2013 Out of Step Malakoff Estate Vineyard Pyrenees Nebbiolo

imageWhile I would have ideally tasted this alongside Dave Fletcher’s Nebbiolo from the same vineyard, curiosity got the better of me and I was only in possession of one of the wines. Anyway, Dave Chatfield and Nathan Reeves impress with this inaugural release of the variety under the Out of Step label.

Savoury, earthen Nebbiolo with subtle peaks of poached strawberry sweetness. Light and nimble in the mouth. Can’t pick up much in the way of oak. Sour cherries, fennel bulbs, orange peel and almond skins. Attractive flavours and aromas. Delicate yet prominent acidity and firm, layered raspy-leathery tannin. This site is really proving itself. 92

Region: Pyrenees
Alcohol: 13.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $40
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.outofstepwineco.com

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2012 Madfish Premium Red

imageA blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 7% Tempranillo, 3% Pinot Noir, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot sourced primarily from the Margaret River and the Great Southern regions And no, I did not successfully pick each of the varieties used while tasting.

Generous flavour and value. Fleshy and ripe but has counterpoints in the form of brown leaf, olives and herbs. Black fruits and gum leaf. Mouthfilling with the initial modicum of tannin getting a little grippier in the glass. It’s not an overly structured wine though. The emphasis is on slurpability. Fine drinking at the price. 90

Region: Margaret River, Great Southern, Geographe
Alcohol: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $18
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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2013 Jim Barry The Florita Riesling

imageIs it just me or has the Jim Barry Lodge Hill Riesling stolen the Florita’s thunder of late? No matter, both have a place at my table. And the more approachable Watervale version probably outsells them both.

I reckon this has been released at about the right time. The acidity feels settled if tangy (and there’s been no added acidity for a number of years now). A pretty bouquet; orange blossom and jasmine florals. Lemons over limes with a suggestion of melon rind, a touch of oyster shell and tingling spice to wrap things up. The neutral mineral length and form is impressive as is the sheer conviction through the back-palate. It plays with a straighter bat than the 2013 Lodge Hill. 94+

Region: Clare Valley
Alcohol: 12.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $40
Tasted: April 2014

http://jimbarry.com

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2012 Madfish Riesling

imageVery advanced for a two year-old Riesling. Not necessarily unpleasantly so but the aged characters in the picture are a little blunt…as you might expect.

Marked toast and lanolin. Lime marmalade, baked green apples and Bickford’s Lime Cordial. A very light drizzle of honey. Waxy on the tongue with a degree of breadth. Has some spicy length. Finishes on bath-salts. Drink sooner rather than later. 87

Region: Great Southern
Alcohol: 12.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $18
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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2012 Marchand & Burch Porongurups Chardonnay

imageSterling Chardonnay from the Porongurups subregion of the Great Southern. Deserves to be served in a big burgundy bowl and given time to breathe.

Somewhat coy at first but eventually latent intensity and power come to the fore. Ginger spiced brown pears, white oats, pressed flowers, grapefruit/lemon, hazelnuts and yoghurt. Yes, a shopping list of flavours but I really did enjoy browsing the aisles while tasting this. Becomes irrepressible and quite extroverted as it sits in the glass yet possesses a seam of minerally precision with cleansing length. Superior savoury oak is well matched to the fruit. Texturally mellifluous and mealy. Enthralling.  95

Region: Great Southern
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $73
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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2011 Howard Park Leston Margaret River Shiraz

imageFar plumper and juicier than its Great Southern sibling. It’s a fascinating exercise to taste the two single vineyard wines side by side.

Cuddly plums and blackberry, licorice and a hint of vanilla with regional gum and bay leaf in tow. A ferrous element contributes some gravitas. Only a suggestion of spice. Gravelly tannin and unforced acidity. Not a statuesque wine or one which I would look to cellar myself. I think the wash of ‘open for business’ primary flavours will lend themselves to enjoyment over the next five or so years. 92

Region: Margaret River
Alcohol: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $46
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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2011 Howard Park Scotsdale Great Southern Shiraz

imageI’ve always suspected that there’a a great deal of untapped potential when it comes to Shiraz in the Great Southern. This suave, sophisticated and downright handsome effort from Howard Park does nothing to dissuade me from that opinion.

Savoury and structured with superb shape through the mouth and plentiful depth. Black over red berries, assorted cupboard spices, lavender and pepper alongside blonde pouch tobacco. Possesses an undercurrent of licorice and aniseed tinged herbs. Cedary oak is immaculately pitched and of a very high standard. Fine, tight-knit graphite tannins see the wine out. A stint in a cool, dark place won’t do this any harm whatsoever. 94

Region: Great Southern
Alcohol: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $46
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.burchfamilywines.com.au

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2012 Evans & Tate Metricup Road Cabernet Merlot

imageSoft, regional Margaret River Cabernet Merlot that you’ll probably be able to track down at a less expensive price than the one listed below.

Smells and tastes of roasted capsicum, redcurrants and blackberries with some minty refreshment and olive tapanade depth accompanying generous surface level fruit. Leafy and ever so slightly herbaceous and mossy on the back-palate. Comes to a rather abrupt tannic full stop. Goes alright though. 89

Region: Margaret River
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $24
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.evansandtate.com.au.

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2013 McPherson Chapter Three Chardonnay

imageSweet, oaky Chardonnay from the Strathbogie ranges.

Crème caramel, coconut, figs, peach and pineapple. Creamed rice texture. Toasty, biscuity barrel work. Not my sort of Chardonnay and lacking in the finesse stakes but would make plenty of drinkers happy. 87

Region: Strathbogie Ranges
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $25
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.mcphersonwines.com.au

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2002 Bollinger R.D.

bollinger rd 2002This release marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Bollinger R.D. (recently disgorged). The wine sits on lees for a far longer period of time than any other Bollinger champagne with the concept of “combining a very long period of aging on lees with recent disgorgement, creating a striking contrast between a fresh and lively palate and the complex aromas of an aged vintage.” The bottle I tasted was disgorged October 2013. It’s Extra Brut with a dosage of 3g/l. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.

Very coiled and tight at first, with a markedly fresher and more pure profile than the 2004 La Grande Années tasted alongside it. Indeed Guy de Rivoire seemed anxious to explain that it would open up and gain depth given air – which it did. The initial impression of lemons and citrus blossom slowly give way to honey, orange peel, sea shells, almonds and poached fruits. What sets the wine apart for me is the exquisite acid line, more nuanced phenolics and soaring length. It really does go on to meet the horizon. Depth and complexity aren’t issues and one could wax lyrical with an almost endless array of descriptors but ultimately it’s a very special wine that isn’t easily captured either by words or numbers. 97

Region: Champagne, France
Closure: Cork
Price: $400
Tasted: April 2014

http://www.champagne-bollinger.com/fr_FR m

Posted in Champagne, Chardonnay et al, France, Pinot Noir et al | Tagged | 2 Comments