Monday, May 28, 2012

McWilliam's Mount Pleasant 2007 Lovedale Semillon

It is all too easy to overlook the tried and trusted - reliably wonderful wines like this Hunter Valley treasure - while frantically searching for the next big thing in the world of wine. This is a classic aged Hunter wine from a family producer that has long been at the forefront when it comes to quality semillon. Released at five years of age, this is still remarkably fresh with citrus aromas alongside hay and honeyed notes - and a similar pattern continues through to the palate. It will cellar beautifully for several more years as evidenced by tastes of the beautifully soft 2005 and the less acidic (from a very hot year) 2003. Concentrated, with attractive mineral/wet pebble characters, this is just starting to show some nutty nuances. Absolutely lovely. $65.   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Elefante 2010 Tempranillo Shiraz

The economic reality is that many other countries can produce good wines more cheaply than we can in Australia. This is a case in point: a terrific savoury quaffing Spanish red blend that won't break the bank. Bright and lively, but also well put together, this is a soft, ripe red with plenty of flavour and excellent balance. It doesn't merit detailed tasting notes - it is a "midweek" wine best enjoyed with family and friends but none the less enjoyable for that. Imported by Fourth Wave Wines. $13.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tim Adams 2008 Reserve Cabernet Malbec

My wine writing colleague Lester Jesberg has commented that this wine is throwback to the days of the great Leasingham Bin wines of four decades ago. I've never had the pleasure of tasting those wines, but this is certainly a red of remarkable quality and intensity. It's a rich, full-blooded wine, for sure, with co-fermented Clare Valley cabernet sauvignon and malbec dancing a tantalising tongue tango with some new French oak. Expect dark cassis and violet aromas and powerful dark fruit on the palate with impeccable tannin structure. A beautifully constructed wine, like a bodybuilder, tight-knit but flexible, and an absolute bargain for $35. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thomas Wines 2010 Sweetwater Shiraz

Andrew Thomas, the "maverick" Hunter Valley winemaker (as he was recently described in Decanter magazine), has just released four absolutely outstanding individual site shirazes from the 2010 vintage, and as his his wines traditionally sell out quickly it would pay to move smartly to secure supply. The DJV ($35) is a lighter, more elegant drink-now style, with the superb Motel Block and long-term Kiss Shiraz both excellent at $50. This, however, was the wine I though offered the best value - a bright and intense very modern Hunter shiraz, silky smooth, long and savoury, approachable but cellar worthy with plenty of weight and structure. Formidably good gear, this: a light-heavyweight that packs a considerable punch. $35.