2013 Clonakilla Jack Reidy Shiraz

imagePosted a photo of this to Facebook and Bryan Martin, who works alongside Tim Kirk at Clonakilla, offered the following: “Ahh, I remember you Jacky boy. Comes from the Euroka park and Eastern vineyards. Tough to declassify from the other estate fruit. Great year it being. Did you notice the sneaky little dollop of Grenache we snuck in?”

I wasn’t clever enough to pick up on the Grenache but boy this wets your whistle for the big guns to come. Open and immediately chatty. Lavender and peppery five spice accompany red cherried, berried fruit and chestnuts. Plenty of light and shade. Satin in the mouth with meaty, twiggy savoury dimensions carrying through the palate. The tannin curls around and over the flavour in a strict maternal fashion. There’s something Hitchcockian about the structural edifice. Exits on notes of tree bark and forest. Yum. 93

Region: Canberra
Alcohol: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $30
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.clonakilla.com.au

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2013 Xanadu DJL Margaret River Chardonnay

image100% wild barrel ferment, 20% new, nine months maturation in said French oak, lees stirring. Entirely Gin Gin clone. Admirable freshness given just how flavoursome it is.

Brown pears, melons, lemony-grapefruit acidity. Ginger and vanilla porridge with a drizzle of honey. A welcome suggestion of smoked almonds to close. Needs the lees to balance the sweetness of the primary fruit. No need to dull the senses with malo – there’s enough texture here. 90

Region: Margaret River
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $24
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.xanaduwines.com

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2007 Tscharke Lumberjack Vintage Fortified Touriga

imageI’m a fortified and I’m ok…Don’t get sent many. Not popular. More’s the shame. The bottle has changed. Not blocky anymore. A pity given the Lumberjack moniker.

Smells and tastes of toffee, dark chocolate, citrus peel, blackcurrants and plums with hints of tea-leaf, figs and coconut. Warm and silty; much as I would like. Raisined yet neither dry or flat. Layered with chalky tannin. And the beauty, as with all good vintage port, is that the sweetness is contained. 90+

Region: Barossa Valley
Alcohol: 20%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $30 (375ml)
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.tscharke.com.au

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2012 Domenica Roussanne Marsanne

imageMade by longtime Giaconda assistant winemaker Peter Graham. The 2013 release isn’t far off now but you can still track this down and it’d be worth your while. 60% Roussanne, 35% Marsanne and 5% Viognier.

Golden and textural. Mouthfilling yet as soon as you swallow the wine gains form. Terrific form actually, especially as it’s around the full-bodied mark. Honeysuckle, golden delicious apples, herbal inferences and orange oil with some dried apricot and earthen spice on the back-palate. Savoury edged and wild through the guts. Oak is well situated. It’s not without the refreshment of acidity but it is creamy and nutty. Refined phenolics, power and length. Delicious gear. 94

Region: Beechworth
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $44
Tasted: July 2014

http://domenicawines.com.au

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2013 Punt Road Napoleone Vineyard Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

imageNot of the same standard as the 2012 but still a compelling option for the price.

A sour cherry and sweet black raspberry profile. The fruit becomes darker as it moves through its line. Quite chocolatey and forward by the time grainy tannin kicks in. Beetroot earthiness and wild herbs play counterpoint to sweet primary fruit. 91

Region: Yarra Valley
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $25
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.puntroadwines.com.au

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2012 Killerby Margaret River Chardonnay

imageKillerby have failed to impress me in the past. Nothing has changed with this wine.

Sweet tropical fruit, very little definition. Devoid of purpose in the mouth. Creamy oak and lees. Short. Amorphous and unremarkable. Getting awfully close to flaccid. 84

Region: Margaret River
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $30
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.killerby.com.au

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2013 Oakridge The Parish of Gruyere Chardonnay

imageColes exclusive. Certainly on the fruity side for an Oakridge Chardonnay. Almost precocious. Still possesses minerally acidity and trademark phenolic crunch.

Hints of pineapple with melon and peach. Honeycomb, caramel and a slight syrupyness. Very spicy, slightly biscuity. Interesting to see the house textural influence put up against such ripeness and generosity. I think it works and I suspect it could attract certain consumers who have previously found David Bicknell’s style too confronting and uncompromising in the past. Personally, I’ll wait for the 2013 Local Vineyard Series releases and the 864s. 91

Region: Yarra Valley
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $30
Tasted: July 2014

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2012 Clarence Hill Chardonnay

imageFrom the Adelaide wine region. I can’t give you anymore detail.

Lots and lots of melon, canned peaches, cheap oak and vanilla with very forced citric cut. Rough. Feels industrially made. 82

Region: Adelaide
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $18
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.adelaidewinemakers.com.au

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2013 Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Pinot Noir

imageGenuine abundance in a Pinot that’s more than ready to go straight away.

Lots of ripe, dark brambly fruit and plums. A little red cherry flavour basking on top. Spicy and juicy with substantial weight. Not overly complex but will please a certain audience. I’d step up to the 2012 Estate myself. That’s where you’ll start to see some excitement. 89

Region: Mornington Peninsula
Alcohol: 13.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $32
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au

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2012 Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache

imageUsually my favourite wine in the Chapel Hill stable.

Sweet raspberry, dark cherry and plum fruits. Plenty of spice and red strap licorice. Savoury trodden leaf balance. Hints of charred meat. Chocolatey, grainy tannin needs time to unwind but I like its presence in the wine. 92

Region: McLaren Vale
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $30
Tasted: July 2014

http://www.chapelhillwine.com.au

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