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www.paulippolito.com.au- WINE REVIEWS-paulippolito.com.au

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    26 November 2020


Stone & Wood Pacific Ale

SW_Pacific_AleThe people at Stone & Wood describe this as Byron Bay in a bottle.

They are bang on!

No need for me to waffle on about this or that characteristic. Just think of the last time you were in Byron Bay or a similar cool chill place and this is what the beer tastes like.

Really really good is the answer over and over for this Northern Rovers NSW brewed pale ale which is made from Tasmanian grains.

Quite an upfront beer in the sense it doesn't shy away from its tropical fruit profile from beginning to end but this beer is so well made that every dimension of it from the head to taste to finish is all in sync.

Delicious and refreshing were words that popped up on my tasting note time and time again. Really nice beer, well worth a look.

About $22 for a six pack. Alc 4.4%. Rating - Superb.


24 November 2020

Brown Brothers Moscato Rose`


This is easy warm weather drinking. Rose is such a versatile Summer Australian wine that I really enjoy. It is also an easy match with a variety of cuisines and of course on its own.This is full of ripe strawberries, cherries and raspberries, red fruits dominate. Juicy fresh and uplifted, it is on the sweeter riper but lighter spectrum. It finishes with a lightness and light effervesence.

A crowdpleaser at any event at that.

Try it with peking duck pancakes.

About $15. Alc 7.0%. Drink Now. 85/100 - Good.

17 November 2020

Young Henry's Newtowner Australian Pale Ale

YH-Newtowner-Hero
Independently brewed beer from surprise surprise Newtown here in Sydneytown.

Blended from a mix of Australian malts, you can tell this is pale ale but it different in the same breath. Good different, not your full on fruity sweet ripe pale Ale type. There is a fruitiness here as well but it is imparted in an underlying way but there is also a crispness, a firmer backbone and a dryness and bitterness on the finish.

I like it as it you get a bit of both dimensions and it is a versatile beer. Pairs with food very well, as well. All bases are therefore covered.

Try it with some tacos.

Alc 4.8%. About $21 for a six pack. Rating - Excellent.


13 November 2020

SSchardm3Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2019

Superb, but unsurprisingly so. Shaw + Smith do really really good things with Chardonay and have done so for a very long time. This is way up there in the best Australian Chardonnay stakes and deservedly so.

Class and elegance from start to finish. Refined from the first pour to the last taste in the mouth.

A lovely pale greenish yellowy straw. Tight unwinding white marble, nectarine, lemon citrus off the aromas. Not upfront but quite slow and evolving. Classy, edgy and yet making its point as a excellent Chardonnay. Complex and layered it is intricate in the way it presents itself. Good fresh crisp acidity supporting the fruit, poised and in check. The oak is providing vanilla characters again balanced and in check. It drinks beautifully with citrus and stonefruits emerging and in a lineal long lingering fashion. Lovely wine in every sense and at under $50 it is also value plus.

Try it with a fresh seafood platter.

About $50. Alc about 13.0%. Drink to 2025. 96/100-Superb.

12 November 2020

Zonte's Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Rose` 2020


Those who of us who take their Rose` seriously (as we should!) will want to know this wine is derived from fruit dominant of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Tempranillo and sourced from the McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek areas of South Australia.

Those of us interested in a funky hip and pleasurable drinking experience (as we also should!) will appreciate gazing at the salmon pink colours as they flow into the glass. Shortly thereafter a quick sharp swirl will release a litany of berry fruit - mainly strawberries, cherries and raspberries. Sweet ripe fruit tempered with good fresh acidity giving it balance. Tasting it will result in fields of red juicy fruits, mock cream and yet also a dry finish that makes it oh so gluggable! Enjoy, this is an excellent Rose` for all type of wine afficionados. 

Try it with soy braised chicken and tofu.

Drink Now. About $22. Alc 13.5%. 92/100 - Excellent. 


6 November 2020

St John's Brook Recolte Chardonnay 2018


A beautiful Chardonnay from this boutique Margaret River.

It is balanced and in sync in every dimension and delivers accordingly.


A glorious lemony yellow, it is still tight and youthful in its aroma projections.


Predominantly citrine, limes, lemon curd and oranges. Light apricots and white peaches as well. Lovely nose full of the developing fruit potential to come. Crisp fresh acidity carrying through making this a classy elegant wine. The oak is tempered there and supporting everything well. The wine has a bit more time to develop yet is delivering lovely citrus, light tropical and nutty characters on the palate.

About $30. Alc 12.5%. Drink to 2024. 93/100 - Excellent.



5 November 2020

Elephant In The Room Jumbo Chardonnay 2019


elephantValue plus from this Limestone Coast South Australian Chardonnay. Good solid honest Chardonnay delivered varietally, regionally and at quality and price. Job done in my books.

Good upfront lemon yellow fruit in the glass. Beautiful peach melon fruit at that. Ripe lifted simple forward full flavoured fruit. Fresh acidity and good oak supporting it well. 

Long and delicious on the palate, you get a lovely creaminess as well.

Moreish and a treat to have with crumbed salmon fillets and a greek salad. 

Drink Now. About $15. Alc 13.5%. 90/100 - Very Good.

31 October 2020

Coopers Session Ale


sessionbottleVery nice Ale drinking here. A real beer, good mid strength, firm and strong.
Fruity nose, refreshing crisp and dry on the palate with the hops doing their part with a slightly bitter finish. A bit of everything, plenty of flavours and it comes together really well.
A verstaile beer. Enjoy it this Summer.

Alc 4.2%. About $22 for a six pack. Excellent.


29 October 2020

M + J Becker Wines Chardonnay 2019


becker_chardonnayA boutique Hunter Valley Chardonnay, organically made, that makes you sit up and pay attention as soon as you stick your nose into that glass!

It has the wow factor from beginning to end and is a one cracking Chardonnay.

Gloriously pale yellow in colour, out come the fresh and elegant aromas sslowly and surely.
A complex wine yielding measured peach, apricots, melon, mixed nuts, vanilla and honeysuckle. Taut and tight at first it delivers linear seamless drinking through very good fruit oak integration and fine edgy acidity. Balanced yes but in a classy poised way.

Pour me some more will be oft repeated words during this wine drinking experience. One delicious Chardonnay.   

Drink with lobster ravioli.

Drink to 2004. Alc 13.9%. About $30. 95/100 - Superb.

28 October 2020

Basket-Press-Chardonnay-DV-transKrinklewood Chardonnay 2018

A Hunter Valley Chardonnay, biodynamic, organic in the making. You can taste all of this in the purity of this excellent Chardonnay.

Pale straw, it resonates brightly in the glass. Tight at first the aromas evolve slowly and neatly. Classic white peach, citrus notes and a subtle nuttiness. An underlying minerality with good sharp crispness also gives this wine that cut and edge of refined elegance.

The oak is there doing its bit there but tempered and quietly playing its role in the background.

Youth and fresh in stature. The fruit is the star here and is doing all the heavy lifting.

Drinks beautifully with a long refined finish. It marries ever so well with cream based cuisine.
 
Try it with spaghetti carbonara.

About $35. Alc 13%. Drink Now. 92/100 - Excellent


24 October 2020

Mot & Chandon Brut Imp้rial Champagne NV


Without doubt one of the world's most recognised names in Champagne. French, elegant and classic in every sense, resplendently made with quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.

A stunning nose full of citrus aromas. A veritable apple orchard followed by perfectly ripened lemons. Complex, tight at first and then evolving beautifully in the glass with a seductiveness that draws you closer and keeps you in. Dry in style, full of flavour, crispness and substance of fruit, apples, pears and lemons and a nuttiness from cashews. Lovely fruit, tight bubbles, everything in its place. Drinking beautifully right now.

Try it while having some crab toast. 

About $65. Alc 12%. Drink Now. 95/100 - Superb.


18 October 2020

Shades of Gris Adelaide Hills Pinot GrigioZonte's Footstep Shades Of Gris Pinot Grigio 2020

A real Summer wine coming right up and you don't have to wait until then at that.

This Adelaide Hills Pinot Grigio delivers the goods very nicely from beginning to end.

Drinkablility plus from first pour on. Gloriously green straw pale yellow in colour it dazzles in the glass and the nose just pumps out serious pure fruit driven aromas.

Think citrus lemons and limes, peaches and melons, it has it all. Fresh crisp and lively, it is invigorating and refreshing on the palate. Perfect as a standalone or just right with pan fried gnocchi and a ricotta, peas and asparagus sauce.  

Drink Now. About $25. Alc 13%. 92/100 - Excellent.

13 October 2020

Angullong Shiraz 2019


An excellent cool climate spicy bold Shiraz from the Orange region made from this very good boutique winery.

Deep blackish purple, in its youth. Has an easy decade in it.

The nose has it all - red and black fruit, spice, peppery notes, liquourice aniseed. Classy fruit, well imparted oak, fine grainy tannins. A rich seductive nose with plenty of fruit and oak and alcohol. Nothing out of sync even in these early days. Has lots of cellaring and development potential. Drinks beautifully. A lovely red wine in all aspects - quality and value.

Try it with tortellini with slow cooked beef and pork ragu.

Alc 14.5%. About $22. Drink til 2029. 92/100 - Excellent.


5 October 2020

SV-Ai-Fiori-Rosato_2020-design                  Soumah Ai Fiori Dry Rosato 2020


A dry Rose style imparted with elegance and charm.

Pale pink blush it is young fresh vibrant and light and free. 

Plenty of strawberry fruit, a mix of Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir and Brachetto grapes deliver the berry fruit, albeit imparted with a citrus element added through the addition of Savignon. Well put together, a versatile food friendly easy drinking wine for the warm season ahead.

Don't overthink it, enjoy it.

Try with Vietnamese crispy pancake.

Drink Now. About $28. Alc 13.0%. 89/100 - Very Good.


4 October 2020

Oyster Bay Marlborough Chardonnay 2018


The Marlborough region of New Zealand knocks out its fair share of solid quality whites. This Chardonnay has been a mainstay of the Oyster Bay stable for as long as I can recall. I came across it the other day and it is a really good Chardonnay if you still like a bit of oak in it.

You get plenty of juicy primary fruit, peach melon and citrus fruits dominating. Ripe sweet fresh fruit characters, held up with a fair share of oak. Not OTT, just right oak there noticeable and showing off nuttiness, cashews on the smooth rich palate. Good fresh acidity there as well supporting the fruit.

Drinkable, highly drinkable. Try it with bbq prawns. 

Drink Now. 12.5%. About $15. 90/100 - Very Good


26 September 2020

GartelmananWilhelmHunterValleyShiraz2017Gartelmann Wilhelm Shiraz 2017

A Hunter Valley boutique red thats shows off lots of the region's qualities when it comes to making very good Shiraz.

Inky purple in colour, it reflects well its youthfulness still.

The aromas resonate lovely ripe blackberries, spicy plums and black cherries. Out comes an inherent earthiness as well as some liquorice notes. The nose does it for me. Add to this good oak treatment, there and noticeable, keeping the alcohol in check as are some fine grainy tannins that demonstrate the potential here for short to medium term development with age.

Delcious smooth yet with a medium dry finish, there is a bit for everyone here in this decent versatile red. Plenty of reasons to drink some in these last few cooler days of Spring still.

Try this with roasted meats such as beef or pork belly.

About $28. Alc 14.1%. Drink to 2027 91/100 - Excellent.


25 September 2020

Whispering Brook Semillon 2019


semillon-QSDTJFA very decent single vineyard Hunter Semillon offering that has all the hallmarks of a classic varietal written all over it.

Lemony yellow in colour. Uplifted lemons, limes and grapefruit flood the senses. Lush ripe yet fresh, lively and zesty.

Real Semillon from beginning to end here. I like the fact it is not pretending to be anything other than traditional Hunter Semillon. If you are not on team Semillon yet, you could do a lot worse than start here.

Yes it drinks well now full of citrus flavours and a good hit of lineal acidity, but the real reward of this wine will come with time as it ages and develops a lovely lemon honey smoothness on the palate, showing off how really good Semillon can be. A bottle or two for the cellar is called for. 

Try this with spaghetti carbonara.

Drink to 2029. Alc 10.5%. About . 92/100 - Excellent.


20 September 2020

4Pines_330mL_Pale_Render-e15628245986614 Pines Brewing Company Pale Ale

This has been my go to beer for quite a while now. It delivers at lots of levels for me and is a versatile beer that lets you drink it easily solo and yet also pair it up with lots of different food.

A lovely orangy amberish colour. Fresh, real uplifted and fruity with citrus lemons, grapefruit and oranges really coming through. Has a fruit dimension and also savoury dimension to it, making it as I said before versatile drinking. Naturally brewed, full flavoured. Good dry and crisp in length and on the finish.

Try it with bbq chorizo sausages.

Alc 5.1%. About $20 for a six pack. Rated - Excellent.

19 September 2020

Tarrawarra Estate Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2017


Very easy seamless effortable Chardonnay drinking here. The people at Tarrawarra are gifted with making good Chardonnay (and Pinot!) and this wine echoes how good the grapes and winemaking are.

The age has done wonders to the fruit, developed its citrus dominant nose with creamy and nutty nuances, balancing out any acidity very nicely. Peach melons and tropical fruits also emerge through but the ripe lush lemons are the stars here.

The oak is there, lees treatment adding character and depth but this all sits nicely under the fruit. A tight intricate and well structured Chardonnay that drinks ever so well on its own and with a versatile range of Asian cuisines.

Try this with Vietnamese chicken curry.

Alc 12.7%. About $30. Drink Now.92/100 - Excellent.

17 September 2020

SV-SyrahSoumah Yarra Valley Single Vineyard Syrah 2019

Wow what a sensational wine. And it is so young. How much potential has this Shiraz got to develop into a very respectable red, is the magic question here? It is delivering the goods big-time already in my books.

Inky crimson purple, the purity of fruit just subsumes the senses. The aromas are classic smooth and seductive. Spicy fruit, cherries, blueberries, plums and black liquorice all come through in a slow unwinding manner. Love the nose. Have sat here smelling it for an inordinate time!

The oak treatment is there subtle letting the fruit shine and do its work. The ripe fresh fruit resonates on the palate long lingering and smooth, ever so fine yet there tannins. There is much more to come but it is luxuriant drinking now. Very much so. Delicious and moreish. It will improve incrementally with time in different dimensions and it has as I said the hallmarks of a very very decent red.

Try this with Wagyu beef steak.

About $40. Alc 14.5%. Drink to 2029 plus. 97/100 - Exceptional.    

13 September 2020

hero_winebottlesWhispering Brook Touriga Nacional 2019

Whispering Brook is an excellent Hunter Valley winery gaining lots of attention for its quality wine. Susan Frazier and Adam Bell are its winemakers and established the winery in 2000. I say all of this as I think you should put these names squarely on your wine watch list as this is one cracking good red wine!

Touriga Nacional is one of Portugal's finest red grape varietals and is used extensively in making Port.

The folks at Whispering Brook have done a great job in developing this varietal here and given it the full treatment of hand picking, basket pressing to French oak and partial malo treatment.

It is still a youngster with its inky purple crimson colour in the glass. However the nose is just intoxicating, has its fruit focus well developed, is quite robust and yet also seduces with rich spicy plums, blackberries, cherries and an inherent earthiness to it all. The aromas just develop superbly in the glass making it a pleasure to savour.

On the palate you get those red and black fruits coming through in a sustained concentrated and prounounced manner. The Hunter earthiness is clearly there, good firm oak to support the fruit with a long haul in development and a good firm tannin structure to boot. Delicious and smooth spicy ripe plums on the palate, give it time in the glass to develop so you can really appreciate what this red is all about and the potential it has for a long future.

Try this with oven roasted porchetta, wild greens and roast lemon potatoes

About $55. Alc 13.5%. Drink to 2029 plus. 95/100 - Superb.


9 September 2020

Angullong Merlot 2018


Angullong-Merlot-300x300A rich ripe luxuriant Merlot from this boutique cool climate Orange region winery.

Very pleasurable drinking from begining to end. Deep brooding dark purple blackish. A youngster with time on its side. The youth and alcohol don't distract however.

The brooding spicy plums dominate the nose. Stunning vibrant and fresh, yes ripe, intense and uplifted but not over the top in any way. Balanced long smooth and seamless on the palate. Fruit check, oak check, acidity check, tannin structure check - the winemaker can take a bow.

Very moreish drinking here. Really good Merlot showing off what it can do. Giving it a few years may improve it but it really is drinking smashingly well now.

Oh and did I mention the word value anywhere here. 

Try it with tagliatelle alla ragu.

About $22. 14.5%. 93/100 - Excellent.

5 September 2020

GartelmannWinesDiedrichShirazOrangeRegion2016Gartelmann Wines Diedrich Shiraz 2016

Diedrich is named after Jorg Gartelmann's grandfather, who would be proud of this excellent Orange region in NSW Reserve Shiraz.

Starting with some remnants of purple inkiness on the hue, this four year old benchmark red from the Gartelmann stable of wine is a classy and elegantly structured wine.

I like the spice filled nose of blackberries, plums, cherries and currants all melded beautifully and smoothly. An inherent earthiness underpins the fruit. The tannin structure is fine and seamless, the oak treatment working its magic on the fruit. Despite the high alcohol (which doesn't detract), it delivers effortlessly on the palate with delicious cherries and plums dominating. It goes on and on in finish and length with the tannins saying more good is to come. Not a big bold red but a classy refined red that impresses now but as I said watch this space.

Try it with pappardelle con ragu.

About $50. Drink to 2026 plus. 15.2%. 94/100 - Excellent.


3 September 2020

Bird In Hand Two In The Bush Chardonnay 2019


Classic aromas off the nose citrus lemons, limes and grapefruit but also some varietal peach melon as well. A bit of everything coming off a tight but slowly yielding nose.

Fresh lively acidity supports the fruit well as does the judicious oak treatment, there but balanced in its impartment.

It drinks very nicely with its citrus and peach characters showcasing on the palate, a good crisp backbone to the fruit and a long lingering very nice aftertaste of Chardonnay flavours. Very well balanced as I said on the palate and not OTT in any of its dimensions.

This Adelaide Hills cool climate Chardonnay works a treat with a diverse range of cuisines.

Try it spaghetti and crabmeat or it will go just as well with a spanish tortilla.

About $25. 12.5%. Drink to 2024. 91/100 - Excellent.