Saturday, September 29, 2018

Irvine 2018 Spring Hill Eden Valley Primitivo Rosé

An impressively vibrant wine from new Irvine winemaker Rebekkah Richardson, formerly of Jacob's Creek. Made from primitivo, which is more usually referred to as zinfandel in Australia, this is a suave dry and savoury rosé from the Eden Valley that paired impressively with a lightly spiced Sri Lankan daal. Lifted and fragrant and very European in style with its crisp strawberry and citrus notes, this has a fresh finish and impressive length.$22. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Ten Minutes by Tractor 2016 Wallis Chardonnay

Wine writers are not supposed to have favourites but this lip-smackingly good Mornington Peninsula individual vineyard chardonnay comes up trumps vintage after vintage, shining in blind tastings. The fruit here was hand-picked, whole-bunch harvested,  fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in a mix of aged and new French barriques. Nothing too unusual there, but the end result is a wine of real luminescence. A chardonnay of poise and personality with pithy acidity, this is lean and lithe, a vinous ballerina and a regional benchmark. 97/100. $68.   

Friday, September 14, 2018

Paxton 2015 Cracker Barrel Shiraz-Cabernet

Estate grown. Organic. Biodynamic. Delicious. That's really all you need to know about this outstanding Australian "claret" from Paxton Wines at McLaren Vale. A classic blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, it is in the groove right now. Full-bodied and generous but well balanced, it is dark and inky with older French oak barriques playing a key role in the structure, but at the same time approachable in a wild, brambly way. Winemaker Richard Freebairn selected just four barrels he considered to be of the highest quality or "crackers". Unmistakeably Australian. I'll happily give this 94/100. $55.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Yangarra Blanc 2018

This brand new wine in the Yangarra range is, to my knowledge, the first serious Australian take on Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc. A blend of co-fermented grenache blanc (35%), clairette (30%), roussanne (20%), picpoul (10%) and bourboulenc (5%) it is a vibrant but savoury white of considerable charm made using cuttings from the Rhone Valley on the Yangarra estate vineyard in McLaren Vale. The fruit has been hand-picked, wild-yeast fermented in ceramic eggs with no acid or sulphur additons, hole-bunch pressed in a basket press for softness and then kept on lees in the eggs and stirred regularly. Minimal preservatives are used. My tip: look for more impresssive Rhone-style blends from winemaker Peter Fraser and his team. Organic, biodynamic and delicious. $25.