with seriously integrated and complex tannin structure and some savory elements adding complexity to the dark berry fruits.

Paired a treat with braised lamb shanks. Already drinking fantastic, but this is a wine I would love to revisit every few years for the next ten to twenty.

Price:      $70 RRP
Source:   Gift
Varietal:  Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Tasted:    November 2015
Rating:    96
Website: www.macforbes.com

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 De Bortoli 'La Bohème Act Two' Dry Pinot Rosé‎

A consistently good dry style Rose that is easy to find. I've shared with a few friends, over Indian or Malaysian food, and heard more than once that they didn't think that they liked Rose.

Strawberrys and rosewater aromas . Soft and juicy, with just a touch of acidity to keep it lively. This is a go-to for spice heavy foods. Fresh, fun, and food friendly.

Price:      $19
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    November 2015
Rating:    92
Website: www.debortoli.com.au

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2013 De Bortoli 'Villages' Pinot Noir

I'm often pleasantly surprised by the quality of wine De Bortoli are able to produce, in relatively large quantities and at very smart prices. This is certainly no exception, and a very good Pinot Noir for under $20. Blended from the 'leftovers' of the 6 different estate wines, this wine is naturally fermented with about 20 percent whole bunches.

Dark red berry fruit aromas wrapped with spicy herbal notes from the whole bunch additions. Chalky and finely textured tannins give good form and length to this wine. Just very good Yarra Valley Pinot Noir at a very good price.

Price:      $17
Source:   Dan Murphy's
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    94
Website: www.debortoli.com.au

Thursday, October 8, 2015

2001 St Hubert's Pinot Noir

Bought with a group, figuring it would minimize the risk, I was surprised to find a Pinot of this age that still has some primary fruit character and structure remaining.

Opening with some soft cherry aromas, savory forest floor and mushroom like aromas soon followed. Tannins were very soft, but still there in quantity and structure holding the wine together with a touch of remaining acidity. It was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Price:      $45
Source:   Grape Therapy, Fortitude Valley
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    October 2015
Rating:    93
Website:  www.sthuberts.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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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/