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11 November 2019

Castle Rock Estate Skywater Riesling 2019


Skywalk_Riesling_NV_220xRiesling is so underrated as a white varietal wine. I have been saying this for decades to little avail. Here is one that may even convert you to Team Riesling if you are an adventurous type.

From the Great Southern region of Western Australia this is an attractive and appealing Riesling. Pale greenish yellow, this youthful Riesling certainly packs a punch.

It has the it factor and mass appeal which draws you in with its ripe aromas and keeps delivering right to the end of the last drop in the glass. Can you tell I like it!

Even though the ripe creaminess of fruit profile is there providing eminent drinkability, this is a drier style of Riesing delivered with plenty of freshness and crispness of acidity. Citrus lemons, ripe pears and apples come through very nicely making it a delight to savour.

A really lovely white wine to have with salt and pepper squid.

Drink to 2029. Alc 12.5%. About $20. 91/100 - Excellent.


5 November 2019

Angullong Shiraz 2017


This is a big bold spicy Shiraz from the cool climate Orange region. 

Youthful deep purple, this is just beginning its vinous journey.

Intense, spicy, brooding ripe fruit follows. Black fruit aroma dominant, think currants, berries etc, along with tobacco, rhubarb and an inherent earthiness.

As I said big but with both alcohol and oak in check, the aromas and palate are quite well integrated, yet the good oak and forward tannin structure augur for future development and longevity.

A medium to long finish, again with black and red fruits shining through make it quite fine to drink now. And it is reasonably priced at that for such an each way bet.

Needs something substance foodwise to complement it though. Have it with beef kebabs.

Alc 14%. About $22. Drink to 2027 plus. 88/100- Very Good.


27 October 2019

Nugan Estate Cookoothma Chardonnay 2017


Cookoothama-ChardonnaySourced from the Darlington Point area of the Murrumbidgee River region of NSW, this is a good value Chardonnay that shows itself in both a varietal and regional manner.

Youthful lemony greenish tints, shining through the glass.

The nose is just simply Chardonnay, unmistakenably so. Ripe upfront lifted classic peach melon and also tropical fruits.

The acidity is fresh and crisp, giving plenty of support to the fruit.

The mouthfeel is creamy and fruit focussed with just right oak. It is developing well and drinks just fine right now.

On a price quality scale, it rates up there at $15 RRP and drinks well as a standalone Spring into Summer drop but will pair very decently with say crispy skin chicken, Vietnamese style.

Alc 13%. About $15. Drink to 2021. 89/100 - Very Good.



17 October 2019

Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Shiraz 2017


A superb wine from beginning to end, just thought I would get straight to the point right from the start.

Blackish purple ink staining the glass, still a baby in its infancy. 

A complex red with lashings of cool climate blackberry, currants, spice and white pepper off the nose. Fruit, fruit, deep luxuriant spicy fruit all the way. An alluring set of aromas that have "gotcha" all over them. 

A smooth deep long palate of berry fruit, imparted with judicious oak, measured and accompanied with low acidity and fine effortless tannins. A big red wine but with class and elegance and depth of character and potential plus.

Drinkable yes but put-away-able as well. At least ten to fifteen years here plus.

Watch this space as I think this will develop into a classic aged red.

Try this with an aged Angus beef steak with mushroom sauce.

Alc 13.5%. Drink to 2027 plus. About $30. 95/100- Superb.


12 October 2019

Coldstream Hills
Chardonnay 2018


Very decent and value drinking from this quality Yarra Valley outfit.

This is made in the mould of the modern elegant classic Chardonnay and is user friendly for all Chardonnay drinkers making it a very versatile white wine for all types of cuisines Yarra-Valley-Chardonnay-2018and occassions.

Pale youthful greeny to straw, a very youthful drop.

Fresh and mid bodied, it is a bit tight on the aroma front at first and then it opens up with quite a complex set of aromas.

A beautiful wine to savour and drink. The aromas are citrus with lots of green apples, hints of pear, peaches, fig and spice.

The palate delivers a light creaminess coupled with classic peach and tropical fruits. The oak is there integrated and seamless. The acidity tempered yet fresh and there. Balanced and in sync, everything is working with each other well and will continue to develop very nicely over next 5 years.

Just lovely drinking say my notes. I like it a lot!

Try this with pan fried barramundi and olive potato mash.

About $25. Alc 13.0%. Drink to 2024. 94/100 - Excellent.


4 October 2019

Huntington Estate Tim Stevens Signature Shiraz Cabernet 2017


This youthful deep purple Mudgee red comes off a great vintage in that region and is named after winemaker Tim Stevens.

A well blended fresh medium to deep bodied red full of sweet ripe fruit imparted in a medium dry finish.

A special occassion wine that delivers balance in early drinkability but also complexity.

The fruit is there as I said shining through with its star blackcurrants, blackberries and chocolate features, but it has also got plenty of oak backing it up and soft fine tannins auguring well for the future.

Potential plus written all over my tasting note which has a big watch this space tag.

Try it with braised lamb.

Drink to 2032 plus. Alc 14.1%. $100. 92/100 - Excellent.



29 September 2019

Soumah Chardonnay 2018


Really enjoyed this top shelf Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley's Soumah stable of wines. 

A bright lemony yellow showing off its youthfulness and potential. 

A light to medium bodied Chardonnay that has elegance, grace and substance. 

Aromas of peach, melon, citrus lemons and broiche shine through. The nose is where it happening bigtime.

I like the overall structure of this wine, the way the aromas show off the fruit along with its fresh and crisp acidity along with there oak, enough to make its mark and put everything into its rightful place.

The winemaker (and grapegrower!) should be suitably impressed with themselves. 

Not a big Chardonnay but not a light pretty one either. An each way bet is the way I would call it. 

It drinks really well, with a long peach melon creamy nutty finish. A beautiful classic Chardonnay.

It has 3-5 years in it at least. It will develop over time into a very decent Chardonnay of substance.

Try it with veal saltimbocca. 

13.0%. About $80. Drink to 2024. 93/100 - Excellent.


28 August 2019

Huntington Estate Bin 18 Shiraz 2015


Mudgee magic this red wine, it is quality and value at all levels. Loved drinking this. 

Still a deep youthful purple. Ink-stainingly so. Alcohol there and in check.

Early notes say deep, intense, full, sweet, ripe, brooding and seductive. Still developing, a complex beautiful red wine.

Medium dry in style, fresh acidity, no sickly fruit, ripe and fullsome, but not OTT. Balanced is the word.

Smooth integrated oak, fine tannins, silky ones. A long, very long fruit driven extended finish.

The fruit words are currants, blackberries, jam, raspberry and it is all about the fruit may I say.
A hint of game, tobacco, mint and earth add to the complexity.

Try this with Beef Wellington.

About $32 (a bargain!). Alc 14%. Drink to 2030. 95/100 - Superb.


21 August 2019

De Iuliis Winemakers Selection Chardonnay 2018

This is really good Chardonnay and value plus at that.
De-Iuliis-Estate-Chard-NV-1000x3569
A pale greenish yellow exhibiting pristine fruit. Pale to light in body, this is a classy elegant white.

Medium dry in style with loads of fresh acidity supporting the fruit as well as the tempered and not overdone oak.

Think melons, apples, peaches, lemon curd, lime and spice with peaches and cream dominating on the finish - bigtime deliciousness and just effortless drinking. 

Try it with salt and pepper bean curd.

Drink to 2022. Alc 13.2%. About $25. 93/100 - Excellent.


20 August 2019

Soumah Select Vineyard Pinot Noir d'Soumah 2018


Ruby red, deep and intense aromas, youthfulness showing in the glass!

Ripe fruit abounds, fresh acidity supporting the fruit. Layers of complexity here, take it slow.

Strawberries, raspberries, plums and cherries, fruit focussed but throw in some cool mint. Lots of cherries did I say. Good seamless integrated oak, silky fine tannins, smooth long delicious and lineal fruit on the palate, delicious and moreish. Very easy drinking need I say, balanced pure fruit going on and on. 

Try it with roast pork belly and oven baked vegetables.

13.0%. About $28. Drink to 2024 plus. 93/100 - Excellent.


19 August 2019

Tarrawarra Estate Chardonnay 2016


TCCH16_WebPlenty of character and full of flavour, this Yarra Valley Chardonnay really delivers from its first pour.

Pale greenish youthful yellow in colour, light to medium bodied, this is a highly drinkable white wine.

Tight and elegant in structure, the nose delivers glorious citrus, sweet honey dew melons, an array of tropical fruits, good spice, subtle vanilla and grilled nuts.

The fruit is fine and classy as I said and has supporting oak there but that doesn't distract from the wine overall.

Smooth medium dry in finish, the palate has a lovely inherent creaminess that marries well with a freshness and upliftness.

It represents value drinking for the price, drinks perfectly now and is versatile across a range of cuisines.

Try this with Calamari Salad.

                  Alc 13.2%. About $25. Drink to 2022.

                  92/100-Excellent



12 August 2019

Gartelmann "Joey" Merlot 2015


This fantastic Merlot from the boutique Gartelmann Hunter Valley winemaker is sourced from cool climate high altitude vineyards in Mudgee and named after owner Jan Gartelmann's grandson Joey.

Joey should be proud of his grandmother over this Merlot as it ticks all the wine boxes for me bigtime.

2015JoeyMerlotDeep purple, it is just bursting with fruit as you swirl the glass. Pure plums, black cherries and blackberries come leaping out. Juicy sweet ripe deep but not overdone in any way - balanced and poised are the words.

The time through aging so far has served it really and has allowed the oak and fruit to work their magic together. The alcohol is high but not noticeable in any negative way.

The velvety fruit finish just rewards at every level here through really good integration, smooth seamless classic Merlot flavours, smooth tannins and a sweet ripe extended finish that has just right acidity to make it a beautiful drinking experience.

Has a few good years to develop in it but seriously I think you will struggle to put some bottles away for cellaring once you try the first bottle now! 

Drink with Korean fried chicken.

About $30. Alc 15.3%. Drink to 2022. 97/100 - Exceptional.