Sunday, August 26, 2018

Hickinbotham 2016 Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon

The Hickinbotham wines being carefully crafted by Charlie Seppelt and American Chris Carpenter in McLaren Vale are hugely impressive. Across the board they are wines of class, style and substance. This quite splendid single-vineyard cabernet sauvignon is all about balance. It was hand-picked, whole berry sorted and open fermented, spending 18 days on skins. Basket-pressed and then matured in new and one-year-old French barriques, it is powerful but sleek. Think blackcurrant, herbal and leafy nuances, soft tannins and seductive length. A classsic "claret" style. One for the long haul but deliciously drinkable now. I give it 96/100. $75.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Chapel Hill 2018 Chardonnay

How good is this? Serious chardonnay from a leading regional producer for under $20.This is flavoursome but beautifully balanced, presumably early picked to grab all the freshness and vibrancy. There are several standouts being made by Michael Fragos and his Chapel Hill team and this is one of them, with fruit purity the cornerstone and some barrel fermentation adding textural interest. Just a small percentage of the brisk fruit sees older oak, the rest is matured in stainless steel. Pair this wine and its crisp acid with an old-fashioned roast pork roast. Downright delicious and great value. $18.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Windows Estate Petit Lot 2014 Petit Verdot

You don't see many varietal wines made from the Bordeaux grape petit verdot; the grape is most often used as blending material. Here it shines as part of a small batch from Margaret Rivers' excellent Windows Estate; which has used a hand-operated basket press to tease out the aromatics and distinctive varietal character. Dark berry aromas and herbal leafy characters on the nose; dark fruits again on the palate with well-integrated cedary oak and architecture without the fierce tannins that the variety can sometimes produce. A wine of structure that offers immediate pleasure but will also cellar well given its immense length. Really lovely. $45.