Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pauletts 2010 Polish Hill River Shiraz

Neil Paulett and his wife Alison started Paulett Wines in 1983 and now share the business with their son Matt and his wife Ali. The Paulett family may be better known for their fine Clare Valley rieslings than their red wines, but this new release stands out as one of the best buys of the summer; a mature, soft and approachable shiraz that is spicy and intense and tastes a lot more expensive than the modest asking price. This is a beautifully balanced red with oak playing an important support role. A really lovely drink for $24 that would be great with a gourmet barbecue.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cullen 2012 Kevin John Chardonnay

Vanya Cullen is as obsessive about quality as she is about sustainability. All the Cullen wines are certified biodynamic and carbon neutral and grown on a naturally powered estate. Grapes are harvested by hand on fruit and flower days according to the astrological calendar and there are no additions of yeast, acid or malolactic culture. None of which would matter a jot if the wines were not so very good. From yet another terrific vintage in Margaret River, this is a focused and pure chardonnay with lemon and lime citrus, nutty characters and subtle oak all combining seamlessly. A wine of length and intensity that can either be enjoyed now or cellared. A superb Christmas present for any vinophile. $105.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Brown Brothers 2008 125 Years Special Release Shiraz Mondeuse & Cabernet

This blend of two traditional varieties and the rare mondeuse noir grape variety that is grown primarily in the Savoie region of eastern France is long-time Brown Brothers favourite. The company has been making the blend since the 1950s.This is a special release at six years of age to mark the 125th birthday of the family-owned Victorian producers. The three varieties are co-fermented to produce an intense and cellar-worthy wine; with the shiraz responsible for sweet dark fruit notes, mondeuse adding acid and structure and cabernet contributing elegance. All three grapes are grown in the King Valley - just down the road from Brown Brothers' Milawa winery - and the end result is an inky,complex but very enjoyable wine. $80. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tolpuddle Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir

The initial release 2012 Tolpuddle wines - the Tasmanian outpost of Shaw+Smith - were received with rapturous acclaim both in Australia and globally. The good news is the new release 2013s are, if anything, even better, with greater concentration and intensity. From a warmer year, both the single vineyard wines retain their pristine cool-climate characters but have added complexity, and ageing potential. This is an absolutely lovely wine, a thoroughbred with fragrance, structure, softness, sweetness, spice and perfect balance. Delightful. $75.