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

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

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13 July 2020

Cape Mentelle "Brooks" Chardonnay 2017


Oh the Margaret River does Chardonnay ever so well and this is a fine example from the Cape Mentelle folk.
Pale greeny lemony yellow there is a youthfulness exuding from the glass.

Classic peach melon on the nose with hints of tropical pineapple, rich cashews and good supporting oak.

A substantial Chardonnay, (hint there is good oak as I said and 14% alcohol here) but it also has good lineal acidity and an excellent overall structure to boot. Fresh and crisp in palate delivery whilst also holding the fruit together nicely.

Seamless smooth rich and long in finish, you get that lovely mouthful of balanced well roundedness.

A lovely food wine - I would try it with coconut chicken curry.

Drink to 2022. Alc 14%. About $25. 93/100 - Excellent.

3 July 2020

Disaronno Originale Amaretto


heritage_row_2It is the world's favourite Italian liqueur and has been made since 1525.
It is also my favourite Italian liqueur (and quite possible my world one as well). So already this Amaretto has a few very good things going for it.

This is not just an almond liqueur. It is much much more than that. The brooding glorious intoxicating seductive aromas off the glass (on the rocks, of course) just flood the senses. Fruit and nut filled aromas, almonds, oranges and apricots come through. It is deep and rich and full on but balanced. You get fruit, you get spicy fruit, nuttiness and spice but all in sync, the alcohol from the spirit side plays its part nicely as well. Everything is in place - the distilling was done just right. The cut of its structure makes sure the balance is right. You get the fruit sweetness with a good hit of dry spirit on the other side as I said and the rest is history as they say. 

A perfect Winter aperitif and yes "mi piace tanto!"

About $50 - 700ml. Alc 20%. Drink It Now (and regularly!). 98/100 - Exceptional.


30 June 2020

Angullong Fossil Hill Tempranillo 2018


AngullongTempranillo-300x300From the Orange region in NSW, this cool climate medium bodied Mediterranean style of red works well with a range of diverse cuisines and really sits well as a varietal here that is in tune with the Australian climate.

Fruit filled and focused, the deep purple ruby red colour in the glass shows off the bright fruit nicely. You get deep ripe fresh fruit off the nose. A medium dry red it also has an inherent savouriness that Sangiovese provides. You get raspberries, cherries, rhubarb, spice, red earth, some light cigarbox and black olives.

The acidity is low and tempered, the tannins soft silky and fine, the alcohol there but ok and the palate provides a medium finish of balanced harmonious soft easy drinking spicy red and black fruit again with a savoury edge. 

Try it with tortellini bolognese.

About $28. Drink to 2023. Alc 14.5%. 88/100 - Very Good. 


22 June 2020

Lark Hill Vineyard Chardonnay 2017


Chardonnay_2016Top shelf Canberra District Chardonnay. Pristine elegant and purity of fruit from beginning to end.

Loved this cool climate high altitude Chardonnay. My style of Chardonnay, sharp, focussed fruit delivered with precision, judicious winemaking and making its mark in a deliberate measured way.

Pale whitish yellow representing early days. Youthful and developing on the nose, you have crisp upfront white nectarine, honeydew melon and citrus lemons off a beautiful aroma set. Tight at first then unwinding gloriously in the glass. Good just right crisp acidity supporting the fruit as is the oak, married well, providing that mock creaminess side by side to the fruit.

Long and extended in finish, it is delicious drinking with classic peach melon and lemon and limes that go on and one.

Top class wine drinking with plenty in reserve for further development (but seriously it is drinking superbly just now!). 

Try it with oven baked barramundi and some canneloni bean mash.

Alc 12.5%. Drink to 2023. About $45. 95/100 - Exceptional.


13 June 2020

Hollick Bond Road Chardonnay 2015


bond-road-chardonnayThis Chardonnay from the Cooonawarra region has a bit of everything going for it. Classic varietal, regional influences, a good bit of maturity, value and above all it tastes really good!

The Hollick's are boutique winemakers who know their stuff and have been making good wine for a long long time. The grapes and winemaking hit the mark and it is one of those wineries that delivers the goods consistently so expectations are always met.

Gloriously lemon in the glass, it exudes Chardonnay from the first moment. Think classic peach melon, tropical fruits, white marble, butterscotch and cashews.

Long luxuriant, tangy with good solid long robust peach melon creamy flavours, it is moreish. It have such a good mouthfeel of fruit, well imparted barrel fermented French oak and accompanying soft melded acidity, that it is drinking perfectly right now. Food friendly or standalone, a top Chardonnay and respectably priced to boot.

Try it with stir fried seafood with crispy egg noodles.

Drink to 2022. Alc 13.5%. About $25. 93/100- Excellent.

12 June 2020


Patritti April Red Grenache Pedro Ximenez 2020

A couple of things caught my eye regarding this red blend, the early release 2020 wine vintage, the sourcing of old vine fruit stretching back to 1907, the origins of it from the Adelaide city region and the clever blending of red varietal Grenache and the white Pedro Ximenez.
 

Family owned and around since 1925, you can see the hand crafting influence in the grapes and winemaking here.
 

The glass resonates nicely with fresh ripe red and black fruit aromas, well balanced and showing off synchronicity of the grapes to winemaking in terms of fruit, alcohol, structure and drinkability.

It is a youthful energetic red on one hand but you can really feel the depth of the quality of the fruit on the other. Very clever as I said to blend the juicy fruit and spice filled Grenache with the Pedro.

 

Raspberries, blueberries and cherries, some light spice, thinking cinnamon really come through when tasted, as does the more substantial Pedro characters that are beautifully summarised as Christmas cake.

Well rounded and well delivered with a medium to long finish, here is a versatile easy to drink fresh uplifting yet real red wine that works a treat with a range of cuisines.
 

Try it with freshly made fettucine pasta, slow cooked plum tomato sauce and some prawns.
 

Alc 14%. Drink to 2026. About $24. 93/100 – Excellent.


7 June 2020


henkell_trocken_slideHenkell Trocken Dry-Sec Sparkling Wine
 

This German sparkling wine delivers bang for buck and quality at that.
 

Pale straw, it is brilliant very light yellow in the glass with tight fine beads forming.
 

The aromas are classic citrus, lemon curd, limes and fresh green apples. Soft acidity accompanying making it use friendly. On the dry side on the palate yet the fruit still comes through very well indeed. I like the way it does this showing off the fruit but not being too overpowering. It creates popular appeal through its impartment of flavours yet with restraint.
 

Great standalone sparkling wine but will work fine with the right lighter style cuisine.
 

Try it with Vietnamese fresh spring rolls.
 

Alc. 11.5%. About $15. Drink Now. 90/100 – Very Good.




6 June 2020

Angullong-FossilHill-Sangiovese-2016-300x300Angullong Fossil Hill Sangiovese 2018

Cool climate Orange NSW regional wine making and Mediterranean grape varieties sit very well together.

This glorious garnet red Sangiovese is a fine example.

The aromas resonate varietal cherries, black olive, mixed dried herbs, forest floor, more cherries and stewed rhubarb. Enticing and auguring well for things to come.

The acidity is low and integrated and adds to the wine's overall structure. The oak treatment has augured the fruit and resulted in a seamless mouthfeel, fine tannins and loads of flavours both fruit driven and savoruy.

The word "balance" is reflected many times on my tasting note and the word "yum" crept in quite a few times as well.

One of the better Australian Sangiovese's I have had.

Try it with tortellini bolognese.

Drink to 2024. Alc 14.5%. About $28. 94/100 - Excellent.

5 June 2020

Squealing Pig Pinot Noir Rose` 2019


Squealing_Pig_NV_marlborough_Pinot_Noir_Rose_With_Graphics_286x800I don't mind Marlborough Pinot Noir from across the Tasman there, so unsurprisingly this Rose` delivers very nicely for me.

Plush light pink the colour dazzles in the glass.

Classic cherries, raspberries, strawberries and musksticks on the nose. Juicy fresh uplifted fruit as it should be for a Rose`. Good supporting acidity, long on the finish, medium dry - the fruit flavours of strawberries, peach and melon balancing out very well. Delicious seamless effortless drinking.

Drink Now. About $15. 13.0%. 91/100 - Excellent. 

1 June 2020

Howard Park Miamup Chardonnay 2019

Really like this Margaret River Chardonnay at all levels - quality, value and price as well as the way it delivers as standalone drinking and its ability to pair very nicely with an array of cuisines. Not much more you ask for in a wine.

Gloriously shiny youthful greeny yellow in the glass.

Peach melon and lemon and grapefruit, some vanilla bean and some cashew creaminess come through the aroma set. Sharp and quite sophisticated on the nose. Promises a lot just off the nose. The acidity is fresh and lively and cuts through the French oak treatment of the fruit very well. Put together it is an uplifted Chardonnay with class and substance. I like it a lot.

Try with a prawn risotto.

Alc 13%. About $28. Drink to 2024. 94/100 - Excellent.

30 May 2020

Asahi Super Dry Beer

Asahi-logo                  A favourite go to beer of mine.


No surprises as to why it understandably Japan's favourite No 1 beer.

It is dry and lightly bitter on the back palate as you may have gathered but it also has a marvellous full flavoured taste gained through excellent malted barley hops and some truly great fermentation.

Clean crisp and refreshing on the palate, quality beer from aromas to finish on palate. Well balanced I would say if I was reviewing a wine. A good all rounder.

Try it with pizza.

About $22 per six pack. Alc - 5%. 94/100 - Excellent.


17 May 2020

yalsarYalumba The Y Series Sangiovese Rose` 2019

Was shaking my head whilst looking at shelf upon shelf at my local wine shop the other day at the range and assortment (and price) of Rose` on the Australian market. Ten years ago we were scoffing at Rose` as a style as opposed to scoffing it down like we are nowadays.

Fresh and uplifted on the nose, the plums and cherries and strawberries come through nicely on this blush light salmon pink South Australian example. Dry and lighter in style, the fruit still is the star on the palate with balanced fruit flavours as well as a medium dry finish that is just right stand alone drinking. Having said that it will sit neatly beside a plate of freshly grilled fish.

Drink Now. About $12. 11.5%. 91/100 - Excellent.


10 May 2020

 

A Trio of Mother’s Day Chardonnay
 

Hill-NV-Chardonnay-1x1-416x416Scotchmans Hill “Hill” Geelong Chardonnay 2018
 

Classically Chardonnay, cool climate elegance and classy in structure and presentation. Fresh uplifted varietal fruit – think peach melon and citrus, tight acidity. Beautiful nose, classic is a word I keep repeating. Unoaked and seamlessly fruit on the palate with the lemons and oranges showing off along with a lightly creamy mouthfeel. Yum. Really good value drinking IMO. Try it with some rock oysters.
 

                                                      Drink to 2022. 13.5%. About $15. 94/100 – Excellent.
 

Tempus Two Chardonnay 2019
 

A good solid South Australian blend of Chardonnay. The fruit and the acidity and the oak work a treat together to show off what is a fruit focussed, well balanced and tightly structured with simple peach, melon and abundant lemons on the dry to long finish. Try it with a fettucine al funghi.
 

Drink to 2023. 12.5%. About $15. 90/100-Very Good.
 

Jacobs Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2019
 

Value plus. Shaking head whilst I savour the aromas wondering how do they do it for the price? An excellent Chardonnay in every sense of the word – quality price and value and versatility to stand alone and drink by self or marry itself with a range of cuisines. Think peach, melon, apples and grapefruit. Good acidity, just neat oak treatment. A good solid seamless long delicious finish just tops it off. Try it with baked lamb shoulder.
 

Drink to 2023. 13%. About $15. 92/100 – Excellent.



7 May 2020

Ponte Villoni Prosecco


From the Veneto region comes this decent Italian Prosecco that is well balanced and imparts its measured fizz and bubbles in a way that balances the fruit and acidity of the grapes very nicely indeed. Moreish on its own it imparts lovely floral, citrus and pears. Medium bodied on the palate, it lifts the tastebuds imparting a fruity dominance but is quite dry on the finish. Delicious, easy and nice effortless drinking.

Try it with mixed mushroom risotto.


Drink Now. Alc - 11%. About $15. 89/100 - Very Good.


 
Hastwell & Lightfoot Vermentino 2019

There were only 250 cases made of this excellent Vermentino made by this quality boutique McLaren outfit - so move quickly is my advice.

Planted widely in all parts of Italy, it is a versatile grape variety that stands well on its own but also marries every so well with a variety of different cuisines. It also adapts very well to Australian wine growing and wine drinking conditions so it has winner stamped all over it.

A glorious lemon straw, it is vibrant in hue and in what follows through an evocative array of aromas. Fresh lifted invigorating fruit. Think lemons, limes and passionfruits. Dry in style, classy and elegant in the way it is imparted through taut acidity that shows off the overall attractiveness of this excellent white wine.

Try this with chicken boscaiola with crushed oven baked potatoes.

Abut $25. Drink Now. 12.5%. 94/100 - Excellent.


                                                3 May 2020

SV_NEBBIOLOMino + Co Signor Vino Nebbiolo 2016

This is a top notch example of the Italian grape varietal Nebbiolo grown here in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia from this excellent boutique winery.

A really well made red that shows off why Italian varietals such as Nebbiolo work so well here in Australia at so many levels.The excellence comes primarily from keeping the fruit flavour up and the alcohol in check resulting in  a perfectly balanced red wine that is robust and upfront and substantial all the way through but not overdone in overripe fruit denseness, alcohol warmth nor too much oak. Eminently drinkable is one of my favourite wine phrases and it has the drinkable X factor from beginning to end.

The aromas shows off blackcurrants, cherries, plums and violets in a measured way but imparted as well with a savoury dimension of black olives, cinnamon and mixed dried herbs. Uplifting and enticing you in with more to come. It delivers long deep red cherry and plum flavours on the palate with just right oak treatment, fine tannins and a savoury-ness to boot, adding to the wine's overall complexity. Good grape growing matched with good wine making. Yes I liked it a lot.

Try it with roast pork.

Drink to about 2025. About $25. 13.0%. 94/100 - Excellent.
     


                                30 April 2020
Maxs_Chardonnay_2018_Bottle_Unsleeved Penfolds Max's Chardonnay 2018

The first words that hit the writing pad after tasting this are pristine followed by pure and classic.

The Penfolds wine making magic really shines through with this top quality Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. A fine wine label to pay tribute to Max Schubert's legendary involvement with Penfolds over his time there as chief winemaker.

Showing off the best and why Adelaide Hills Chardonnay is up there in the best region stakes for this varietal, the glass shows off a brilliant straw yellow youth.

What follows are aromas of citrus lemons and limes entwined with peach and tropical fruits and hints of minerals - think also marble slate. Complex, complicated and sophisticated on the nose. The French oak is there supporting the fruit - hints of vanilla, supporting is the right word not overly firm but there to play its part. It is fresh and uplifted in its fruit presentation.

On the palate it is creamy soft and luxuriant in mouthfeel. It is Chardonnay from beginning to end, quality, pure to its regional and varietal roots. A few years will reward as well with some smoothing out but seriously good drinking now.

Try this with prawn and spinach risotto.

About $35. Alc -13%. Drink to 2022. 95/100 - Exceptional.


26 April 2020

Rosemount_DL_ChardonnayRosemount Estate Diamond Label Chardonnay 2019

This Chardonnay will be going right into the value drinking section of this website - pronto. Available at under $10, it represents a quality, price and value combo which at this price point is hard to achieve nowadays.

A bright yellow in the glass, it shows off classic peach melon aromas and a touch of butterscotch all off a fresh crisp nose. It doesn't pretend to be something it is not but having said that it delivers the features just like I would expect of a quality mass produced South Eastern Australia Chardonnay.

The palate is a medium bodied array of tropical fruits along with a light creaminess and some cashew nuts imparted with uplifted lineal acidity resulting in a long delicious finish. Job done, well done at that.

Try with bolognese arancini.

Drink Now. About $10-12. 13.5%. 91/100 - Excellent.
 

24 April 2020

Hastwell & Lightfoot Cabernet Sauvignon 2017


McLaren Vale gets the kudos here in Australia for its Shiraz and justifiably so but please don't ignore its Cabernet Sauvignon and especially this one as it is a cracker.

Deep dark purple crimson even just with around three years under the belt, it still shows off like a youngster. Intoxicating inking staining it hits you up with 14% alcohol with great legs showing off on the glass. 

Lovely mulberries, rich milky chocolate, deep red cherries and the classic blackcurrants subsume the glass with Cabernet aromas. The fruit is just all class imparted with purity and elegance, just right applied oak, fine tannins and the alcohol is there but in check. An excellent red wine that just glides beautifully down the palate and is just liquery currants, berries and chocolate all the way through.

Will develop further but seriously good right now.

This is going everywhere - front of stage, value drinking and a fine boutique McLaren red.

Try this with lamb korma.

About $25. 14%. Drink to 2027. 95/100 - Outstanding.


                  18 April 2020

 
Sangiovese_2017_-_Signor_VinoSignor Vino Sangiovese 2017

Mino + Co Wines put together this very decent Adelaide Sangiovese.

One of the main things I like about it is that it actually smells like a Sangiovese and even better that it actually tastes like a Sangiovese.

Why shouldn't it you ask? Well because a fair few of the non-Italian versions of Sangiovese I have had over the years (and a few Italian ones at that) don't really smell nor taste like the style was meant to and at best are just versatile medium bodied fruit driven reds.

The aromas here are just bang on - classic plums, cherries, spice and a rich earthiness, melded and broodingly so.

The palate is a very good combination of the fruit sweet and savoury blend with judiciously seamless oak treatment and resultant fine tannins. The flavours are upfront in one dimension but complex, steady and yet also developing in the glass on the other.

Drinkable, highly so, (and effortless). The spicy plums, sour ripe cherries, juicy mulberries and raisin spices all show themselves off neatly.

A very well made wine which manages to keep the alcohol in sync as well.

Try this with tandoori lamb chops.

Drink Now. About $23. 14.5%. 94/100 - Excellent.
 

14 April 2020

Coldstream Hills The Hills Chardonnay 2019


This is a classy elegant Chardonnay that really shows off its Yarra Valley origins, its excellent winemaking and how much Australian Chardonnay has evolved as a varietal in the past decade or two. 

Balance and synchronicity are my two key words. Everything in this excellent white wine is put together really well and reflects in the glass, on the nose and in the mouth all in the same dimensions.

A pristine strawy yellow in the glass. Tight aromas slowly unwinding, classic peach melon then some citrus and cashew nuts, nice nose lovely nose. I spend far too much time swirling the glass but it is reflective of the good things to follow.

On the palate you get the joy of the fruit flavours, but the excellence in wine making through the impartment of just right judicious oak and the fresh lively acidity that cuts through the firm fruit of the peach and lemons and oranges. It goes on and on in length and ends in a clear fashion that tells all and sundry "I am Chardonnay well and truly so".

Try this with grilled barramundi and oven roasted and crushed lemon potatoes.

About $30. 13.5%. Drink to 2024 plus. 94/100 - Excellent.


13 April 2020

GartelmananPhillipAlexanderMudgeeCabernetMerlot2016Gartelmann Phillip Alexander Cabernet Merlot 2016

The tinge of coolish Autumnal weather here in Sydneytown makes this red blend of Mudgee grapes and made by this boutique Hunter Valley winery stand out amongst the pile of samples here on the workbench.

I like Mudgee as a region for its cool climate spice filled reds and Cabernet and Merlot are no brainers as far as I am concerned in terms of the synergy their respective varietals bring.

Inky staining youthful purple in the glass, showing that this is still a youngster. Plums, blueberries, deep red cherries, spice and some dried herbs throw forward a complex nose. The fruit is there lifted, rich, ripe and robust in structure but yet with the right degree of oak treatment and acidity to give it balance and immediate drinkability. The alcohol is up there at 14.7% but really is not reflecting anywhere disproportionately and indeed the nose is fresh and as I said lifted not over-done.

Fruit driven on the palate, plums, cherries, plums and cherries (you get it), it is smooth long and glides down the throat very moreishly. I like it now and it will develop nicely over the next 5 plus years.

Drinking very nicely with a butter chicken. 

About $30. 14.7%. Drink to 2026. 93/100 - Excellent.


10 April 2020

Ole! Vino Tinto Tempranillo 2018


This Spanish red ticks all the boxes more me - price, value, drinkability and versatility.

It is a really good allrounder in the sense you can drink it all through the seasons and it adapts well to a whole range of cuisines.

It is full of fruit, deep and stewed but tempered in its delivery so it is not OTT. Classic cherries, plums and raspberries, along with an inherent depth of spice.

The blending is good, the tannins are soft and fine, the alcohol in check...all making for easy seamless unpretentious and effortless drinking.

As I said at the beginning, easy effortless and value priced drinking.

Try this with rigatoni alla norma or a pizza napolitana.

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


4 April 2020

Adelaide Hills Distillery 78˚Desert Gin


78_Desert_Gin_2000pxWow! This is serious gin. Seriously good gin at that.

You just have to inhale the pure Adelaide Hills aromas here to know this is top quality from beginning to end.

Wow! a word that kept coming up on my tasting sheet. This along with the word - complex.

This is a really well put together Gin that has such a depth to it. The makers have put three different types of wattle seed over base gin before cold macerating it and this just adds such character to it.

This and the inherent citriosity of this Desert Gin means you get purity and freshness but also classic Gin lemon, lime and orange features and such a synergy of all of the above within a smooth long seamless effortless drinking finish.

I had it on the rocks with a dash of tonic and it went down really quickly and tasted damn fine.

My only further comments were "bring me more!" please.  

Alc 48%. About $80. 97/100 - Outstanding.  
    

      3 April 2020

Robert Stein Dry Riesling 2019


2019_Dry_Riesling_Gold_WebRiesling is one of the most underrated grape varieties that I have been banging on as underrated for as long as I have been writing about wine for which I have forgotten how long that actually is, but it is a long time.

Indeed the amount of times I have mentioned the term Riesling revival in such wine writing also is almost incalculable. During all that time however I have not changed my opinion that Riesling is an excellent versatile grape variety that we don't rate highly enough here in Australia. There, I got that off my chest once more. 

Seriously though, this Mudgee example from winemaker Jacob Stein (and fellow Riesling fanatic!) really demonstrates all the good things I have alluded to about Riesling. The cool climate vineyards of Mudgee has delivered a pristine wine, beautifully straw coloured with pristine citrine notes - lemons, limes and oranges. Fresh and lifted in aromas, pure fruit just ripe enough but clear also that this is a dry style of Riesling.  

On the palate, it is dry (surprise!) and resonates again with those citrus influences along with a crispness and dry freshness on the finish. Not bone dry as you can still taste and savour delicious fruit all the way along the long extended finish. More there for future development way into this decade. very nice each way bet of a white - now and for later.

Try this with roast lamb and lemon potatoes.

Drink to 2030. About $40. 12.0%. 94/100 - Excellent.


31 March 2020

Soumah Brachetto 2019


DS-Brachetto-FrizzanteThis pink blush sparkling wine from this quality Yarra Valley producer almost needs a warning label on it.

Something like "Drink carefully and slowly otherwise the bottle will soon be empty!"

Moreish is the word I would normally use. I think I have previously used emminently gluggable.

You are smart folks out there so I am sure you get it - this is a bloody good drop.

It goes hand in hand with the last bursts of warm weather here as well as pretty good as an aperitivo but good support for say a risotto with asparagus and peas! Yum.

Strawberries, raspberries, musk and lemons on the nose and palate, just right perfect soft bubbles supporting the fruit. On the riper than dry side but balanced not cloying, just fine. Loved drinking this. Can you tell?

Drink Now. 10.5%. About $28. 94/100 - Excellent.


28 March 2020

Vickery-Watervale-Riesling-2019-media-resVickery Watervale Riesling 2019

Shines a youthfully glorious greeny straw in the glass.

Young and energetic, packing a litany of classic Riesling aromas. Think citrus lemons, limes and grapefruit. A light musk and tempered spiciness adds to give complexity to the nose and to what is a well structured and crafted Riesling that is showing off the excellent Watervale fruit.

This Riesling has really good acidity supporting the fruit, fresh, crisp and is really vibrant in presentation shows off the fruit really positively.

It delivers the fruit well on the palate, with a smooth balanced fullsomeness that makes it drinkable right now but with the inherent structure has potential to develop over the next 5 or so years. Versatile, drinking fine standalone but really lifts with good food.

Try it with rigatoni boscaiola.

About $23. 12.5% Drink to 2025. 94/100 - Excellent.


                                    27 March 2020
2AHC7lJwHastwell & Lightfoot Fiano 2019

Really good versatile white wine drinking here.

Fiano as a grape variety works well in the dry warm Summer of the McLaren Vale resulting in the primary nature of the fruit really shining through.

As expected the nose is really fruit focussed and really fresh vibrant and aromatic. Lots going on there with lemons, limes, honeysuckle, light musk and pears all coming through beautifully. The grape growers have worked their magic here as have the winemakers from this excellent McLaren Vale outfit.

The synergy of the two results in just right fruit, good lineal supporting acidity and a crispness of finish that has a hint of creaminess built into it that makes it such delicious drinking.

Try with homemade chorizo and red onion pizza.

12.5%. About $25. Drink Now. 92/100 - Excellent.


22 March 2020

Devils_Lair_The_Hidden_Cave_ChardonnayDevil's Lair The Hidden Cave Margaret River Chardonnay 2019

This has been my go to Chardonnay for a long time now as it ticks so many boxes for me. Consistently excellent quality, price, value and versatility either as standalone drinking or with a plethora of cuisines.

Youthful strawy green in its hues. A youngster by sight and by nature with crisp zesty aromas emanating from the glass.

Classic MR Chardonnay, quality stuff. Classic peach melon, hints of citrus, vanilla spice and grilled nuts come through. Well measured oak, french oak, some lees-iness and balance from start to finish, delivering a creamy highly drinkable moreish Chardonnay.

It has cellaring potential and will develop nicely but the challenge will be not to drink it now.

Try it with Vietnamese crispy pancake.

About $20. 13%. Drink to 2025. 94/100 - Excellent.


8 March 2020

StonierChardonnayNVCustomStonier Chardonnay 2018

A classic yet modern Australian Chardonnay here.

All of what should be expected in this quality Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay but delivered in a style that is demanded of modern day Chardonnays in Australia.

A gloriously vibrant lemony straw. Evocative melon and stone fruits, then citrus lemon curd all coming off from the aromas, lifted and delivered with a classiness showing off the potential to come.

Drinks just beautifully with a seamless creaminess and yet with good supporting acidity and judicious oak treatment that marries very well with the fruit.

Delicious and moreish to drink and savour. Still more room for development as well. And value drinking!

Try this with prawn, peas and chorizo risotto.

Alc 13.5%. Drink to 2025. About $25. 94/100 - Excellent.


27 February 2020

Pinot_NV_220xCastle Rock Estate Porongurup Pinot Noir 2018

Bang on Pinot Noir drinking here folks. Pinot from beginning to end. You know because it smells seductively Pinot on the nose and delivers beautifully on the palate. You get spicy berry fruit as well as luscious lifted plums. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries and plums, yum! The oak is imparted very judiciously, the tannins are silky fine. Classy and elegant in the way it shows off the real and spice filled fruit. No overdoing it at one level and no underestimating it at the other. Confident would be the right word. Drinkable, really well put together and this is an excellent varietal Pinot Noir made very well indeed. Viticulturist and winemaker take a bow please. 

Try with chicken and eggplant parmigiana.

Drink to 2025. Alc 13.5%. About $34.94/100 - Excellent.



20 February 2020

Soumah Single Vineyard Yarra Valley Syrah 2016


SV-SyrahA classy elegant red. Deep crimsony cherry purple. Youth with some maturity developing.

Soothing raspberries, deep cherries, spicy plums and of course blackberries on the nose, all imparted with an edge of an array of dried herbs.

Good supporting oak well imparted and blended in with the fruit so it delivers smooth cool seamlessness both in aromas and also more importantly on the palate.

A really well made cool climate red that is just so delicious to drink and yet has more in the tank, much more on the development for future mode.

Try this with chicken and eggplant parmigiana with mashed potato.

Drink to 2026 plus. 14.5%. About $40. 93/100 - Excellent