Flowstone is the new venture of Margaret River winemaker Stuart Pym, who has over 30 years of experience at the likes of Devil's Lair and Stella Bella, and his friend and business partner Phil Giglia. This is an absolutely outstanding cabernet, made in tiny quantities. It has received 100% new oak, but such is quality of the fruit that the wine tastes absolutely seamless (and I hate over-oaked wines). This is a concentrated - but food-friendly - wine that is in the zone; like a McGrath fast ball, or a Federer forehand. There is plenty of flavour here, but the power is retrained. It comes for a very good vintage and has dark berry/chocolate and spice to the fore. There is soft mouthfeel, excellent tannin structure and intensity and it is drinking beautifully right now. I'll score this 96/100. $75. www.flowstonewines.com.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Friday, June 19, 2015
Either I've been asleep at the wheel, or the wines from Eden Hall have been flying under the radar a little. I was extremely impressed by their two new-release 2015 rieslings, a slightly more refined reserve version that's considerably more expensive (but probably worth it), and this everyday drinking version that's a fast bowler's dream. Think persistent line and length and you are on the right track. This is is very pure, refreshing; textbook Eden Valley riesling attributes to the fore. Lean but delicious, And who are Eden Hall? Well, David and Mardi Hall have been growing grapes at Avon Brae in the high country of the Eden Valley for almost two decades and sell most of their fruit to some of the biggest names in the game. Their limited-release wines are smartly packaged and colour coded. Their white wines are made by Christa Deans (of Rolf Binder) and the reds by Kym Teusner. Oh, and they badly need to update their website. $22. www.edenhall.com.au.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
To all those who question the appeal of Hunter Valley shiraz, I present Exhibit One; a superbly composed wine from Iain Riggs and his talented team at Brokenwood. In truth. though, this wine is not about the winemaking, it is about the vineyard, a patch of dirt that has proved itself over decades. Made from 45-year-old vines and coming from a stellar Hunter vintage, this is sharper than a banker's suit, smoother than a salesman's patter. Lifted and brambly, it offers a delightful melange of savoury notes, dark fruit, well-integrated oak and terrific tannin structure. Graveyard traditionally cellars for a couple of decades or more but this looks very smart on release. 95/100 for this one. $200. www.brokenwood.com.au.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Pinot Meunier is one of the most widely planted grapes in France, but you will rarely find its name on wine labels. Even in Champagne, where it is the most planted variety, it trails well behind pinot noir and chardonnay when it comes to recognition. Aromatic and fruity, and producing its best results in cool climates, here it is utilised as a stand-alone varietal table wine. Vibrant and fresh, pure and crisp with bright red berry flavours and limestone tannins this should be enjoyed as one would enjoy a good Beaujolais; lightly chilled and in its youth. Only 150 cases were made and you'll probably need to venture to the Oakridge cellar door to procure some. Another winner from David Bicknell; disarmingly easy to drink. $26. www.oakridgewines.com.au.