Sunday, May 27, 2018

Yering Station 2016 Shiraz Viognier

Spicy cool-climate shiraz meets a dash of lifted viognier to produce a red blend of rare style and composure from the Yarra Valley. More art house film than movie blockbuster, this is charmingly lush and plush with softness on the palate a key ingredient to its charm. There's plenty of power and concentration, too, and 20% new oak has added textural elements. This was a very fine partner for a old-style shepherd's pie. $40.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Atze's Corner 2016 The Giant Durif

So you like your red wine with plenty of power and personality? Let me introduce you to a monster from the Barossa, a Giant by both name and nature. This is a heavyweight bruiser going for a knockout finish. Just 375 cases of this were made by sixth-generation winemaker Andy Kalleske and the wine is full-bodied and full-blooded, dark, ripe and almost overwhelming in its power, although it has a silky, smooth finish. Durif, also known as petite syrah, shines in warm climes and the fruit used here has thrived in deep red clay soils. Kalleske says this will cellar up until 20130. Presuming you may wish to open it a little earlier, then a bold beef casserole would be a very good companion. $30.      

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cullen 2016 Diana Madeline

If the apocalypse were approaching and I only had time to savour one drink, then this would be a leading contender. This Margaret River benchmark is, to be blunt, downright spectacular with high-quality fruit, purity, elegance and texture and what Vanya Cullen describes as the "classic Cullen Vineyard Wilyabrup flavours: cassis, violets, chocolate and ironstone". This is a lifted, vibrant red that has soaked up mainly new French oak from barriques. A blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot and 1% each of malbec and petit verdot, this is absolutely superb right now, but will cellar for decades. Impeccable balance, just 12.5% alcohol, from a certified biodynamic and carbon neutral estate. 97 points from me. $130.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mitchell 2017 Watervale Riesling

The Mitchell family has been crafting excellent wines for decades now; and re-visiting this old favourite after a couple of years was a revelation. The Mitchells only release their wines when they believe they are ready. Hence the rieslings are launched later than many of their regional rivals, and current-release reds can be up to seven or eight years old; reserve reds a decade or more. The Mitchells also farm organically, which gives their wines real personality. This is a classic Watervale riesling with sparky citrus aromas and intense, tangy  grapefruit flavours. Beautifully fresh, balanced and with an edge of bright acid minerality, this is a truly lovely dry white wine that offers stupendous value.