Monday, April 30, 2018

Vasse Felix 2015 Premier Cabernet Sauvignon

The quality of the wines being made by Virginia Willcock at Vasse Felix in Margaret River just keeps soaring. This is characterful, fleshy, elegant, concentrated and appealing in the regional style. It was the first red wine produced in Margaret River and has been made every year since 1972. In this vintage, a savoury nose (think a fragrant compost heap or pot pourri) leads on to a body with dark fruit cake flavours, cassis and biscuity/chocolate notes, beautifully integrated with spicy oak. I'm happy to give this 96 points and would advise buying at least half a dozen so that several bottles can be cellared. $45 - and a very good buy at that price.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Innocent Bystander 2017 Pinot Noir

Quality pinot noir is becoming increasingly expensive as it grows in popularity with Australian drinkers. Some producers are able to ask - and get - $50 for their entry-level offerings. This Yarra Valley wine is a nice surprise, then, well-made, flavoursome cool-climate pinot at a sensible price. Think black cherry flavours with hints of Asian spice, some savoury deli hints and a very soft and supple finish that makes it accessible in its youth. Seriously good buying here; and with the money you save you can probably afford some roast duck to go with it. $25.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Brown Brothers 2014 Patricia Noble Riesling

Named after late family matriarch Patricia Brown, the Brown Brothers' Patricia range highlights the finest wines produced by the benchmark Victorian winery. The range varies each year with only wines judged as being outstanding making the cut. I was a big fan of the 2013 Patricia stickie and the 2014, using riesling from the King Valley, is another standout. A multiple god medal winner, this continues a long line of botrytis-affected wines dating back to the early 1960s. It has a beguiling blend of natural sweetness and acid and is delightfully balanced, as well being vegan friendly. Complex and concentrated with classic Scottish marmalade flavours and a silky finish. $37.  

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Michael Hall 2016 Blanc de Pigeon

British-born Michael Hall is one of the fascinating stories of the Australian wine industry; a former jewelry valuer who changed career streams mid-life and now crafts some intriguing wines from various sites in South Australia, including the Barossa and the Adelaide Hills. This is a beguiling white blend from the Hills, an unusual combination of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. All the fruit has been barrel fermented and spent nine months on lees in quality French oak. The end result is cerebral, textural, delightfully balanced and decidedly gluggable. $28.