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

Category

Region

Price

Vintage

Cape Barren Wines

Plenty of action on both the nose and palate. This wine see both French and American hogsheads for 24 months and 15 days of skin contact. Nose ranges from prune to blackberry, earth to new leather, charcuterie with a touch of struck match. Rich black fruit driven plate that is full bodied and seamless with well integrated tannins. Intense warm finish and a touch aldehydic. A wine which can be enjoyed now or built to age.

RRP: $150

Cape Barren Wines

The nose is full of cherries, plums with touches of toasty oak. Palate is medium to full bodied with warming alcohol, rich stewed fruits and vanilla. Overall a smooth fruit driven wine and what I’d expect from this blend in McLaren Vale.

RRP: $30

Cape Barren Wines

Strong primary fruit with black cherries, blackberries supported by rich vanilla pod oak. Full bodied, smooth and rich palate with more ripe black fruits as well as some cooking spices and liquorice. Warm, long finish produces a wine that is great to drink now but has potential for ageing for up to 10 years.

RRP: $60

Cape Barren Wines

Black plums, black cherries and strong vanilla oak delivers a classic Vale nose. Super smooth palate with more black fruits. Full bodied wine that has plenty of length due to a nice lick of tannins. The finish is slightly warm, but is very long lasting.

RRP: $60

Cape Barren Wines

Pungent passion fruit with hints of more herbaceous green capsicum. Lively fresh light bodied palate with mouth watering acidity. Moderately long green apple driven finish. Good varietal example.

RRP: $30

Cape Barren Wines

Strong vanilla oak bouquet with dark chocolate, earth and new leather notes on the nose. Full bodied with dark cherry fruit driven palate and more of the chocolate seen on the nose. Put the two together and you get cherry ripe! Well integrated tannins on a medium finish. Good wine and priced well.

RRP: $30

Cape Barren

Plenty of fruit on display with black cherry and ripe plums supported by liquorice, cinnamon and cedar oak. Rich full bodied primary fruit driven on the palate. Smooth and seamless. Velvet crowd pleaser and priced well for the quality on show.

RRP: $30

Place of Changing Winds

Grown on granite soils and matured for nearly two years. It is bright, with floral violets, blackberries and pepper, laced with cedar oak. Medium bodied with licorice, nutmeg spice and plums. Some fine grain tannins complete the finish. The best Syrah I’ve tasted from Bendigo in the last couple of years.

RRP: $59

Place of Changing Winds

Grown on red Cambrian soils of the Mount Camel Range. It has a surprisingly rich fruit driven nose, given that it received 33 months of ageing, with blackberry and black cherries as well as vanilla and a touch of licorice. Whilst the fruit continues on the palate It comes over slightly more reserved, with fine chalk tannins on the finish. Overall, a well-balanced full-bodied wine.

RRP: $59

Place of Changing Winds

This is part of their growers series and a blend of both the Heathcote and Harcourt vineyards. There is a sense of reserve that runs through all their red wines that I liked. It displayed plenty of black fruits including plum, black cherries and blackberry, some slight raisin and herbal notes as well. This wine has that characteristic ‘light touch’ on the moreish, savoury, slightly leafy medium plus bodied palate. To round out the wine it has a dry, powdery tannic finish

RRP: $38

Coriole Vineyards

strong red fruits, especially raspberries as well as a hint confectionary. Stronger confectionary leading to cooked fruits on the palate. Fruit driven with a medium plus length and intensity.

RRP: $46

Coriole

Perfumed nose with wild berries. Juicy palate, all primary fruit with a jammy intensity on a medium bodied framework. Good varietal example.

RRP: $30

Coriole Vineyards

Hints of custard apple on this nutty driven French oak aged wine. Nice firm and textured palate with a creamy flavour. Medium plus length and finish.

RRP: $34

Coriole

Nicely aromatically driven with flowers and hints of herbs. Fresh, dry, light bodied palate. Simple wine but representative of the variety.

RRP: $28

Yangarra Estate

Cedar oak, cooking spices, blueberry and a hint of stuck match makes up a complex nose. Palate is darker fruit driven but still savoury, medium plus bodied with an elegant long palate length. Excellent well-made shiraz.

RRP: $68

Yangarra Estate

Sourced from dry grown 1946 bush vine fruit that is fermented and aged in ceramic eggs. It has lifted aromas of red fruits and floral touches. On the palate it is supremely elegant, textured with fine tannins and a long finish. Good Stuff.

RRP: $80

Yangarra Estate

Yangarra Estate is establishing themselves as the Rhone specialists in Australia in both their red and white wines. This is a blend of grenache noir, carignan, cinsaut, counoise, shiraz and mourvèdre. It’s a lovely fruit driven wine with plums and floral notes, in a carbonic maceration style (think Beaujolais). On the palate there is a pleasant surprise, with a nice tannin spine in the wine that gives it a bit more structure than one would expect in a light to medium bodied wine.

RRP: $30

Yangarra Estate

Using large ceramic eggs for fermentation and ageing, a portion of the wine undergoes over 100 days on skins. The result is a fleshy, rich and complex wine that is firm and textured. Seriously good white wine. A blend of grenache blanc and roussanne.

RRP: $68

Yangarra Estate

Predominantly made from Grenache Blanc this fleshy, minerally, nutty, round, but firm wine is definitely in the non-fruity style of white wine but still enjoyable and easy match to an array of foods. it is a blend with Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Grenache Gris pitching in to help the Grenache Blanc.

RRP: $30

Padthaway Estate

Blackcurrant, blackberry driven nose. Intense palate with plums, fruit cake and lashings of black fruits. Some nice acid helps lift the palate in what is an otherwise powerful rich wine.

RRP: $60

Landaire

Refined earthy, leafy, cedar oak wine on the nose. Blackberry fruits on the palate with mint and eucalypt. Medium-bodied, elegant wine where the tannins slowly appear on the finish.

RRP: $40

Landaire

Plums with hints of cola on the nose. Soft and plush on the palate with gentle tannins in a medium bodied framework.

RRP: $28

Landaire Wines

Minerally driven nose with touches of struck match and toast. Fresh, zesty palate with barrel ferment toasty oak and vanilla. Creamy but light at the same time. Complex wine, well priced for the quality on show. Only available from their cellar door in mixed packs as this wine was Halliday’s top white wine of the year in 2024.

RRP: $37

Padthaway Estate

Expressive floral, nutty and biscuity on the nose. Creamy textured palate with rose petal and light cherries making an attractively packaged dry sparkling wine. Delicious.

RRP: $48

Majella

Brambly, blackberries with vanilla pod on the aromatic front. Sweet fruit driven palate with juicy, stewed fruit and Ribena flavours. Value for money fruit driven wine.

RRP: $25

Paxton Wines

Don’t overchill this wine otherwise you will miss the attractive red cherry, rose petals and a touch of Turkish delight. Soft round palate with a touch of sweetness to lengthen the mouthfeel. Flavours of strawberries and cherries. Made from Shiraz and Grenache.

RRP: $22

Majella

Primary fruit driven with the usual suspects – blackberries and cherries. Some underpinning mint and eucalypt. Smooth, velvet palate with rich plum sauce flavours. A touch of dry chalky tannins on the finish but otherwise fruit driven. Well priced.

RRP: $30

Bindi Wines

Mineral driven nose that expands to a fleshy, zesty, lemon driven palate with plenty of length and elegance. A slightly chalky dryness was noted on the finish. Fruit sourced from Glenhope vineyard I understand.

RRP: $40

Koerner

Soft gentle nose showing mineral, floral and lime notes. Fleshy with well balanced acidity and lime juice flavours. Medium finish. A bit pricy maybe.

RRP: $50

Mount Langi Ghiran

Green peppercorns, sappy cedar oak and hints of leather and herbs on the nose. Flavours of blackberries, savoury, medium bodied with well integrated soft tannins. Good stuff. Good value.

RRP: $30

Majella

Black cherries, plums and blackberries on the nose. Primary fruit driven palate with a lively mousse, soft tannins. Dry-ish finish. Good example and will age, but enjoyable now.

RRP: $40

Paxton Wines

Black cherry, cassis with a twist of herbs and dried leaves. Cedar oak, plums and cherry driven palate. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

RRP: $35

Majella

Pungent black forest gateau in a glass! Lashings of black cherries, vanilla and stewed fruit on rich palate. Medium plus bodied wine smooth with a seamless palate. Powerful merlot.

RRP: $30

Mount Towrong Vineyard

Strong raspberry with red cherries and hints of raisins. Light bodied with juicy red fruits. Soft initial tannins which build on the palate. Nice fresh acidity with a slightly warm finish. Overall a good varietal example.

RRP: $45

Paxton Wines

Bright cherry fruit supported by perfumed herbal notes. Overall fairly pungent on the nose. Medium bodied, dry with sweet cherry flavours, soft tannins and a slightly warm finish.

RRP: $30

Majella

Cooking spices, nutmeg and cinnamon supported by cedar oak and wet earth. The palate is smooth and round with blackberry and black cherry fruits. Soft tannins, medium intensity and finish. A primary fruit driven wine that is excellent value for money.

RRP: $19

Best's

Red cherry, perfumed a hint of bubble gum. Fresh, zesty juicy light bodied with medium length.

RRP: $27

Paxton Wines

Pear, citrus and almond meal. Firm fleshy and dry palate. Textured and creamy palate. Nutty acid middle palate. Short finish.

RRP: $22

Majella Wines

Majestic, intense wine. Blackberry driven with cedar, earth, liquorice and new leather. Full bodied, rich powerful but well integrated driven by primary fruits of mulberries and plums. Blend of Cabernet and Shiraz.

RRP: $80

Majella

Leafy, minty, cedar and eucalyptus leaf. Sweet cherries, blackcurrant and cassis flavours on a well structured medium bodied frame with a dry tannic finish. Vines planted in 1968 and GPL is in honour of George Patrick Lynn, patriarch of the Lynn Family, who allowed his sons, Brian and Anthony, to plant vines on the family’s Coonawarra property “Majella”.

RRP: $130

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