Friday, 23 May 2008

Midweek in May

05 Stonier Reserve Pinot: A mass of fruit, oak and tannin at the moment. After a couple of hours it revealed more of its succulence, but if you have any, leave in the cellar for a good lay down. It will be worth it.

05 De Ladoucette Comte Lafond Sancerre 2005: A lovely, beautifully formed Sancerre that is on the lemony side of the spectrum. Definitely a product of a warm yr, but very attractive nonetheless.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

May it wine!

2005 Eldridge Pinot: Lovely stuff, a pure, floral soft Pinot that is lovely to drink right now, but I think another 2-3 yrs will see the oak integrate further & it will be even better. Exceedingly drinkable.

Chandon Rose 2003: A surprise packet - A dry, serious Rose with a fine balance between structure and generosity. Really very good.

Wild Rock Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cab 2004 - This label, like Craggy Range itself, is definitely hit & miss. This was hard, a little green and even after some furious swirling, not showing anything particularly appealing.

Spy Valley Sauvignon 2007: Its hard not to drink this almost ubiquitous stuff. Its clean, fresh & well balanced, showing a good mix of varietal green aromatics and tropical fruit richness. At Billy Kwong it went down a treat. Good value too.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Clover Hill Brut 2003

In the clamour for Champagne, wines like this sometimes get bypassed, with many people not even considering that an Australian Sparkling can ever reach the same heights. Thank God for that (It keeps the price down!).

A fully worked style of sparkling, there is no question that it is not Champagne - the mid palate richness and underlying fruit characters give this away. Instead this is a lovely 'full' flavoured sparkling, with a poised, faintly bready, chunky, leesy nose backed by & a fullness & intensity to the rich & balanced, powerfully flavoured palate that brings you back for glass after glass.
Top stuff.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Battle of Bosworth Shiraz 2006

Heard good things about this Mclaren Vale label and the price was right, so this seemed a perfect thing to try with a simple steak & veges

A rich, deep red colour, with reddy purple edges, it looks good from the start. The nose is an enjoyable experience all of its own - fragrant with kirsch & red berries, edged with faintly coffeed oak that on a second wiff moves into the Bounty bar spectrum - Its a lifted, sweet & inviting nose

The palate follows the nose perfectly - its a rich, rounded mouthful of sweet rich fruit, some integrated vanillan oak and bugger all tannins. It weighs in at 14.5, but the whole palate feels balanced and perfectly varietal with nary a sharp edge in sight.

Ultimately its a fruit & oak wine first and foremost, but it is so well made and so delicous that it makes for a rather tasty, typically Mclaren Vale Shiraz at a very palatable price - From a critical viewpoint it only lacks the structure for higher points.


Saturday, 3 May 2008


For all enquiries, including advertising, please contact me at the address below:

Andrew Graham
18 Beatrice St
Balgowlah Hts
NSW 2093

Please send all samples to this address

Australian Wine Review Sample Policy

1) I'm always keen to try new wines!

2) A sample sent does not automatically warrant a favourable review. I am unashamedly opinionated and call wines as I see them, but I'm still a glass half full man.

3)Whilst I try and review wines promptly sometimes there can be a delay (particulary in university exam times :))
4) Drop me an email before you send samples out just so I can keep track of things. Our postman is notoriously thirsty....

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Quick 2 x 2004 Shiraz at lunch

Two identically priced, Pokolbin vinified and matured, screwcap sealed, 2004 vintage Shiraz.

But thats where the similarities end.

Cockfighters Ghost Mclaren Vale Shiraz 2004 Fruit for this was trucked several thousand kms from Mclaren Vale to the Pokolbin winery, where it was crushed, fermented and matured inn french oak. Surprisingly showing a little browning, this was quite medium bodied, with treacle, ripe red fruits and softening chocolate oak, with just a faint metallic edge to the maturing palate. Rather simple and disappointingly mature. Don't like that metallic edge either. 15/20

Tyrrells Brokenback Shiraz 2004
The label looks plain tacky - Why did they change from the nice, classic Tyrrells label? This looks cheap and does the quality in the bottle no justice. Anyway... This is produced from Hunter fruit, and matured for in 18 months in one year old and older 2000 litre vats: Big beasts that you could hide in if up for some winery hide & seek (assuming they aren't full).
From first whiff its distinctively Hunterish - its all soy sauce, leather, pepper & roast beef - nary a red berry in sight. The palate is medium bodied, tight & savoury with a soft, supple mouthfeel that is very inviting & drinkable. No mistaking the terroir here, its quite distinctive of 04 Hunter Shiraz too. Just 13.2% alc
If you like a bit of Hunter Shiraz, this is an enjoyable & very drinkable red. The vintages on either side are more impressive drinks, but I like that it shows the fruits of the vintage. 18/20