Wine Reviews

Ratings Key

Outstanding (Score range 95-100)

Often an internationally recognised, leading brand or winery – but not always! Produces a classic wine that is a faultless representation of the style/variety. Complexity on the nose and a seamless palate are an example of the hallmarks of an outstanding wine.

Highly Recommended (Score range 92-94)

A quality focused wine that has plenty of style. Length of palate and intensity are often key characteristics of highly recommended wines. These producers could be the ones to watch in the future.

Recommended (Score range 89-91)

An above average well-made, reflection of the style/variety, which often represents good value for money.

Rating

Wine Categories

Regions

Price

Vintage

Best's Wines

Complex nose with deep mocha chocolate aromas laced with smoked meats and a hint of cigar smoke. Full bodied and rich on the palate with primary blackberry fruits, cedar oak and dark chocolate. Well balanced with a fine dry slightly tannin finish. This is the inaugural release of Hamill Shiraz which is made from the ‘best performing blocks’ of their Sugarloaf vineyard. A delicious Shiraz which can be drunk now or aged for a decade.

RRP: $60

Campbells of Rutherglen

The appearance is an inviting brown but bright colour with a teal meniscus. Complex palate with barrel-driven cedar and strong cold tea flavours, on first tasting the wine. It develops into a lovely savoury mid-palate with malt, Christmas pudding, preserved fruits, honey, treacle and maple syrup. Yum. Full throttle, intense and rich with a long, long finish. Superb wine.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $70

Campbells of Rutherglen

Hints of cedar and cold tea with medicinal and malt notes. Intense and creamy mouth-filling wine. Whilst it is lusciously sweet with more malt and caramel flavours the Topaque is not as sweet as the Muscat, which might make it more drinkable. Delicious.

RRP: $40

Campbells of Rutherglen

Pungent fruit cake, marmalade, cumquats with a touch of caramel. Luscious with a creamy, oily texture. Powerful mouth coating lashings of honey, liquid raisins, butterscotch and caramel. Classic name, classic Australian wine.

RRP: $40

Pooley Wines

Aromatic nose with fresh lemons, floral, musk and dried potpourri notes. Fresh, zesty high acid palate. Light bodied lemon driven flavours that are satisfying and produce an intense middle palate. The wine finishes clean and dry. Well made attractive Riesling.

RRP: $36

Richard Hamilton Wines

Traditional nose of earth, cedar oak and pencil shavings. Dry full bodied wine with dark chocolate and licorice flavours. Well balanced with a medium finish.

RRP: $38

Leconfield Wines

Dense ripe, intense blackberries and cassis, with touches of graphite and earth. Full bodied, powerful but well balanced wine with ripe blackberries and a touch of jam. Cedar oak supports the fruits. Long, agreeable warm finish. Named after Sydney Hamilton, the oenologist who established Leconfield in 1974 at the grand age of 76, what an inspiration.

RRP: $85

Richard Hamilton

Produced from 127 year old vines. Dusty cedar oak driven nose with graphite, dried fruit and black cherries. Firm full bodied wine which is well structured. Lashings of deep black cherries and briary fruits. Licorice and cola adds to the complexity. The fruit driven wine ends with a slightly tannic, long finish.

RRP: $80

Leconfield

Earthy cedar nose with a dash of blackberries and vanilla. Medium bodied with mocha and black cherries develop on the palate. Dry, fine sandpaper tannins on the finish.

RRP: $32

Leconfield Wines

Lovely classic Cabernet Franc nose. Floral, violets, herbs, wet earth with a dash of autumnal leaves. Dry medium bodied wine with fresh cherries and plums. Finishes with soft powdery tannins and slightly warm.

RRP: $32

Brown Brothers

Soft, gentle toasty and yeast nose. Lively mousse. Full bodied style of sparkling with a creamy, honey, and nutty flavours on the palate. Bags of flavours and great value for money.

RRP: $22

Artis Wines

More on the darker fruit spectrum of Pinot Noir, displaying redcurrants, plums and a touch of stalkiness as well as baking spices. Dry, savoury palate with fine sandpaper like tannins. Red cherries and plums on the flavour front, displaying a nice balanced underlay of acidity. Long finish. Good Pinot.

RRP: $50

Richard Hamilton Wines

Nose is full of earth, ripe cherries with sweet cinnamon spices. Dry. medium bodied with similar levels of tannins. Acid slightly to the fore with noticeable touches of youthful sour cherries. Good example of the variety.

RRP: $38

Campbells of Rutherglen

Glorious intense fruit cake, raisins and Christmas dried figs. What gets me is the balance. Yes it is sweet and intense on the palate but there is a savoury edge that balances the lusciousness. Flavours on the nose continue on the palate as well as offering treacle, and caramel. But its all so well balanced with that sweetness being cut, which means you can enjoy a second glass. Superb.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $70

Richard Hamilton Wines

Ripe blackberries, licorice and a touch jammy on the nose. There is also a nice touch of sweet baking spices. On the palate the wine is dry, medium bodied with super smooth soft tannins and acidity. Flavours follow the nose with licorice, fruit cake and Black Forest gateau. Good wine and really well priced.

RRP: $26

Leconfield Wines

Classic Coonawarra nose consisting of blackberries and cassis laced with hints of cedar oak, smoke, dried leaves and mint. Dry medium bodied with black cherry flavours. There is a some well balanced acidity to accompany the powdery fine tannins.

RRP: $38

Artis Wines

Primary fruit driven nose with redcurrant and black cherries. Dry, medium bodied, elegant wine with black cherry flavours as well as earthy cedar notes and sweet baking spices. Well integrated acid and tannins in what is a fruit driven finish to the palate. Made by Andrew Miller who has sourced fruit from a vineyard planted by Brian Croser in 1999, the vineyard comprises several clones from the Tahbilk and Wendouree selections. Andrew makes consistently good wines.

RRP: $46

Devil's Corner

Intense powerful gooseberries, pea pods and passion fruit aromas. Lovely intense palate with some sweetness masked by lovely crisp acidity making this an enjoyable romp. Compares easily with a traditional Marlborough SB

RRP: $22

Bannockburn Wines

Spot on cool climate nose displaying black olives, white pepper and cured meats. Well balanced, elegant, medium bodied palate that is delightfully savoury with more black olives and charcuterie on the long finish.

RRP: $45

Bannockburn Wines

A darker focused fruit Pinot displaying redcurrants, cranberries, rhubarb and root vegetables. Intense firm palate with black cherry and more cranberries. Well integrated cedar oak on the palate and plush tannins with well balanced acid on the long finish. Interesting single vineyard wine sourced from vines grown on volcanic soils.

RRP: $79

Bannockburn Wines

This wine pulls out all the bells and whistles. Rich nose displaying creamy lemon tart, almond nuts, white peach and ever so toasty. The palate doesn’t disappoint and follows the rich nose. Full bodied, textured and toasty, yet it retains a slightly lemony, tart edge that makes for a linear palate. Bags of flavoursome oak and peachy stone fruits on top of the citrus driven acid finish. Outstanding example of Australian Chardonnay.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $69

Banks Road Winery

Nice cherry, raspberry and strawberry driven nose. Dry and savoury on the palate with a firm front palate coming from the whole bunch component. Well balanced as the wine travels along the palate to elegant long finish. Still looks youthful.

RRP: $65

Banks Road Winery

Cherry and Turkish Delight nose. Elegant and textured palate that is dry, light bodied with racy acidity and a touch fleshy. Made from Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

RRP: $25

Banks Road Winery

Accomplished nose displaying cashew nuts, lemon pith, peachy stone fruits with a touch of salinity thrown in for good measure. Full bodied with buttery crème brûlée MLF notes, but still with bags of ripe stone fruits. Rich style which is typical of Geelong and ultimately pleasing.

RRP: $38

Banks Road Winery

Lees driven nose on this barrel fermented Pinot Gris. Almond nut driven palate with macerated pear and ever so creamy whilst retaining a light body framework. A touch warm on the back palate.

RRP: $30

Banks Road Winery

Powerful, yet attractive fruit driven nose of green capsicum and split pea. Fresh vibrant and texture driven palate with a touch of creaminess to add interest beyond the primary fruit. Attractive wine.

RRP: $26

Banks Road Winery

Aromatically driven with lovely primary fruit displaying strong pear and red apple. Generous dry palate with well balanced acidity .

RRP: $26

Scotchmans Hill

Complex nose with salami cured meats, black pepper and hints of struck match. Dry, medium bodied wine with a smooth, elegant palate and a long finish laced with velvet tannins. Outstanding cool climate Syrah.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $78

Scotchmans Hill

Light primary fruit displaying red cherries, herbs and a touch of pepper. Juicy, crunchy, fruity palate with cola and hints of black cherries. Fine light delicate tannins on a medium bodied palate.

RRP: $45

Scotchmans Hill

Very light aromas of herbs and violet/floral notes. Silky palate with soft acidity and fine tannins producing a well balanced light bodied wine. The flavours follow the nose with sage and dried flowers.

RRP: $45

Scotchmans Hills

Made from the P58 clone, the wine has been cellared before release and it benefits from this time in the cellar. Lovely golden colour. Opulent aromas of toast, honey, laced with lemon zest and peaches. Intense, powerful palate that displays bags of ripe stone fruit flavours. Well balanced and incredibly long on the finish. Delicious.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $78

Scotchmans Hill

Oatmeal, new oak and butter cream on the nose. Medium bodied with noticeable fresh acidity balancing the buttery flavours before returning to a mealy, nutty finish.

RRP: $45

Scotchmans Hill

Nutty, pear and green apple skin aromas. Creamy, textured palate that is round and soft. More nuts and almond flavours on the medium bodied palate. Long nutty finish. Stylish wine.

RRP: $40

Provenance Wines

Rich intense aromas of black cherries and white pepper, oh so Northern Rhône on the nose. Medium bodied with fragrant, floral flavours and a touch of garrigue and lavender. At it develops more savoury notes come out with cured meats that linger on the slightly tannic finish. Exemplary cool climate Australian Shiraz.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $52

Provenance Wines

A darker style of Pinot with perfumed redcurrants, raspberries and a slight earthy undergrowth note. Rich and textured on the palate with dry sticky tannins. A hint grippy and chewy coming from the 60% whole bunch fermentation that the cool climate grapes receives.

RRP: $52

Provenance Wines

Crunchy primary black cherry fruit with hints of meaty bresaola. Round, well integrated palate with more black cherries on the front palate that moves onto being more minerally on the finish accompanied by dry tannins. Long finish.

RRP: $52

Provenance Wines

Complex aromas of smoke,, cashew nuts, wet stone and toasty oak on the nose. Savoury palate with yeasty lees and creamy butter notes to balance the crisp acidity. Long finish.

RRP: $52

Provenance

Lemon zest and grapefruit nose. Elegant acid driven palate which is remarkable given it has been through 100% MLF. Hints of smoky oak on the palate with more lemon and limes. A wine that expresses its cool climate origins. Built to age.

RRP: $52

Provenance Wines

Yeast, bread dough with citrus and green apple notes. Dry, toasty palate with a lovely creamy mousse. Vibrant acidity provides a lovely balance to the wine.

RRP: $52

Austin's Wines

Lovely sweet, bright, briary fruits supported by a touch of pepper and vanillan oak. A medium bodied wine dominated by strong black cherries and plums. Good levels of acidity create a juicy mid palate before the slightly soft, stalky, tannins produce an elegant finish. Well composed ‘curated’ wine! An interesting wine on a number of counts: interesting modern label design, it is fermented in a 620 litre concrete egg for 3 weeks and then matured in 50% new Croatian oak.

RRP: $45

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