Thursday, December 22, 2011

Adventures with Spell Cheque*

I love the spell check tool on my mail programme
Not only does it easily highlight those clumsy little typos but it provides some of the funniest moments in my day.

Usually in the rush to send out a newsletter I skim past the alternative suggestion but when Croser was replaced by CARESSER [wonder what Brian would think of that?] in the recent fizz newsletter I was prompted to record the rest of its suggestions:

CLICQUOT became COLLOQUIQUIA [I kid you not]
HEIDSIECK was replaced by HADES
and for some very strange reason it wanted to replace WINERY with WEANERS

* a message to all copy writers on ABC and SMH websites - spell check won't fix their/there or its/it's. Let's all be careful.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Henschke 2006 Hill of Grace


Our Price: $499 per bottle


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Calabria 2013 Private Bin Aglianico

It's probably unlikely but it's about time you did and at just $12 a bottle it's not a particularly expensive new experience.Aglianico [drop the "g" and you have a fair grasp of the pronunciation] is an old, old red grape that may have been brought to Italy by Greek migrants long before they ever considered Melbourne as an option.
Vines were brought to Australia by the Calabria family where they've flourished in the Riverina to produce one of our finds of 2011.

My tasting notes were very simple: Whacky retro label contains a funky new age wine. Dry, spicy intense fruit, lovely tannins - will cellar. 5* rating. Now several bottles later I really can't recommend this highly enough. Everyone who's tried it has raved and been astonished by the price. Simply a very fine red wine at a ridiculous price.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen


Westend 2010 Cool Climate Series Tumbarumba Pinot Noir

Most of the Pinot Noir grown in the heady heights of Tumbarumba is earmarked for sparkling wine production so it's really interesting to see a straight varietal red from the region. It's a lighter structured pinot that offers definite varietal fruit.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen


Westend 2010 Cool Climate Series King Valley Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

This classic blend that stars in WA has a new home in the high country of Victoria.
Beautifully balanced combination of the two grapes that work so well together.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen

Westend 2013 Cool Climate Series Eden Valley Riesling

The Calabrias are the family who supply us with two long term favourites the Richland Sauvignon Blanc and the Three Bridges Durif. They also produce a range of cool climate wines under their Westend label and the joy of this is they, like many Riverina producers, tend to greatly undervalue their wines.

This is yet another bargain that offers a lovely combination of citrus and minerality. Top drinking now and will cellar.
IWSC Gold Medal 2013

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen


Westend Cool Climate Series 2009 Shiraz

From the cool climate Hilltops region of NSW this is a star!
Imagine buying Barwang for this price and you've got some idea of the quality and its extreme value. Grab a dozen, try some and then stick as much as you can in the cellar for the next 5+ years.
And yes, it did win a Gold Medal at the 2011 San Francisco Wine Challenge.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the doz


Monday, October 3, 2011

Paynes Crossing 2010 Semillon Verdelho

Semillon and verdelho is rarely blended but after tasting this I wonder why not. What an absolutely delicious, beautifully balanced dry white with virtually universal appeal. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this and at the price it's the perfect everyday white to have in the fridge over the next 12 months

If you're a bit over Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs and want to revitalise jaded taste buds this is the perfect alternative. Unwooded, crisp, clean and dry with delicate yet overt fruit this has deservedly been our cellar door "White of the Week" - for the LAST MONTH.

Our Price: $9 per bottle by the dozen

Quarram Rocks 2010 Pinot Noir

Quarram Rocks is a beach near Denmark, WA and the label depicts that. While it may be a beautiful beach I just think this wine deserved more - maybe King Kong.

Yes, it may well put hairs on your chest.I tasted it blind and the initial non-winespeak reaction was "WOW! This is terrific" and then it suddenly dawned on me it was possibly a pinot. It was. And while we have plenty of quality, high value mainstream pinot noir this one one is for anyone who wants something very left of centre, very impressive and once again extreme value.

Our Price: $13 by the dozen

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ridgecrop Estate 2010 Watervale Riesling

I've addressed this issue before.
There are some extraordinary bargains to be had in the unlabelled wine market - and I'm not talking about the ubiquitous under $5 cleanskin
offering. I'm far more interested [and I know you are too] in $30 - $20 quality wines that we can offer for half that price. We're supplying a lot of
these nowadays to restaurants and pubs who want to have their own labels on a range of wines.

Our latest find is a 2010 Clare Valley from Watervale - the riesling heartland of the Valley. It's a beauty on the citrus side of the spectrum rather than minerality. It's deliciously dry, fresh and lively and a perfect alternative to sauvignon blanc.

Once upon a time we all used to say how undervalued rieslings were. Not any more so this is a rare offering of such quality at such a low price.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Head Over Heels 2009 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

This is absolutely amazing for the price and even if you paid close to $20 we reckon you'd still be happy. There's lashings of intense blackcurrant fruit, sensible wood and subtle balancing tannins. Coonawarra is renowned for its quality cabernet sauvignon but it should never, ever be this cheap.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Shag Rock 2009 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc

Nelson shares the top of the South Island with Marlborough but it's to the west and north. I wrote before that it's the best example I've seen combining the popular tropical fruit characters with underlying asparagus flavours so prevalent 10 years ago. Toss in some pronounced lemon zest and more palate weight than most Marlboroughs and this is a cracker. It combines fruit and texture in a way I can't imagine anyone not enjoying. The age is not an issue as it's still vibrantly fresh and lively with enough acid to hold for some years yet.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Villa Maria 2011 Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker's Comment
"This vibrant Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with a fruit-salad-bowl of flavours including ripe gooseberry, passionfruit, fresh citrus lime and exotic herbaceous aromas. The wine has an exciting palate with layers of juicy flavours, intensity and fullness, finishing with a refreshing crisp, clean and racy acidity. Enjoy this exuberant and delightful wine."

Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chain of Ponds 2009 Graves Gate Adelaide Hills Shiraz

I've been fascinated and often amused by the "geographic feature wine branding justification" syndrome that has emerged in the last 20 years. Take a creek, river, bay or babbling brook and add a prefix which you justify on the back label. And if you don't want anything watery you can always look to the hills, ridges and valleys.
Toss in the odd laughing magpie, idiot, duck, etc and the sky is the limit.

While Graves Gate satisfies all the criteria of the syndrome it has undergone a strange morph over the last three years. In 2006 on the back label of a shiraz that we sold hundreds of, these immortal [sorry] words appeared:

"Two early-settler lasses are buried near the gate to our shiraz vineyard. Their souls seem to keep those old vines alive and perky. Bright raspbery, pickled cherries, black olives, lipstick, spicy sweat,: they're coming down the hills with a picnic basket. Laughing." Greg Clack winemaker

The weird thing is though that, while Chain of Ponds makes a point of satisfying the naming syndrome with a series of local references on many of their wines, this 2006 release was 66% Barossa and 34% Kangaroo Island. This is confirmed here
although you will see a suggestion that the bottle is actually 200% full. Maybe that's why it was so popular.

Moving on to 2009 and Graves Gate has reverted to being 100% Adelaide Hills, and only 100% full, but alas no lasses. The back label now reads
"Named in memory and as a tribute to the families who lived at ‘Chain of Ponds’ from 1840 - 1970. All that now remains of the hamlet is the cemetery and its recently erected stone entrance which protects the history and stories of days gone by." So what's going on? I ask.

But just in case you're wondering, this is a damn fine South Australian shiraz probably even better than the 2006 and equally outstanding value.

Our Price: $17 per bottle by the doz


Chain of Ponds 2008 Adelaide Hills Sangiovese

My first thought on tasting this is that we need more sangiovese.
Like Chain of Ponds Nebbiolo this is a stunning red based around layers of fruit complexity.
If you just looked at the figures you'd say too much alcohol [15%] but that's not noticeable and way too long in wood [24 months]. Once again not an issue as it seems to be older French oak used.

The end result is what matters and this is a truly exciting red that easily delivers well over the $20 quality mark. It's probably not a long term cellaring proposition but once you've tasted it you'd find that rather difficult.
You can

Our Price: $17 per bottle by the dozen


Chain of Ponds 2005 Adelaide Hills Nebbiolo

I was tempted to copy and paste [with appropriate referencing of course] Chain of Ponds website tasitng notes but I thought I'd keep it simple.
This is simply stunning and I can only ask how a 6 year old wine of this quality can still be available at this price today [June 2011]
It's medium bodied, showing some lovely bottle maturity but still offering layers of fruit complexity. And if you want to try something really worthwhile that's out of the mainstream this is an absolute must.

On second thoughts read their notes but I do worry about "thick orange hues"

Our Price: $17 per bottle by the dozen


Outstanding Wines Blanc de Blanc

The wine formerly known as Ridgecrop Estate has received a much needed facelift and two other changes which are far more important.
For starters it's now under screwcap which makes it easier to open and easier to reseal if you want to enjoy it over a few days. Better still, the wine is even better than it was before. The Semillon now seems to be providing a delicious lively citrus zing to the mix which wasn't apparent before.

For years and years we have been happily raving about the Clare Valley's Stephen John Blanc de Blanc. It's invariably been our biggest selling sparkler at our various retail outlets and always been well received on the restaurant wine lists we compose.

So "shock and horror" when the phone call came that Stephen had literally pulled the plug on production. So we called for samples and in amongst a lot of overpriced and characterless fizz this little gem absolutely shone.

It's made from Hunter Semillon and I've always been surprised there's not more of the stuff dazzling on the sparkling market. This one is grossly underpriced, dry with vibrant fruit character and palate weight complexity. And in the space of just a few months it has seamlessly and happily replaced the SJ.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in the up to $20 market.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beelgara Estate 2010 Rose

There are some wine styles and grape varieties that just shouldn't be expensive and one of my greatest gripes is rose. We should not have rose retailing at $15 and yet many wholesale at that price. Why? It's a pretty simplistic, no expensive wood, no bottle maturation, "get into the market as soon as it's bottled style".
So we applaud our favourite, biggest selling rose - it's back with the latest vintage and rocketing out at cellar door. It's on the sweetish side so it can handle a really big chill and with just 10.5% a/v it's perfect for a sunny Sunday picnic.

Our Price: $ 7 per bottle by the dozen


Monday, April 11, 2011

Petaluma 2010 Hanlin Hill Riesling


Our Price: $22 per bottle by the dozen

Peel Estate 2004 Chenin Blanc

This is a genius white where the wood is now well integrated and yet the wine is still in sensational vibrant condition.
In terms of stunning maturation this challenges the best of Hunter Semillons with a Marsanne like dash of complexity and a touch of sweetness. Will live for years if you can resist drinking now.

Our Price: $18 per bottle by the dozen


Haselgrove 2007 HRS Reserve Shiraz

Strangely while we've sold out of their 2008 Bella Vigna we still have a small amount of this, its predecessor.
This is easily $30 McLaren Vale quality probably drinking at its peak now and for the next couple of years. We've sold well over 100 boxes of the stuff and we have but a handful left.

Our Price: $18 per bottle by the dozen


Willow Bridge 2009 Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc

This is all about complexity created by winemaker talent so in their own words "An extremely powerful expression of Sauvignon Blanc from arguably the best vineyard in a region becoming renowned for this variety. Classic varietal aromatics run the line between the tropical fruits of guava and passionfruit and those of fresh crunchy greens such as snow peas and a hint of ginger and lemongrass. A portion of wild yeast fermentation has added extra complexities of wood smoke and mineral notes and a greater level of texture to the palate than many examples of this variety." It's as far away from taste to Marlborough as it is in kms.

Our Price: $18 per bottle by the dozen


Tyrrell's 2008 Canberra District Shiraz


The disastrous 2008 Hunter red vintage forced Tyrrell's to look further afield for premium fruit. Not too far from home they discovered one of the best vintages ever in that most western "suburb" of Canberra: Murrumbateman.
They only scored 8 tonne which means we have a little of not much and I'm pretty confident that it's now all out there in the retail trade.

Our Price: $27 per bottle by the dozen

Ridgecrop Estate 2008 Unwooded Chardonnay

While it carries our own Ridgecrop label there's no getting away from the fact it was made by Mudgee's Elliot Rocke vineyard - it's stamped on the neck capsule!
This is all about lively, delicious fresh fruit flavours of melon, peach and apricots.
Just pour and enjoy.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Buller 2009 "Langdon" Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot

Two new "flagship" wines from Bullers: the trophy winning wine pictured as well as a 2009 Shiraz.
Both wines are very limited quantity and both are on the price list.

Our Price: $39 per bottle by the dozen


Ridgecrop Estate 2008 KM Barossa Shiraz

This is seriously stunning as you'd expect from Kilikanoon's Kevin Mitchell. It's an outstanding follow up to a previous offering when he ventured out of the Clare into the Barossa Valley. We've scored just one pallet with the sadly unfortunate total of just 52 dozen [most contain 64] It's already a candidate for Red of the Year. Drinking beautifully now with lashings of everything. I've already given it a few outings and the overwhelming consensus is WOW!

Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Ironbark Hill 2010 Verdelho

The Hunter stars with this variety and this beauty is an absolute bargain. It’s a real crowd pleasing medium dry white

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Miceli 2006 "Olivia's" Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay

Grossly underpriced at a Bin End $16. This easily has the quality to justify $25+. Here are winemaker Tony Miceli's tasting notes

Picked: 31/3/2006- 14/4/2006
Bottled: 21/3/2008

Winemaking: Hand picked and whole bunch pressed, to maintain maximum fruit and minimum extraction of hard skin tannins. Fully barrel fermented with mild juice oxidation at low temperatures to attain creamy mouthfeel and maximise palate length. This wine has undergone 100% malolactic fermentation, which we feel has added further complexity without detracting from the fruit characters. Retained on fermentation lees, in barrel, for more than a year, to allow full oak integration, complexity and depth.
Oak: 30% new. Approximately 100% French
Analysis: Alc 13.5 pH 3.50 T/A 7.1 Residual sugar <0.3 g/l

Tasting Notes:
An elegant and delicate wine with complexity and subtlety.

Brilliant pale greenish yellow. Peach, cashew and citrus, vanillan oak and struck match. Seamless mouthfeel with subtle and perfectly integrated oak, restrained and yet powerful, with fine acid balance. This wine is fermented in oak, remaining in contact with its yeast lees for a full year to develop depth and complexity.

Cellaring: With barrel and bottle age this wine is drinking beautifully now but will continue to improve for at least a further 5 years, developing honey and toastiness in addition to the delicious fruit.

Winemaker’s Comments:
Not over-oaked by this length of ageing, it shows lovely balance and integration, remaining “fine” and demonstrating the elegance and length only possible with long ripening in cool conditions.
Whilst fully ripened from a warm year, I feel this still in the slightly more restrained style and is a true expression of our climate - our “terroir”. The range of picking dates adds to our ability to retain a good acid backbone and balance the richness of very ripe fruit with the delicacy of lesser ripe components.
A long way from “mainstream” Australian Chardonnay it does not rely on brute strength, alcohol, or sugar to impress.

GOLD Victorian Wine Show 2009
GOLD Cool Climate Wine Show Bathurst 2009

Our Price: $16 per bottle by the dozen


Friday, April 8, 2011

Peter Lehmann 2007 Chenin Blanc

We opened our tasting bottle and took the bin-end lot. Chenin Blanc, as Peel Estate have proved, is a variety that has the potential to age gracefully. But unlike the Peel this a dry white that's more aligned to Hunter semillon. It's all about the acid and here's a wine that is drinking beautifully now or easily has the legs to go another five years. There are developed citrus flavours on a firm dry palate

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Trevor Jones 2009 Sticky Boots [375ml]

It's near impossible to get botrytis in the Barossa Valley. The fruit for this was from cordon cut Semillon, grown on the valley floor, from the Dorrien area, west of the Barossa Valley Highway half way between Tanunda and Nuriootpa. Which helps explain why I couldn't detect botrytis but was amazed by an extraordinary complexity that was far more than you could hope for from a simple late picked grape. It's not Noble One but it's a superb dessert wine at a ridiculous bargain basement clearance price.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen

Tyrrell's 2010 Lost Block Semillon

This is the Hunter Semillon style that can be enjoyed young as a sensational alternative to rieslings or sauvignon blancs. The 11.5% a/v makes it an ideal lunchtime drop and it could be a candidate for short term cellaring but I'd be more inclined to quaff it over the next 12 months. This is well priced at $18 - $20 so $12 really is a bargain.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen

Tyrrell's 2008 Lost Block Cabernet Sauvignon

Don't even hesitate about this one - order it now!
The fruit is from WA's Great Southern region so this is essentially a quality cool climate cabernet at an irrigation price.
Palate is midweight with an appealing elegance and subtlety that keeps drawing you back for another sip. Alcohol is 14% but not overt.
This is an absolute star that you'll wish you ordered more off.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen


Philip Shaw 2009 "The Wirewalker" Pinot Noir


RRP: $20
Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Philip Shaw 2009 "The Idiot" Shiraz

Best Red Trophy at the 2011 Royal Sydney Wine Show
Results were announced late last week and we unhesitatingly snapped up our allocation.
Philip Shaw's 2009 "The Idiot" Shiraz from Orange scored three Trophies including the BIG ONE for red wines - the Gilbert Philip for best red of the show.

"Shiraz from Orange is quite unique in style compared to most other regions in Australia and is more reminiscent of the Northern Rhone, France. Our Idiot Shiraz is a young wine that has a lovely colour, deep red with some purple hues. The aroma is spicy, lifted and intense.
There is an appealing liquorice character to the intense fruit aromas. Bright full fruit flavours in a medium-bodied package; classic cool area shiraz, some spice integrated with red fruits; lovely soft tannins and finish." PSW Website notes

Association of Australia, to the Exhibitor of the best Varietal Wine, Shiraz from Classes 32 and 36 to 37.

CLASS: S020 THE DR GILBERT PHILLIPS MEMORIAL PERPETUAL TROPHY. Donated by the Wine Society, to the Exhibitor of the best
Red Wine of the Show.

CLASS: S035 THE JAMES BUSBY ANNUAL PRIZE Supported by Industry & Investment NSW, presented to the maker of the Best Wine or
Brandy entered by an Exhibitor from New South Wales in any class.

Our Price $18 per bottle by the dozen


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kaimira Estate Nelson 2009 "Brightwater" Sauvignon Blanc

I'm not usually a fan of Kiwi sauvignon Blancs that have seen the inside of an oak barrel but this one is a beauty. And while you may like to read the maker's notes below I'll sum it up in one word - TEXTURE.
While many of us love the surplus of slurpable Marlborough sauv blancs this is a much more serious wine. It's all about the texture that makesthis so memorable and so enjoyable. It's tending towards Sancerre austerity but not quite to the extent of the recent De Bortoli offering.
We road tested the sample we were sent from NZ over three days and I can confidently assure you this will drink brilliantly over the next few years.

Don't buy it if Marlborough savvys are the only wines you've been pouring into your glass in recent times. But don't hesitate if you enjoy serious $20+ complex dry whites.

Producer's Tasting Notes
A fresh and zingy Sauvignon Blanc with aromatics including fresh herbs [fennel , mint , blackcurrant] , ripe citrus and apple. This is a dry style Sauvignon with a silky front palate and a juicy apple tartness that drives the wine through an array of vibrant flavours. The fruit weight and barrel fermented portion lend richness and intensity, while the signature minerality of Brightwater fruit gives an extra layer of complexity to the wine. Finishes long and dry with lingering passionfruit
Winemaking Notes
Fruit for this wine was sourced from several blocks on the two Estate vineyards in B ightwater. The blocks were picked at varying ripeness levels from 20º - 22º Brix, which represents a broad spectrum of ripeness levels, and therefore flavours in the finished wine. Fruit was machine harvested then crushed followed by quick and gentle pressing. This process was reductive, avoiding juice oxidation and the majority of the clear juice was cool fermented with various commercial yeasts in stainless steel tanks.Temperature control ensured the ferments were long and slow to retain primary fruit character . For this tank portion, post- fermentation lees influence was kept to a minimum to preserve frui t character. A 10% portion was fermented in old oak barrels and matured on lees for several months to give added palate weight and texture without any true oak character being imparted to the wine. The separate portions were blended and stabilized before sterile filtration and bottling in December 2009.
Wine Analysis
Residual sugar 3.4g/l, Titratable acidi ty 7.6g/l , pH 316 Alcohol 12.5%
Silver medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition
Our Price: $10 per bottle by the dozen


Thursday, February 17, 2011

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Grown Sauvignon


Here's what Hooke of the Herald [30/11/10] thought about this one:
"De Bortoli Estate Grown Sauvignon, Yarra Valley, 2008, $32
A terrific Australian sauvignon blanc and nothing like a typical Marlborough. It's very complex and packed with interest, bright and varietal yet multi layered. Hints of nutty barrel and reduction; deliciously smooth juicy palate of texture and balance. Drink now 95/100"

Couldn't agree more although I believe the acid structure has the potential to make it even more interesting in a few years time. This demands sipping and savouring. And as much as we love the slurpable Enzedders this has NO connection with them whatsover.
It's up there with serious chardonnay, riesling, semillon and viognier and full credit to De Bortoli for taking the decision to quit an excess of stock while the wine is at its brilliant peak.

Please don't buy it if you think Marlborough SBs are the bee's knees but grab as much as you can if you like the elegance and searingly dry austerity of Sancerre

Our Price: $16 per bottle by the dozen


Brokenwood 2009 Semillon


From one of the Hunter's
premium producers comes the region's most famed white variety at an absurd bargain basement price.

Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chalkers Crossing 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon


Chalkers Crossing Tasting Notes
Colour: Deep red with purple tints
Nose: Fresh cassis/blackcurrant and mint aromas
Palate: Complex palate with red berries flavours and fine,silky tannins
Style: Full bodied wine matured for 12 months in 100%
French oak barriques
Complement: Red meat, smoked meat, gamey meat and strong cheeses
Best drinking: Now to 2021
Closure: Screw cap
Awards  Gold and Trophy of Best Cabernet - 2010 Cowra WineShow
 Gold and Trophy of Best Cabernet - 2010 NSW Small
Winemakers Wine Show
 Served in the International Qantas Business Class

"Dark red-purple, it has intense varietal blackcurrant and
cassis with a cool-climate twist of herb and olive, which add
to rather than detract from this Bordeaux-style bargain."
93/100 James Halliday’s 2009 Australian Wine Companion
Our Price: $22 per bottle by the dozen

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tyrrell's 2005 Belford Semillon

With Vat 1 now wholesaling near twice this price I think the Belford has moved into bargain basement territory. This is Hunter semillon at its glorious best and the show judges agree with 3 Trophies and 7 Gold Medals. We found some great whites in 2010 but this is the best with so many layers of flavour that every sip is an adventure.
Cellar if you like but for me this is a special occasion white to celebrate with over the next few years which is what I'll be doing with my Christmas treat to my personal cellar.
There's sadly not a lot.

Our Price: $27 per bottle by the dozen


Haselgrove 2007 Il Padrone Sparkling Shiraz

This is a full on serious dry sparkling shiraz that easily justifies its regular $30+ price tag. The juice spent nine months in new and one year old French and American oak as well as 18 months on yeast lees. It's the perfect red for summer but just don't chill it too much.
If, like me, you love quality sparkling reds you should probably think about two 6 packs so we can bind them together for delivery purposes. And the reason we're only offering it in 6 packs is the bottle shape. Very difficult to repack in mixed dozens.

Our Price: $150 a 6 pack

Ridgecrop Estate 2006 Trophy Chardonnay

We picked up a parcel of this to put under our label.
It won a gold medal and Trophy at the 2009 Mudgee wine show in the premium chardonnay class. It's a 2006 vintage that is in brilliant condition as evidenced by winning a trophy not so long ago. We road tested it over 3 days and it just kept improving which didn't surprise us. There's 14% a/v, lashings of rich buttery fruit, barrels of wood and most importantly plenty of acid.
This will last forever and the price is a joke. Should be $20+


Our Price: $10 per bottle by the doz


Berton Vineyards 2008 Coonawarra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

This deservedly shone in the Nov-Dec 2010 issue of Winestate magazine with their top 5 star rating. First of all in the Coonawarra tasting that prompted one judge to observe it was the classiest flight of wines he's seen in years and then it romped into the best red buys under $20. Their review nailed it as "huge, dark,dense, inky wine with an "impenetrable" crimson colour. Dusty oak mingles with blackberry fruit aromas and the palate shows lashings of blueberry fruit. Quite tannic but it's balanced."
An extraordinary bargain, grossly underpriced by the maker.

Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen


Odd Socks 2013 Shiraz Cabernet Merlot

Twenty years ago the SCM triple blend was the trend with makers and drinkers alike. Not sure why, maybe it just sounded like you got more for your money. "Wow! Look at this - all these grapes in just one bottle." But I CAN see a reason for this. Nicely balanced this offers some rich fruit with enough tannin and acid to keep it interesting. Just don't tell anyone who congratulates you how much you paid for it.

Our Price: $5 per bottle by the dozen


Odd Socks 2013 Semillon Chardonnay

There is just absolutely nothing to dislike about this wine and while that may seem like a backhanded compliment it's not meant to be. It's just a perfect little blend that overrides any varietal impact to create a  dry unwooded white of crowd pleasing proportions. If I had to cater for a large function in the next 6 months, this would be the amongst the candidates.
[btw they've dropped the chenin blanc from the mix]

Our Price: $5 per bottle by the dozen


Berton Vineyards 2011 The White Viognier

You've probably worked out by now that I'm not a huge fan of pinot grigio, the occasional pinot gris interests me but I love VIOGNIER.
Last year we tasted a new one from Bob Berton and it was strangely, simply called The White Viognier with one of those weird metal labels popularised by Tempus Two as well as a crazy 14% a/v. With those negatives I wasn't expecting to be impressed but WOW what an absolutely delicious mainstream wine.
The 2011 is a superb follow up with the only apparent difference of a declared alcohol of 13.5%
This is all about sheer drinkability and I just can't imagine anyone not enjoying it. It combines rich mouthfeel with a vibrant zing. Is it an alternative to chardonnay or sauvignon blanc? The back label reckons chardy and I understand why but with no apparent wood exposure I reckon this would appeal to any dry white drinker. VERY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Our Price: $10 per bottle by the doz


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Juniper Crossing 2008 Merlot

Many of you enjoyed the 2007 vintage and we reckon this is every bit as good. It's a merlot with grunt and very highly recommended.


2010 Perth Royal Wine Show -Trophy and Gold Medal
2010 Royal Melbourne Wine Show - Silver Medal
2010 Australian Small Winemakers Show - Bronze Medal
2010 WInewise Small Vignerons Awards - Bronze Medal
2010 Royal Adelaide Wine Show - Bronze Medal
2010 Qantas Mt Barker Wine Show - Bronze Medal
Fine value from Margaret River. Took me by surprise. Some gum leaf fragrance and regional gravel over red fruit and plum with a touch of coffee oak in the background. It's medium bodied, supple and engaging, with good flavour and texture. Finish is excellent. A pleasure to drink."
Rated: 91 points, Tasted Nov 10, Alcohol: 14% Price $21, Closure: Screwcap, Drink: 2010 -2014
By Gary Walsh, Margaret River, Merlot Et Al, 17 November 2010
'Gee, a merlot with some spine. Now I've seen everything. This wine won a trophy at the Perth Show. It's a more powerful and assertive merlot that you expect but still has that unmistakable fleshy wrap. It's medium weight with a spicy plum influence and a light cedary oak character neatly and seamlessly infused. Very nice wine. 92/100.'
Ray Jordan, Fresh, The West Australian, 28 October 2010.
Our Price: $18 per bottle by the dozen

Juniper Crossing 2011 Tempranillo

Here's an impressive follow up to the 2009 vintage which earnt these raves, reviews and medals:
"Just buy some - it's that good. This is a truly exciting red with so much happening in every sip. Elegant, medium weight but with glorious spicy fruit and balancing tannins. Probably the best Oz Tempranillo we've ever tasted as well as one of the reds of 2010.

But don't just take our word for it

2010 Royal Perth Wine Show - Trophy and Gold Medal
2010 Winewise Small Winemakers Awards - Gold Medal
2010 Rutherglen Wine Show - Top Gold Medal
2010 Qantas Mt Barker Wine Show - Silver Medal
'A beautifully subtle and supple expression of this Spanish variety. Lifted spice and blackberry notes on the nose with a savouriness that is appealing. The palate has a dry tannin thread but with some sweet fleshy fruit. It's medium weight and displays excellent palate persistence. Great wine with food. Trophy winner in Perth. 94/100'
Ray Jordan, Fresh, The West Australian, 28 October 2010

Another fine example of Tempranillo! As well as its varietal redberry / blueberry aromas, there's a considerable depth of fruit on the palate which is vibrant and long. This is a wine of finesse and balance to be enjoyed in the short term. Excellent Value.
Highly Recommended
Gold Medal
WINEWISE Vol 26 Number 3 August 2010"

Our Price: $18 per bottle by the dozen

Brokenwood 2009 Cricket Pitch White Blend


The blend is made up of 59% sauvignon blanc and 41% semillon. Not surprisingly the Hunter Valley contributed most of the semillon with sauvignon blanc coming from the King Valley, McLaren Vale, Orange and Cowra.
It's a fresh lively blend that offers zing along with substance on the palate.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the dozen


Brokenwood 2009 Cricket Pitch Red

It's not quite as stunning as the 2008 vintage which we zoomed through in just a few months but it's still very smart - particularly at the price.
It's a hide wine to tag as it's multi varietal, multi regional and even multi state. But it is a Hunter winery and there is shiraz in the blend so that will do for now.

Our Price: $12 per bottle by the doz


Peel Estate 2011 Verdelho

Tasting notes from the Peel Estate website
"Verdelho's great virtue is its intense fruit flavour - it makes some of the fruitiest white wines in Australia. Peel's Verdelho is dry, even though its rich fruitiness can sometimes make it taste quite sweet.
The pale straw colour is shot with green tints, always a good sign in Verdelho.
On the nose there’s pungent tropical fruit aromas, full of mango and guava. The palate is full and rich with loads of sweet fruit flavours, but finishing very dry. There’s also heaps of spice on the finish, which makes the wine complex and satisfying."
Our view: Apart from totally agreeing with Will Nairn's notes we'd just like to add that this is a truly fascinating wine. Wonderful complexity and zing on the palate and a whopping 14+% a/v which is only detectable on the back label. Very highly recommended if you're looking for something just a little different that we're confident will impress.

Our Price: $15 per bottle by the dozen