Monday, July 4, 2022

Tyrrell's 2021 HVD Chardonnay

I tasted this new release from venerable family-owned Hunter Valley wine producer Tyrrell's alongside several other Hunter chardonnays over lunch - and this blew them all the others out of the water. The Old Vines Chardonnay block on the HVD (Hunter Valley Distillery) vineyard was planted in 1908 and is among the oldest in the world. This possesses a real style and swagger, with purity and intensity alongside true varietal character. Tight, crunchy and pristine. A superb example of Australian chardonnay. $80.

The Old Vines Chardonnay block on HVD was planted in 1908 and is believed to be the oldest producing Chardonnay vineyard in the world. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Margan 2019 Ceres Hill Barbera

Barbera is a red grape variety that originates from the north-west of Italy and the Margan family were ahead of curve when they were the first to plant Barbera in the Hunter Valley, almost a quarter of a century ago. The small vineyard is located behind the winery on volcanic clay. Andrew Margan says the 2019 vintage had perfect ripening conditions with dry, warm days resulting in beautifully ripe fruit. This is long, soft and slightly spicy; a really lovely wine that is varietally savoury and extremely food friendly. We paired it with calves liver and onions - a delicious combo. $40.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Grosset 2020 Picadilly Chardonnay


Jeff Grosset is best known for his superb Clare Valley rieslings, widely recognised as being among the finest in Australia. But Grosset also turns his eye to the Piccadilly Valley in the cooler Adelaide Hills, where he produces this stunningly sensuous chardonnay. Only 6000 bottles of this zesty and vibrant wine were made with classic stone fruit characters allied to nutty nuances and a palate that is longer than an Aussie summer. There is a lot happening here; myriad flavours and textures coming together as one. Drink now, or cellar medium term. $72.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Tapanappa 2021 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

The Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia is not best known for pinot noir but this one from a specific site, notably cool and foggy at 350 metres, is a glorious exception. From veteran winemaker Brian Croser (ex Petaluma) and his team, this is a wine of distinction that pays tribute to its terroir. The wine is light purple in colour with restrained alcohol and red berry fruit characters to the fore. Very vibrant with impressive structure and some definite feminity allied to strength. A ballerina of a wine that can either be enjoyed right now with roast duck, or cellared medium term. Delightful. $55.     

Monday, June 6, 2022

Tahbilk 2021 Viognier

This has to be one of Australia's best wine bargains; a terrific fruit-driven viognier for under $20. Venerable Victorian producer Tahbilk is probably better known for its success with other white Rhone varietals marsanne and roussanne, but viognier shone in 2021, showing it can stand on its own merits rather being used for blending. This is both floral and spicy with ripe pear and peach notes on the palate, which has some very lively acidity. A wine for enjoying young and fresh, perhaps with a Mediterranean vegetable tart. $20.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Cullen 2019 Vanya Full Moon Cabernet Sauvignon

Here is something a bit special that you'll need to move swiftly to acquire, as only 768 bottles were made. Crafted from vines planted in 1971, this is winemaker Vanya Cullen's pride and joy: a cabernet of remarkable purity and energy that underlines the benefits of biodynamic and organic agriculture and minimal additions. Made from 100% cabernet sauvignon that was harvested "under the full Moon on a fruit day" that has wonderful balance and poise. Every sip offers a different nuance of flavours including chocolate and Asian spices. Minerally, with dark fruits, impeccable balance and a panoply of subtle flavour notes, it finishes plush and full. 96/100 from me. On tasting at the Cullen cellar door in Margaret River later this week. Priced for a special occasion. $650.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Xanadu 2020 Reserve Chardonnay


Margaret River's Xanadu winery is renowned for its consistent excellence and this new-release reserve chardonnay is right on target. This is 10th consecutive release of the reserve chardonnay with 100% of the fruit from the Lagan estate vineyard. Medium-bodied, textural, minerally and barrel fermented but with a definite feminine side, this has a classic amalgam of citrus and white stone fruit flavours, with restrained quality oak and some sea spray on the rocks character lurking in the background. Drink now, or cellar for a few years. Pair with maybe roast spatchcock or other poultry dishes. $110 but seriously delicious and 97/100 from me.