Henschke's Lenswood vineyard in the Adelaide Hills

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Jacob's Creek, Chardonnay (2010)

13%, screwcap, non organic, $10

With a fruit salad nose, this quaffer was startling (in a value for money sort of way - particularly when you pick it up for $7 a bottle). There were tropical notes to a white peach palate, with a hint of oak. It appears that these thoughts were corroborated by my wife, who thought it was 'noice'. Great value - 89.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Penfolds, Koonunga Hill Shiraz (2009)

South Australia
13.5%, screwcap, non organic, around $14

The medium bodied palate was bursting with a mixture of plums, red berries and spice. The tannins were surprisingly soft. I later learnt that the bottle had been opened the day before. Given the impressive result, I formed the view that this wine will benefit from short to medium term cellaring. This wine is great value - 91.  

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Clonakilla, Hilltops Shiraz (2010)

Hilltops, NSW
14%, screwcap, non organic, $25

This vintage of Clonakilla's Hilltops Shiraz continues the trend of delivering high quality wine at a very reasonable price (a trend that began with its flagship Shiraz Viognier, which could easily command a three figure price tag given the massive demand). The palate showed vibrant fuit intensity with blackcurrants and spice. It had impressive balance and nice length. Another great example of cool climate shiraz crafted by Tim Kirk. I really liked this wine - 94.

The Granite Belt, QLD

Last year I had the opportunity to visit the Granite Belt in QLD. I visited a few of the cellar doors, which are steadily increasing in number in this emerging wine district. The Granite Belt is a great destination for a weekend away due to its sensational National Parks, range of cellar doors, impressive restaurants and proximity to the Gold Coast and Brisbane. The following winerys were two highlights.

Ballandean Estate

This family owned vineyard and winery had some fine offerings. They are producing some good wine and last year experienced some significant show success with their Generation 3 Shiraz. 

Attached to the cellar door is the Barrel Room Cafe, where chefs Matt and Bobbi Wells are doing some amazing things. The food was so good we went back the following day. Given the opportunity, I would have tried to sample the whole menu, but alas, we had to move on.

Family Reserve Chardonnay (2008) RRP $22, 93.
Shiraz Viognier (2006) RRP $17, 91.
Estate Shiraz (2005) RRP $17, a shy nose with a silky tannins on the palate and good length - 93.
Cabernet Sauvignon (2006) RRP $17, 93.
Family Reserve Shiraz (2006) RRP $25, 92.

Golden Grove

This was my pick of the cellar doors in this region. Their winemaker, Ray Costanzo, is doing some good things, particularly with alternative varieties. The wines consistently showed great intensity of flavour and balance.

Barbera (2008) RRP $20, 94.
Tempranillo (2008) RRP $22, 93-94.
Malbec (2008) RRP $28, 93-94.
Durif (2008) RRP $28, 93.
Mediteranean Red blend of tempranillo, durif and barberra (2009) RRP $18, very good value - 94
Shiraz (2007) RRP $35, 95.