Saturday, March 28, 2015

Henschke 2010 Hill of Grace

This is a wine of remarkable intensity that is destined to be rated with the greatest Hill of Graces. Think ripeness, concentration, balance and a tribute to a remarkable vineyard with vines up to 150 years old in the Eden Valley. A wise wine, one that is comfortable in its skin even in its youth, with dark berry notes, a melange of Asian spices, cedary oak and silky tannins. It a wine that will continue to emerge and flourish over the next couple decades. A vinous treasure. I'm happy to score this one 99/100. $699.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Howard Park 2014 Mount Barker Riesling

Many years ago Howard Park had a riesling labelled simply as coming from Western Australia. It was one of the finest in the land. Then the wine was defined as Great Southern, the source of almost the entirety of the fruit. Then came a second wine, labelled as from the Porongurups, and then, in 2014, the Great Southern wine was re-labelled Mount Barker as the fruit all now comes from that sub-region. No matter how confusing those changes may have been, both Howard Park rieslings remain at the pinnacle with my personal preference, in this vintage, just going for the Mount Barker wine. It is flinty, minerally, citrusy and gorgeous, pristine, lively, zesty and delicious. You get the picture. $33.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Kooyong 2013 Chardonnay

It is uncanny how often winemaker Sandro Mosele hits the bullseye with the refined chardonnays and pinots he makes under both the Port Phillip Estate and Kooyong labels. I recently raved about the 2013 Port Phillip Chardonnay, which is a few dollars cheaper than this, but if you have the extra cash to splash then this is the wine I would opt for. Everything is in place here, like a catwalk model at fashion week, great cool-climate fruit, barrel-ferment adding structure and interest to the pristine grapefruit and pear notes and a great line of purity and acid. A wine that simply oozes class. $42.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Yabby Lake 2013 Single Block Release Block 2 Pinot Noir

Wine show results can often be a crap shoot but the fact this wine won six trophies at the Royal Sydney Wine Show last month made even this cynic sit up and take notice. And, thankfully, the hype is merited. This wine, made in tiny quantities by Tom Carson from Block 2, rows 1-37 of the Yabbly Lake vineyard at Tuerong on the Mornington Peninsula to be precise, is absolutely stunning. Beautifully structured, wonderfully smooth with ethereal high notes, this has red berry suppleness, Asian spices and terrific texture. It is drinking marvellously in its youth for a wine made from vines that are just 17 years old and will doubtless cellar well for those with the patience. You made need to move quickly, however, as stocks are already deplenished after its trophy sweep in Sydney and four at the National Wine Show in Canberra lat last year. $95. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Trentham Estate 2014 Merlot

I was perfectly prepared to hate this wine. It's made from fruit grown in the unfashionable Riverland; it's merlot, which is so often unfocused and lacking in interest, and it comes with a bargain basement price tag. The one thing in its favour was that it is made by Trentham Estate, where the Murphy bothers have been known to conjour previous vinous miracles. This is not complex or challenging but it does offer a damn good return on a minimal investment. It's soft, smooth and disarmingly easy to drink. On one of those nights where you just want something affordable to accompany pizza or pasta try opening a bottle of this. You won't be disappointed. $16.