Henschke's Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills

Friday 7 June 2013

Pepperilly, Purple Patch (2010)

Geographe, Western Australia
Sample, 14.5%, screwcap, RRP $18

The bouquet tantilised with notes of mulberry, leather, licorice and hints of chocolate. The palate was brimming with powerful fruit, showing characters of blackberry, stewed plums and tar. A blend of Grenache (65%), Mourvedre (20%) and Shiraz (15%), the depth and intensity of the fruit was impressive. Supported by medium-strong acidity and soft but ripe tannins, with the oak barely discernable, this wine showed stunning balance. Great value - 94.  

Monday 18 March 2013

Tyrrell's Semillon comparison

Earlier this year I took the opportunity to sample some of the latest offerings from several wineries in the Hunter Valley. One of the highlights was Tyrrell's cellar door where I sampled the following Semillon's side by side. I must mention that I appreciated the freedom that the team at the cellar door afforded me during my visit - I essentially pondered over these wines for a very long time.

Tyrrell's Brookdale Semillon (2012)
screwcap, 11%, $20 at the cellar door

Initial impressions were of a typical hunter semillon nose, but the cool 2012 vintage promptly showed its influence with more tropical characteristics dominating the bouquet. On the palate there was floral and citrus notes with tropical overtones - 89.

Tyrrell's Johno's Semillon (2012)
screwcap, 10.5%, available to wine club members

The bouquet of this basket pressed Semillon showed the tropical notes that were typical for this vintage but with some additional lanolin added into the mix. The palate was dominsated by lime with good length and impressive texture - 94.

Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon (2012)
screwcap, 10.5%, available to wine club members

Again the bouquet showed tropical notes that were typical for this vintage, but the intense citrus palate showed extroadinary power with impressive length - 95.

Tyrrell's Stevens Semillon (2008)
screwcap, 11.3%, $33 at the cellar door

A classic Hunter Semillon nose dominated by lime. The palate barely showed its age and consisted of pleasing lemon and lime notes with medium acid and good length - 92.

Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon (2006)
screwcap, 10.5%, $68

A delightful nose that combined classic Hunter Semillon characters with sherbetty, buttery and lanolin notes. The palate was broader than the Stevens Semillon with lemon, lime and impressive length - 93.5

If you're unable to visit the cellar door, wines can also be purchased over the internet: www.tyrrells.com.au

Tuesday 8 January 2013

St. Erth, Pinot Noir (2010)

Geelong, Victoria
13%, screwcap, around $18

Ruby in colour. The bouquet was varietally correct. Notes of cranberry and plum combined to provide a pleasing depth of fruit on the palate, showing nice texture and good balance. That fruit showed a lovely purity with only subtle oak influence. Low acidity. It's difficult to find quality Australian Pinot Noir that's less than $20. Some people might say that this wine was rather simple and easy drinking, but I really liked it - 93.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Wirra Wirra Church Block (2010)

McLaren Vale, South Australia
14.5%, screwcap, biodynamic, around $18

2010 was a good year for this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Displaying impressive fruit intensity for a wine in this price bracket, the palate was rich and seamless. Good value. - 94.

P.s. Church Block is one of the few wines that are consistently available in 375ml bottles - the perfect size for one person. Why are so few wines released in 375 ml bottles?

Thursday 4 October 2012

Gibson Reserve Shiraz (2010)

Barossa Valley, South Australia
15%, screwcap, $45

This classic Shiraz from the Barossa is flush with vibrant plums and black cherries set against lovely oak. The palate is incredibly long and smooth, but it is the quality of the fruit and oak that sets this wine apart. Do yourself a favour by grabbing some of this wine and laying it down for six years. A delightful wine - 96.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Coolangatta Estate, Savagnin (2012)

Shoalhaven Coast, New South Wales
12.7%, screwcap, $23

This grape variety is rapidly gaining attention and this example is no exception. Picked before the rain came, this Savagnin packs a punch. Its two best cards are its texture and acidity. Like a pair of aces, they bring on a smile regardless of how good your 'poker face' might be. The palate combines delicate citrus notes with fleshy peaches amongst a fascinating textural matrix, finishing with zesty acidity - 94.  

Coolangatta Estate is located on the Shoalhaven Coast, just over 2 hours drive south of Sydney. Whilst it is better known for its award winning Semillons, it also produces alternative varieties such as Tempranillo and Tannat. Anyone that lives in Sydney should take a day trip and check out these wines at the cellar door. Or, do yourself a favour and make a weekend of it so that you can tour the range of cafes and restaurants in nearby Berry. Sample sour dough bread baked in a wood fired oven or graze on African influenced cuisine at savannah cafe (the new kid on the block and rising star by all accounts).

Sunday 23 September 2012

Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz (2004)

Barossa Valley, South Australia
14.5%, cork, around $35

A delightful bouquet of plums and spice. The type of bouquet that makes you go back again and again, to savour it before taking a sip. The palate displayed a spread of concentrated, rich fruit - notes of blackberry and plum speckled with chocolate and cedar. The fruit combined with ripe tannins and supporting acid to form a delicious wine with good length. A full bodied Shiraz. The type of Shiraz that has made the Barossa Valley world famous - 96. 

P.s. I recently tried a sampe of the 2010 vintage - it's a cracker. Grab some while you still can.

Sunday 2 September 2012

O'Leary Walker Shiraz (2008)

Clare Valley/McLaren Vale, South Australia
14.5%, screwcap, around $22

As I was pouring this wine into the decanter I was struck by its deep impenetrable dark purple colour. But even with this preview, I didn't predict the potency of this wine. The palate was flush with intense vibrant fruit, covering the spectrum of red all the way through to black. The fruit a blend of Clare Valley (70%) and McLaren Vale (30%), combining two regions famous for Shiraz. The two years in French oak had resulted in a sublime oak influence which perfectly supported the fruit. The tannins were ripe and velvety. The high acid matched the power of the other elements. A lovely wine - 95.