Friday, June 30, 2023

Mount Pleasant 2022 Mountain A Medium-Bodied Dry Red


This is one of a batch of very impressive new-release reds from Hunter Valley icon Mount Pleasant, where winemaker Adrian Sparks is very much in a groove of excellence. Made from 100% shiraz, it is a seriously lovely drink with elegance and length in equal measure. In the olden days we might have called this "feminine", but woe betide that I get accused of vinous sexism. It is all about the quality fruit from the Rosehill vineyard, planted in 1965. Inky in colour, but more Shades of Deep Purple than Fireball, it is accessible in its youth with the dark flavours and white pepper hints lingering on the palate. Fleshy, with a little puppy fat but also intense focus, it is impressively food friendly. $80.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Levantine Hill 2018 Blanc de Blanc

Yarra Valley standout Levantine Hill is probably best known for winemaker Paul Bridgeman's stellar red wines, but this sparkling wine made from 100% chardonnay shines brightly with its spellbinding purity on the palate. It certainly impressed members of my tasting group earlier this week. The key to its vibrancy was a vintage that saw grapes develop intense flavours at low ripeness levels and with shiny natural acidity. There is an impressive floral/grapefruit element to the nose, which is followed up with a lightness of being and tremendous length on the palate. This aperitif-style bubbly is ready to enjoy right now. Made in tiny quantities, but worth tracking down. $80.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Brokenwood 2023 Hunter Valley Semillon

Hunter Valley semillon is an Australian wine classic that can be divisive. Some drinkers love it young and fresh - and it doesn't get any fresher than the new-release 2023 vintage - while others prefer to let it rest for a decade or more and savour it more mature toasty characters. When young wines are as good as this I am firmly in the former camp. This is bursting with all the vibrant joys of youth with lively floral aromas and zingy green citrus/Granny Smith apple on the palate. There is oodles of zingy acid appeal and this would pair well with anything from oysters to a Thai duck curry. Fabulous value for $28. 

Friday, June 9, 2023

Heirloom Vineyards 2021 Anevo Fortress


From one of the star producers in McLaren Vale, this pan-Iberian red blend ticks a whole lot of boxes for palate satisfaction. Only 6060 bottles were made of this grenache, touriga, tempranillo blend - a very savoury and satisfying winter drink that leaves a symphony of dark fruited, spicy/savoury flavours and lively acid in the mouth. The blend is grenache 60%, touriga 25% and tempranillo 15%.. Whole-bunch fermented, basket pressed and aged in French oak barrels for 15 months - it is also vegan friendly, although I would pair it with a beef casserole. The wine is named after an ancient fortress in Bulgaria. birthplace of winemaker Elena Brooks. A solid 95 points. $80.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Greenskin 2022 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc


Not for the purists, perhaps, but this new release from Australia's first recyclable, resealable and glassless wine producer Greenskin is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy some quality white wine on the road, or on the beach. This a a very, fresh and vibrant "drink now" wine made by Jacopo Dalli Cani from leading Margaret River producer McHenry Hohnen. It is extremely varietal with lively fruit salad flavours and bright acid. The wine has seen time in older French oak to add a fumé accent - and is Vegan friendly. These wines are sold per six-pack (6 x 750ml) - for around $18 per pouch. $106.50.