It’s that time again.
The following wines didn’t quite make it onto the full site this month, and I’m still living out of a suitcase to complicate matters.
Yelland & Papps Devote Roussanne 2015
Greenock Roussanne eh? Yelland & Papps give the variety a red-hot go with some excellent handling. Wild fermented, basket-pressed, and matured in 29% new oak before bottling unfined and unfiltered. 200 dozen made.
It delivers a quite complex wine, too. Straw yellow, this shows lemon butter oak and lees character with varietal and red apple in the background. There’s plenty going on here, but the wine seems more driven by barrel and yeast character than fruit, freshened up by sour acidity on the finish. Much going on and clearly quality wine, but could it be even better with less? Best drinking: 2016-2019. 17/20, 90/100. 12.5%, $40. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass.
Dodgy Bros The Archetype McLaren Vale Grenache 2014
Great packaging on this Grenache. Sexy embossed bottles look great (when done well). Likey.
This Grenache sure packs a punch too. Bright ruby with the barest hint of orange at the edge, this ripe red has treacle and red fruit aplenty, even if it gets a bit heavy going through the middle with cough medicine and bitumen before a slightly raw palate and warm finish. The oak helps lift this up, and concentration is excellent, but the overall style is just a bit heady to be great, despite the obvious length and breadth. Best drinking: 2020-2030. 16.8/20, 89/100. 14.3%. Would I buy it? A glass would do.
Neudorf Moutere Riesling Dry 2015
Dry, yet this is better described as slightly off-dry. Handpicked from Rosie’s Block in Neudorf’s Moutere Vineyard. Just 750 cases produced.
Green straw coloured, this hits with a big punch of grapefruit, the flavours following suit with more grapefruit and then preserved lemon for good measure. The citrus drive is admirable but the acidity here feels tart and the sweetness a jarring note on top. Still, it packs in some flavour even if the balance is not perfect. Lots of drive though. Best drinking: 2016-2022. 16.8/20, 89/100. 12%, $28. Would I buy it? Not quite.
Scotchmans Hill Bellarine Peninsula Shiraz 2013
Wild fermented and spent 16 months in barrel.
The challenge here is simply about the vintage, with this showing some warmth around the edges. Dark red with just a little purple, the nose is driven by stewed plum and raspberry jam with a little treacle. Plush and full, fleshy and drying, this is anything but classic Bellarine Shiraz with really sharp, hard alcohol on the finish. Stewed, though the grip and depth of flavour lifts it up from ignominy. Best drinking: 2018-2024. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $39. Would I buy it? Not quite.
Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2015
Always good honest wines these Yalumba Y series. This is easily the best value Viognier in Australia too.
Importantly, it smells varietal, with fruit aromatics tending towards the peach and apricot riper end of the Viognier spectrum. The juicy palate has plenty of peach skin fruit, before a notably phenolic finish. It’s no viscous and textural Condrieu-lite, but this carries plenty of Viognier flavour, just needing more weight to This is better than plenty of Viognier twice the price. Smart value pick, needing just more concentration for higher points. Best drinking: 2016-2017. 16.5/20, 88/100. 13.5%, $12.99. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass or two.
Alkoomi Black Label Shiraz Viognier 2014
Estate grown Shiraz with 7% Viognier co-fermented. 20% new oak for 12 months. Lots of winemaking for $24!
Plum red coloured, the alcohol wafts up at you, alongside mint, cooked plum and red fruit. Cooked palate looks a bit warm though lifted up by sweet vanilla oak. Just a fraction overripe and the mintiness is a bit distracting, but still this packs in some flavour! Very well priced. Best drinking: 2018-2024. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $24. Would I buy it? Not quite, but I’d recommend.
Soul Growers Wild Iris Eden Valley Chardonnay 2015
Eden Valley fruit.
Ripe nectarine Chardonnay flavour, but it’s not much more than that. Just nectarine with a whisper of wood. Palate starts tight but fills out from there. Broad and uninteresting, even though there is some concentration. Best drinking: 2016-2018. 16/20, 87/100. 13.5%, $25. Would I buy it? No.
Lerida Estate Lake George Pinot Noir 2014
As ever, the question has to be asked about whether the Lerida Estate site is suited to Pinot Noir. Wines like this suggest that it is probably better off with Shiraz, or Sangiovese. Or something.
Mid ruby, this has a lifted and slightly gamey nose. Sappy and slightly astringent palate with a firm and warm end. Not much joy with this slightly hard wine, even though this has some flavour. Next. Best drinking: 2016-2022. 15.5/20, 86/100. 14.1%, $26.50. Would I buy it? No.
Henschke Tilly’s Vineyard White 2015
‘Vineyard’ is a misnomer as this comes from the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills. It’s an odd wine too. Probably better drinking a year ago.
No varieties listed on the label. Green straw. A little Sem and maybe Sauv? A pretty neutral wine this with a broad lemon grassiness and a lightly bitter finish. Fruit is ripe enough but a wine of simple drinking fair and little else. Best drinking: 2016. 15/20, 85/100. 13%, $20. Would I buy it? No.