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.
Deep 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.
7 August 2019
Soumah SV Savarro 2018
Soumah are a top quality Yarra Valley outfit.
A brilliant bright clear straw lemon colour shines from the glass.
The purity of the fruit really comes through early on with this excellent white wine.
Youthful, fresh and crisp, this is a light to mid bodied white with a medium dryness to it.
It is packed full of layers of fruit character, noting citrus dominance of green apples and oranges, tropical fruits, broiche and light mock cream. The palate rewards with apples, lemons, oranges and peaches with a lineal crispness which balances the acidity and fruit flavours beautifully.
I kept writing lovely wine all over my tasting notes so the drinkability factor is high.
Try this with chicken and asparagus risotto.
Drink to 2021. 12%. About $30.
93/100 - Excellent.
2 August 2019
Petaluma White Label Chardonnay 2018
Straw yellow, pristine purity in colour.
Lighter bodied in style, a decent Adelaide Hills Chardonnay that delivers respectably for its price range.
Good citrus fruits, ripe lemons and crisp green apples in particular along with tropical fruit such as melon then some light honey, broiche and a creaminess as well.
Well structured with fresh mild acidity, integrated oak providing overall a crisp medium long finish.
Try this with pork and pineapple Thai curry.
Alc 13.5%. About $25-$28. Drink to 2023.
91/100 - Excellent.
30 July 2019
Hastwell & Lightfoot Shiraz 2017
This quality McLaren Vale boutique winery impressed me recently with its excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and this Shiraz is in the same class as well.
Deep purple youthfully so. Deep bodied, an intense fullsomeness comes through the aromas. Full ripe and developing well with time so far, the nose seduces you with an array of glorious primary fruit to come. The oak is there integrated, the tannins soft but there again. The primary fruit is the star and the supporting actors are playing there part well as well.
Currants, blackberries, a hit of raspberry jam, red cherries, an earthiness and an inherent spiciness that adds to the overall aroma profile beautifully. The fruit is well balanced yet brooding and enticing. Moreish at that. Medium to long in finish, it is a foodies red wine and perfect with Winter cuisine.
A good solid firm cheese would allow it also to shine as a stand alone Shiraz.
Try it with Italian sausage and gorgonzola pizza.
Alc 14%. About $25 - Value!. Drink to 2027 plus. 94/100 - Excellent.
27 July 2019
Taylors Jaraman Shiraz 2017
Deep crimson purple, youthful in every sense.
Needs more time, in its infancy I wrote, has loads of potential scribbled down the side of the page.
This Clare Valley McLaren Vale sourced Shiraz is so laden with freshness and vibrance through its youthfulness as well as the imparting of its intense full black and red fruits.
The palate is fresh and spice filled, has silky fine assertive tannins, youthful energetic oak and delivers a medium long finish full of blackberries, raspberries, cherries and rhubarb along with an earthiness, hints of dark chocolate and a touch of star anise.
A complex wine that will with time develop beautifully.
Ok to drink now but remember to buy extra as it is just going to get better and better. I understand why some people may find this red a bit raw at first taste but do give it time in the glass and it will show off its true potential. Indeed for me it drank even better the next day which is always a good sign of what's more to come.
Oh and it demands Winter cuisine food to accompany it and show off its best alongside.
Try this with slow roasted pork stuffed with apple and raisins.
Drink 2021 to 2027 plus plus. Alc 14.5%. About $32.
92/100 - Excellent.
23 July 2019
Huntington Estate Basket Dried Mudgee Shiraz 2016
A very decent special occasion Shiraz and very well crafted at that by Tim Stevens, Huntington's winemaker.
A cherry to garnet red colour, the wine is starting to settle in for the long haul and exhibiting potential plus (and not bad at all drinking right now as well may I say).
Deep brooding intense and spice filled it is a big red wine from beginning to end. Spicy red and black and blue fruits dominate the aromas and later on the palate as well. Think currants, berries, cherries, a bit of rhubarb and then also some dark chocolate and mocha coffee and also a more savoury dimension provided by some dried herbs and black pepper.
Integrated oak (there present but working its way in with the fruit), the result is a big but also quite balanced for its age red, complex yes with multiple layers along with a long finish.
It drinks quite well now as I said and it developed well with some breathing in the glass and then also overnight but the oak and tannin structure is such that the best is yet to come IMO!
Try this with Beef Wellington.
About $75. Drink to 2026 plus. Alc 15.5%. 94/100 - Excellent.