Friday, March 29, 2024

Schubert Estate 2017 The Lone Goose

The Schubert family has been growing grapes in the Barossa Valley over almost 110 years. More recently they've been making some excellent estate wines. The limited-release 2017 Lone Goose Shiraz Viognier recently picked up a Diamond Trophy Award at the 2024 Sakura Women’s Wine Awards in Japan, along with being given the ‘Grand Prix Pairing for Japanese Cuisine - Sukiyaki’. Regular readers will be aware of my disdain for show awards but this really is a wine of exceptional quality: a shiraz viognier blend sourced from a 25-year-old vineyard block on the Roennfeldt Road estate that is basket pressed and matured in seasoned French oak barriques for 20 months. Classic Barossa flavours here, but also exceptional balance and elegance with excellent tannin structure. Devastatingly drinkable. $100 but numbers are limited.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Vasse Felix 2022 Chardonnay


You know you've got a good 'un when you underestimate the price of a wine by a considerable margin. I expected this captivating chardonnay to retail for around $70. The fact that it sells for $25 less than that should have you rushing out to sample a bottle. Very rarely do you find wines at this price point that tick so many quality boxes. There's a come hither nose, while the palate is complex and stylish but immediately drinkable with quality fruit spending time in French oak barriques to add complexity. Soft, smooth and chalky on the finish. The grapes come from a selection of Vasse Felix’s premier plots and this is a work of art. Soft, smooth and chalky on the finish. Think a vinous Banksy. A confident 96 points from me. $45.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dandelion Vineyards 2022 Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz

Serious Barossa shiraz for $30 is good to find, and this one from Dandelion VIneyards delivers great value for money. This is made using fruit from some gnarly old vines, some over 100 years old. Open fermented, hand plunged twice a day and then basket pressed into mainly older French barriques, this is very approachable in its youth and would pair brilliantly with a gourmet Angus beef burger. It can sometimes be found on special and is certainly well worth keeping your eyes out for. $30.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Tapanappa 2023 Tiers Chardonnay

Simply superb. A classic cool-climate chardonnay from an iconic 45-year-old vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, this is a benchmark of excellence from vastly experienced winemaker Brian Croser and his Tapanappa team. From a cool vintage, this is a wine of intensity and panache; a wine that first demands "taste me" and then "think about me". A cerebral blend with apple, stone fruit and nutty flavours in perrfect harmony, it is classically varietal with bright acid on the finish and the structure to suggest cellaring would pay dividends. Pair with roast pork and crackling, or a Mediterranean vegetable tart. Savour its amazing length, This is not cheap at $110, but it would elevate any dinner party. 96+ points. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Craggy Range 2023 Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc


Remember the days when Kiwi sauvignon blanc was all the rage? Seems like an eternity ago doesn't it? But there are still some outstanding savvy blancs from New Zealand on offer if you choose carefully and I really enjoyed the varietal character and palate power of this one from Martinborough. There is some herbaceousness, sure, but this is all about minerality and intensity with plenty of textural elements on the palate (with a small percentage of whole bunch playing a role). The complexity is added to by a combination of use of stainless steel and various formats of French oak. This could be called a fumé blanc. Think summer sipping on the back deck. $36.