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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

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

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

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

2014 Farr Rising Saignee Rose

Winemaker Nick Farr allows Pinot grapes to sit on skins in the tank for 2-3 hours before he bleeds the free running juice to make this wine. He then barrel ferments at cool temperatures and allows full malo-lactic fermentation. The result? One of the most interesting and delicious Roses I've tried.

Rose petal and turkish delight, but also cherry and solid use of good quality oak. Slippery refreshing palate. This has so many of the characters I like about Pinot noir, all in a very easy drinking Rose perfect for summer. Lovc this wine.

Price:      $30
Source:   Grand Central Cellars
Varietal:  Pinot Noir
Tasted:    November 2015
Rating:    95
Website: www.byfarr.com.au

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