Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shottesbrooke 2012 McLaren Flat Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

An absolutely cracking single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon from Shottesbrooke in McLaren Vale. There are several other wineries in the region with higher profiles but Hamish Maguire and his team go about their business with a minimum of fuss and fanfare. This blew me away with its generosity and balance. Great fruit and some deft winemaking - including smart oak treatment - has produced a cabernet that is both varietal, regional and extremely drinkable. It carries its 14.5% alcohol lightly and is more understated and stylish than some of its brash and outspoken McLaren Vale cohorts. Enjoy a bottle (or two) of this with a winter casserole. It is worth every penny of $40. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rusden 2012 Black Guts Shiraz

If you like your red wines with plenty of personality; wines that reflect the soil in which they are grown and the sun that ripens the fruit, then you've come to the right place. The Canute family's wines are made with love and attention to detail, none more so than this flagship old vines shiraz. Estate-grown and made, it is a little bit gnarly, full of flavour and unmistakably Barossan. Winemaker Christian Canute describes it as "a new world wine made in a old world style" - hence, perhaps, the cork closure. There is plenty of muscular grunt here but also balance. Match this with a slab of steak for a primeval feast. From a great vintage, it needs time to open up after the cork has been removed. I'll score it 94/100. $85. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gaelic Cemetery 2014 Celtic Farm Riesling

Gaelic Cemetery is a new name to me. Some research revealed it is a joint venture between Neil and Andrew Pike, grape grower Grant Arnold, who has some old vines, and Ben and Mario Barletta of Australian Domaine Wines. The reason I bothered to do any research is because this vibrant, juicy, citrusy riesling blew me away with its value for money. Clare Valley riesling is always a good buy but this one is a little beauty with its aromatics, delightfully refreshing with pure lemon, lime and grapefruit notes, 11% alcohol and tight acid on the finish. You couldn't ask for anything more in a wine that is an absolute steal at $20. I'll give it 94/100.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Clonakilla 2014 Pinot Noir

Tim Kirk has shiraz viognier blends nailed. Now he's turned his talents to that most challenging of grapes, pinot noir, as part of the annual Clonakilla small and rare batch release. Beautifully soft, silky and sweet, this gloriously varietal wine is a triumph. With 30% of whole bunch fruit, it spent one-year in fine-grained French oak before being released as a deliciously fragrant and youthful wine. It is a supple young thing with immense potential to blossom. Be quick. This was made in small quantities and won't last long. I'll give it 94/100. $55.