I’ve been engrossed in moving house this month so less wine than usual. Will be rectifying that this week.
Eden Road The Long Road Canberra Pinot Gris 2016
A ‘ramato’ style skin contact Pinot Gris from Team Eden Road. Light salmon, it has a flourish of pink grapefruit and musk before skin contact grip. The bitterness of the phenolics works nicely with the fruit flourishes, even if you’d like a little more ripeness. Tasty wine though, and I enjoyed a few glasses. Best drinking: 2017-2022. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13%, $28. Would I buy it? I’d share a bottle.
Eldorado Road Quasimodo Northern Victoria Shiraz Durif Nero d’Avola 2014
A bitsa blend with a great name. Mid purple, fuschia, this smells unusual from the get-go. Spearmint, game meats, plum jam. The lot. Drying and mid weight, this seems a little withdrawn and lacks some of the stuffing of the other Eldorado Wines, though the style and the swagger are there in droves. Give this a nap and the cherry juicy fruit underneath may pop out, though for the moment it’s a real mixed bag. Fun though. Best drinking: 2019-2026. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.3%, $28. Would I buy it? I’d drink a glass for sure.
Calabria 3 Bridges Riverina Durif 2014
Always a value performer and ages well too. Now just needs a little more polish to take the next step in acclaim. Typically dark coloured, though this is actually more medium bodied than you’d think. Initially, there is a big attack of sweetly coffeed oak, dark berry fruit and then firm oak tannins. It hovers towards cooked fruit, but the finish doesn’t look cooked, just plummy. A curious hole in the back palate – overcropped fruit perhaps – before a grippy and slightly tart finish. Lots of impact for many dollars, even if subtlety is missing. Best drinking: 2019-2028. 17/20, 90/100. 14.5%, $26. Would I buy it? Not quite.
Flowstone Moonmilk Margaret River Savagnin Gewurtztraminer Sauvignon Blanc 2016
An odd wine, but not a bad one. A whisper of tinned lychee on the nose, but this is otherwise a wine of milky textures, oak lifting up the white peach fruit to something more. Pleasantly textural but good luck picking up a variety. There’s some late richness, but this still remains a bit too much texture without more action. I’d still drink some though, hence the score. Best drinking: 2017-2021. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $22. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass or so.
Head Wines Head Red Barossa GSM 2015
As ever plenty of punch for the dollars, even if this vintage looks a little warmer and less taut. Red cordial and red raspberry. Maybe a little scorched? Warm finish with a bare suggestion of old oak. Packs plenty of punch, complete with tannins that are a bit grippy and warm. You get the feeling this will get better with more time in bottle, though for the moment it’s just a solid drinker. Best drinking: 2018-2025. 17/20, 90/100. 14.5%, $25. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
Pizzini King Valley Prosecco 2016
Serious Prosecco in a light and just fruity style. Gentle acidity and just a little bubblegum fruit. Has great length, if soft. Nice wine. Not profound – the slight sweetness softens that. But pleasant and delicate. Well priced too. Best drinking: 2017-2018. 17/20, 90/100. 11.5%, $21.50. Would I buy it? I’d buy a glass.
Schwarz Barossa Shiraz 2015
Sourced from several vineyards in the Barossa. Every bit the product of a warm vintage it’s a very plump and sweet Shiraz, the glycerol obvious from first whiff. Still has that Schwarz modern classiness, with lots of concentrated plum fruit, even if the tannins are a bit light it’s a warmer, glycerol-sweet wine than I’d usual expect. Easily slurpable though. Best drinking: 2017-2023. 17/20, 90/100. 14.1%, $30. Would I buy it? A glass, yes.
Clover Hill Tasmanian Vintage Brut 2012
Curious wine this. Citrussy and neutral, it is driven by fruit rather than lees richness, with dried lemon and grapefruit. It’s long enough, and some class, but lacks the layers I’d expect for $45 fizz. Best drinking: 2017-2022. 16.8/20, 89/100. 12.5%, $45. Would I buy it? No.
Bremerton Special Release Langhorne Creek Fiano 2016
Fiano unquestionably has potential in Langhorne Creek, even if this Bremerton wine isn’t quite the poster boy. Tangy and tropical, there’s white peach and nectarine here, the fruit quite generous and the acid gritty. I kept waiting for something to fall out beyond some lemony fruit and that aromatic yeast fruitiness, but it’s just a tangy citrussy white wine. Best drinking: 2017-2018. 16.5/20, 88/100. 13%, $24. Would I buy it? No.
Cantina Abbatiello Vagabondo Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Fresh and fruity herbaceous Hill Sauvignon style with tangy early picked fruit. Simple and fresh without remark. Best drinking: 2017. 16/20, 87/100. 12.5%, $20. Would I buy it? No.
Cantina Abbatiello McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012
Soft and plummy, it’s beginning to show a little development before a fleshy palate and gentle finish. No alarms, but pleasant $15 wine. Best drinking: 2017-2019. 16/20, 87/100. 13%, $20. Would I buy it? No.
Hope Estate IPA
Yes, beer makes the roundup this month! I’ve had this Hope Estate IPA a few times now and great to see it in cans. Lots of hops, plenty of bitterness and minimal malt but a slightly tinny finish. Pleasant IPA but needs more substance to score higher. 3 stars. 6%. Would I buy it? I wouldn’t seek it out, but still drinkable.
Stockade Mysterio IIPA
Bizarre. Lots of lemon and wild hoppy flavours with an odd Jaffa sweetness then malt richness. I can’t work out if this is some sort of frankenbeer, but I do know I couldn’t go past a sip of the weird lemony Jaffa bits. No stars. 9%. Would I buy it? Ah no thanks.