Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurley Vineyard 2010 Garamond Pinot Noir

Kevin Bell and Tricia Byrnes hand-craft four different pinots from their 3.5 hectares of vines at Balnarring on the Mornington Peninsula, all distinctive and all of outstanding quality. This is my favourite of the 2010 releases, but only marginally. It's a stunning wine if you value balance and elegance. The aromas are perfumed and enticing and lead on to a palate that has both power and finesse with red fruit, delicatessen and sous bois notes. Smoothly textured with a delightful lightness of being, this is a triumph. $75. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Francois Pinon 2010 Silex Noir Vouvray

Sometimes a wine captures my imagination and, without warning, the bottle is empty. So it was with this delicious chenin blanc from the Loire Valley, where Fran├žois Pinon is widely considered to be among the pre-eminent organic winemakers. The vines are grown in soil sitting on limestone and black flint (silex noir) that gives the wine its name and this is a wonderfully drinkable white, pure with both sweet honeysuckle and tangy citrus notes along with floral and minerally nuances and impressive concentration and texture. Both interesting and fun. Imported by Marcus Gniel. $36. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peter Lehmann 2008 Stonewell Shiraz

Winemaker Andrew Wigan and his team have been itching to release this for some time and it certainly lives up to expectations with plenty of richness, sweet fruit and high-quality French oak that has been nicely integrated. Some reviewers have found the wine a little hot; but I beg to disagree. I have low tolerance for alcohol warmth in reds and found this one looked great, particularly when matched with food. Look for dark berry flavours, sure, along with plenty of concentration. It's no wimp, erring towards the alpha male side of the spectrum, but I also found balance and approachability given it is a wine built for the long haul. I liked the smart new packaging, too. $100.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Xanadu 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Margaret River is having a run of dream vintages; of which 2009 was one. Xanadu winemaker Glenn Goodall also is having a run of outstanding releases, of which this is one. All the signs were good, then, when I opened this bottle - and I certainly wasn't disappointed. This is a glorious Margs cab with all the bells and whistles but with no extraneous noise. Think generous fruits de bois notes, quality oak that is beautifully assimilated, varietal character, impressive structure and plenty of length. This is a delightfully balanced wine, full of personality, that is enjoyable right now, or could confidently be cellared. $35.