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

First Creek

Aged release wine. Lovely lanolin, lemon pith and toasty note. Fresh light bodied with lemony crisp acidity. Still youthful at 10 years old.

RRP: $65

https://hoosegg.com/

Philip Shaw wine. Complex nose with cooking spice, black cherry and plum. Vanilla and pencil shaving oak. Intense palate dominated by sweet black fruits, well balanced acidity with dry sticky fine grain tannins. Long finish. 89% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

RRP: $118

Lark Hill

Ripe lemon aromas and hints of pineapple that jump out of the glass. Dry, intense front palate with crunchy green apple acidity. Flavours of freshly squeezed lemons. Lovely concentration which softens out to a medium plus long finish.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $55

Tyrrell's

On the nose there is gentle cedar, earth and graphite notes with redcurrants and cherry. Primary red fruit driven on the palate. Dry medium bodied at the most and gentle, soft, dry tannins. The wine spends 15 months in old oak. Classic Hunter style red made from vines, some of which are over 100 years old.

RRP: $40

Woodlands Wines

Highly seasoned oak greets you on opening. The wine slowly reveals some lovely leafy and herbal notes. Full bodied dry wine with firm tannins. Primary black fruit flavours of blackberry and black cherry.

RRP: $49

Woodlands Wines

Nice barrel worked chardonnay with smoky gun flint aromas, as well as toast and buttery leesy notes. Rich creamy palate but also some primary lemon and lime, acid-driven flavours to balance the wine. A touch saline in the medium plus long finish. Accomplished wine.

RRP: $45

Sandalford Wines

Ticks all the boxes with pungent citrus, gooseberry, cut grass and passionfruit. There is a whiff of green capsicum as well. Fresh zesty palate, light bodied with a clean dry finish. Spot on aromas and flavours.

RRP: $25

Sandalford Wines

Good varietal expression showing ripe peach and melon aromas on the nose. New vanilla oak is more noticeable on the palate. Medium-bodied, dry, racy palate with high acidity. Elegant medium finish.

RRP: $35

Thomas Wines

Pungent tropical fruit nose with passion fruit and ripe lemons. Dry wine with a vibrant, fleshy, zesty lemon driven palate. A hint of pineapple and ripe red apple on the long finish. Grown in the Broke Fordwich sub region on red volcanic soils results in a riper wine slightly earlier picked than the main valley.

RRP: $28

Thomas Wines

Attractive nose consisting of aromas of cinnamon, all spice and and dried cranberries. Dry, medium bodied palate with firm dry powdery tannins. Juicy well balanced acidity with a slight licorice finish. Extremely well priced shiraz.

RRP: $25

Clairault Streicker Wines

A nose of rich ripe black fruits. Blackcurrant, blackberry and black cherry all on display. Hint of vanilla oak. Juicy black cherry driven palate. Medium bodied, dry, well balanced wine. Tannins tip the scale on the medium finish.

RRP: $50

Clairault Streicker Wines

Lovely precise primary fruit driven wine big on gooseberry, grass and passionfruit. Dry zesty high acid palate. Light bodied with green apple and citrus flavours. Vibrant palate. Sauvignon blanc driven, the wine has seen some time on lees and 20% new oak but I couldn’t detect it!. A lovely summer wine.

RRP: $22

Mount Towrong Vineyard

Punchy pear and green apple aromas with a hint of cut grass. Lovely intense palate. Dry, crisp high acidity with and a long lemon and apple finish. Good example of Vermentino. This varietal could challenge Fiano as the next alterative white? Possibly, but has a lot of catching up.

RRP: $30

Curly Flat

A brooding Pinot Noir in the Curly Flat classic style. Not your normal bright red fruit here but darker redcurrant. plum and cedar oak with a touch of salami, cured meats. Redcurrant and plum flavours continue onto the palate which is firm, dry, round and textured. Well balanced acidity to match the chalky Burgundian tannin profile. Long, warm savoury finish. This complex wine is an estate blend of seventeen separate lots representing distinct aspects, clones and soils.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $55

Curly Flat

This is from the tiny crop of 2020 that was affected by a cool spring, poor flowering and even frost. Completely different than the 2019. A hint reductive which I like. Then the white peach, lemon citrus notes kick in. Toasty oak palate but very tight. High acidity, dry and medium bodied. Cool citrus and white stone fruit flavours. Long finish. At this stage looks very promising and another excellent expression of chardonnay. It will be a joy to see the development of this vintage. The wine will not be released until approx February 2022. Price quoted is for the current 2019 vintage not this one.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $46

Curly Flat

Nose display strong peach, toasty oak and citrus blossom. It’s a joy to watch this wine travel across your palate. Moves from a creamy full bodied wine, but then some surprisingly zesty acidity enters to balance it. The long stone fruit and oak finish leaves you with the impression of a textured tightly wound wine. Impressive. Their current release.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $46

Curly Flat

80% whole bunch pressed with 20% whole bunch fermented given 3 weeks of skin contact. The wine then goes into seven months on lees in old French oak puncheons. Inviting pale salmon pink. Lovely aromas of blood orange, flowers and a hint of red fruits from the press and skin contact. Texture driven palate with apple and pear skin flavours. Dry and flavoursome with some satisfying grip. Drink fresh.

RRP: $28

Clairault Streicker Wines

11% Cabernet Franc in this wine. Strong cedar, earth and graphite (Franc?) aromas. Full bodied wine with attractive licorice and blackberry flavours. A hint hollow in the middle palate but finishing with a firm, dry tannic finish. Well structured. Requires more time.

RRP: $55

Vasse Felix

Wet leaf, cedar and hints of blackberry, but a slightly closed nose. Lovely smooth, elegant palate. Classic blackcurrant as well as black cherry flavours. Lively acidity indicates its cooler maritime origins. Dry, grainy, fine sandpaper tannins accompany the medium plus finish. Solid, benchmark wine.

RRP: $52

Clairault Streicker Wines

from the Wilyabrup sub region. Cedar, herbal, cedar and graphite nose. Full bodied, dry with plenty of structure. Acid and tannin driven firm palate but well balanced. Black cherry is the dominant flavour. Finishes a little short but overall a good MR cabernet.

RRP: $30

Vasse Felix

Mint, leafy and herbal nose. Well structured palate with a blackberry core. Dry, medium plus body with some juicy blackberry fruits. Mouth puckering tannin finish.

RRP: $29

Sandalford Wines

Sourced from the Wilyabrup vineyard. Highly seasoned, toasty French oak barrique driven nose. Blackberry, vanilla, sweet nutmeg and cloves backing up the toast. Full bodied, dry, new oak, blackberry and blueberry driven palate. Smooth and round. Well integrated tannins.

RRP: $35

Clairault Streicker Wines

Medium ruby colour. A hint of cured meats and sour cherry as well as slight tobacco, dried leaf and leather. Savoury cabernet like palate. Dry minty flavours, medium bodied with sticky tannins and a fresh acid finish. Maturing nicely.

RRP: $45

Vasse Felix

Subtle spice driven nose, but as it aerates it grows into a complex wine. White pepper, mulberries, plums, vanilla and cherry notes appear. A firm but round, dry medium bodied wine with more cooking spices on the palate. Medium finish. Classic varietal wine showing its maritime climate. ‘Syrah’, as a varietal label, is growing into a trend to indicate a medium bodied spice and pepper style of Shiraz.

RRP: $37

Trentham Estate

Taminga is a variety developed by the CSIRO at Merbein in the 1970’s. It’s a cross between the Spanish Planta Pedralba and Sultana, and Traminer. It is high yielding and a late ripening variety well suited to producing a botrytis style wine which Trentham have exploited. Ageing gracefully it displays honey and apricots on the nose. Sweet (approximately160gm RS) on the palate but well balanced with a good levels of acidity. Elegant wine, medium bodied (for a dessert wine) making it extremely drinkable, it displays more honey and mandarin flavours on a satisfying, long finish. Current vintage in 2015. Well priced. 375ml bottle

RRP: $18

Mount Towrong Vineyard

hints of confectionary, jammy, blackberry aromas. Palate is black cherry driven fruit driven medium bodied with well balanced acid and medium tannins. Slightly short on the finish.

RRP: $30

Mount Towrong Vineyard

Estate sourced fruit on a south facing slope with the addition of some Pyrenees grapes. Light aromas of redcurrants and floral rose petal on the nose. Comes more to life on the palate with raspberry, redcurrants, cedar oak and a hint meaty. Savoury, well balanced acidity. The finish is suitably Nebbiolo with sticky fine grain tannins. 45 days on skins and 2 years in bottle before release makes this a wine to enjoy now or age for up to 5 years

RRP: $40

Munari Wines

The grape behind Soave. A hint of nuts and lemon pith on the nose. dry, light bodied with acid driven flavours of lemon zest. Nicely slightly textured palate. Good varietal characteristics

RRP: $30

Mount Towrong Vineyard

A unique blend of co-fermented chardonnay and nebbiolo made into a method traditional sparkling wine. Fairly strong rose colour displaying a copper orange hue. Lovely nose of red fruits including red maraschino cherry, redcurrants and raspberries. With that nose you might expect some sweetness but this is a dry wine. The palate is textured and slightly fleshy with a lovely racy, tight lively mousse. More red fruits are displayed on the palate. There is a slight confectionary note on the long, intense finish. Sparkling wines fall into two categories: the styles that can be drunk as an aperitif and the ones that go with food. This wine fits the latter category. The blend works really well, probably because the fruit is sourced from their Mount Towrong vineyard which is south facing, cool climate and marginal. This is satisfying wine. 2019 base wine, 14 months on lees.

RRP: $45

Vinea Marson

Medium intense ruby with a touch of garnet. Lovely mature wine with earthy, savoury nose as well as red cherry. Medium bodied dry wine with surprisingly strong primary cherry fruit on the palate. Intense palate producing a long finish. I loved the structure of this wine, especially the noticeable chalky, chewy tannins. This mature wine was available in a cellar museum pack. Check with the producer. Price quoted here is for the current 2016 vintage.

RRP: $38

Coriole Vineyards

Inviting medium lemon colour. Nutty, apple, honey, almond with a slight saline nose. Medium bodied fleshy palate with soft ripe pear, but does have a hint of malic acid as well. This is followed by persistent honey, buttery and creamy flavours resulting in a complex palate. A warm agreeable finish. This wine shows that Fiano can take barrel fermentation and is better for it. To get the best out of this wine, aerate it and do not overchill. This is my style of Fiano.

RRP: $50

Sandalford Wines

The nose displays brambly black fruit, vanilla oak with a herbaceous leafy edge. Medium plus bodied, minty, ripe blackberry and sweet liquored black cherry flavours greet the palate. There is also a hint of spice and herbs. Dry, chalky tannic finish.

RRP: $45

Munari Wines

Gentle blackberry fruits supported by earthy, savoury black olive nuances. Dry medium bodied wine with fine well integrated powdery tannins. Smooth palate with more savoury sweet cooking spices on the palate. Well integrated and an excellent food friendly wine. Heathcote Shiraz can be overpowering sometimes, this wine is not, and all the better for it.

RRP: $40

Munari Wines

Good varietal nose with herbaceous, leafy, earthy notes as well as cedar and cigar box. Full bodied, firm well structured palate. Fine tannic finish. Some primary blackberry fruit on the palate as well as cedar notes.

RRP: $35

Vasse Felix

Light aromas of oatmeal, toasty new oak and lees contact. Creamy, vanilla, biscuit and brioche flavours with a hint of caramel, wrapped in crisp high acidity. A nice long finish. Release date is 1st November 2021

RRP: $44

Silent Way

Citrus, vanilla and peachy stone fruit aromas. Firm structured palate with well balanced acidity. Some richer vanilla and caramel flavours at the back of the palate. Medium plus finish.

RRP: $38

Attwoods Wines

Citrus and nectarine stone fruit nose with vanillan oak. Whole bunch, barrel fermented with wild yeast produces a rich full bodied powerful palate. Well integrated oak. Finish is long and buttery.

Rating: Outstanding

RRP: $55

Garagiste

Very pale. Minerally, citrus and lime nose. Saline palate with high acidity. Tight and linear with a long finish. Sits in the Chablis camp.

RRP: $30

Curly Flat

Complex wine with citrus, a hint of struck match, new oak, buttery as well as yeast lees notes. Dry with lovely crisp acidity to balance the creamy butterscotch and cashew oak flavours. Long finish. Well structured wine with an elegant poise.

RRP: $46

Freycinet vineyard

Stone fruits, citrus and integrated new oak on the nose. Dry, high acidity but balanced by flavours of oak and yeast lees. Medium bodied with a long finish.

RRP: $37

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