Saturday, November 26, 2016

St Hallett 2013 Old Block Shiraz

To be brutally honest I can take or leave a lot of the new-wave of Barossa shirazes. Some of them, particularly from warm, dry years, taste like reds on steroids and special K. Big, almost brutal. Something to marvel at rather than something to drink. This Barossa icon, however, is a very different kettle of potatoes. The power is there; the intensity from the old vines; the potential to live for 20 years or more in the cellar. The addition of 40% of Eden Valley fruit to the Barossa component adds clarity, class and drinkability. There is that dark, brooding colour, along with fruit intensity, but also classy tannin structure, length and excellent balance. I'd enjoy a couple of bottles over the holidays, and put the rest of the case away for a rainy day, say around 2035. $110.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coriole 2016 Nero

The recent releases from Coriole in McLaren Vale are thoroughly charismatic, offering quite wonderful value for money. They include a beguiling 2016 made from the southern French white grape picpoul and one of the best fianos in the land, also from 2016. The reds include an always impressive 2015 sangiovese and this stunner made from the southern Sicilian grape Nero d'Avola, which thrives in warm climates. Elevated briefly in older oak, this is all about the quality fruit. Think wildflower/hedgerow aromas, followed up with juicy, plummy fruit, soft tannins and lively acid. Downright lovely; dangerously drinkable, great with Italian food and well worth $27.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mountadam Vineyards 2016 Eden Valley Riesling

I cannot image a white wine that will give more pleasure over the warmer months than this stonkingly impressive Eden Valley riesling made by rising winemaking star Helen McCarthy. The vines were planted in 1968, have provided fruit for some of Australia's best-known rieslings and produce grapes of mellifluous intensity. This is fresh and floral on the nose, has a palate bursting with lemon and lime rind freshness, faint powdery notes and offers brisk minerality on the finish. It is a wine for enjoying chilled, preferably paired with either grilled seafood, freshly shucked oysters or other crustaceans. Terrific value for $25.     

Friday, November 4, 2016

Lindeman's Gentleman's Collection Tawny

The initial release table wines from the Lindeman's Gentleman's Collection did not impress me much; the addition of fortified spirit made them flabby, and I also found the concept of wines crafted for "discerning modern gentlemen" to be snobbish. Winemaker Wayne Falkenberg and his team have a winner, however, in this latest addition to the range; a truly luscious and bold tawny that turns back to the clock a little. The wines honour Dr Henry Lindeman, an Australian wine pioneer who started the Lindeman's label in 1843. This tawny is a blend of grapes from six different vintages and four major varieties - and I like it a lot. It's a top late-night tipple (think sultanas, roasted nuts and golden syrup flavours) and pairs very well with traditional fruit cake. Top shelf in the best possible way. $22.