A few of the wines to have passed the tasting bench this month that didn’t quite make it onto the full site.
La Bise Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris 2016
From the Kozned Vineyard in Gumeracha. Light pear juice with phenolics driving the palate and a drying finish. Has some ripe fruit and zippy finish, with good length. Drinkable. Best drinking: 2017-2019. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $22. Would I buy it? A glass.
Mount Avoca Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
A fraction stewed? Really drying and a little minty but the dark berries go on for days. The hints of astringency derail, but the length is excellent. Best drinking: 2019-2027. 17/20, 90/100. 13.5%, $37.95. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass.
Taltarni Fume Pyrenees Blanc 2015
Fume is a much maligned style. This is pretty good too. White pepper and creamed veges on the nose, the palate really tangy and dry. Lots of acid here – a big wallop. Has plenty of flavour though and good length. An obvious style, but carries weight and power. Good. Best drinking: 2017-2020. 17/20, 90/100. 13.5%, $24. Would I buy it? I’d go a few glasses.
Toppers Barrel Fermented New England Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Creamed pyrazine nose. Another fume and super lifted. After the asparagus and cream, the palate is just a little lean and very dry. Refreshing, sure, but too far down the firmly acidic route. Intense though, and deserves acclaim because of it. Best drinking: 2017-2019. 17/20, 90/100. 11.7%, $30. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass, not sure I could go more.
Yalumba Eden Valley Roussanne 2015
Unquestionably some barrel ferment character here, though my guess is old oak. It’s more texture than genuinely varietal, some nutty barrel character adding white to the fruit. Has some flesh though, even if it’s a bit ‘nothing’. That clever texture after a while presents this as a pretty handy white, if somewhat mono-dimensional and a bit simple wine. Length is v.good though. Best drinking: 2017-2020. 17/20, 90/100. 12.5%, $24. Would I buy it? I’d drink a few glasses for sure.
O’Leary Walker Polish Hill River Riesling 2016
Odd wine this. Picked too early? Tart, despite the flash of lime cordial on the nose. Palate is overtly lean and lacks much fruit to balance out the firm acidity. Missing the flavour in ’16. 16/20, 87/100. 11.5%, $25. Would I buy it? No.
Gartelmann Joey Orange Merlot 2014
Spends 14 months in a mix of old and new oak. Oak sticks out oddly here – all caramel chew flavours and gives a misplaced sweetness and tannin. Still, it also rounds out the palate, gently smooth the mid-weight plum fruit flavours. Unusual lack of flavour given the ripeness, complete with mint edges. Not quite convincing. Best drinking: 2019-2024. 16/20, 87/100. 14.7%, $25. Would I buy it? No.
View Road Wines Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2013
Light gold coloured, this is quite forward and not going to get any better, the Golden Gaytime flavours tending towards sour lemon toast and an edge of decay. Plenty of flavour and honeycomb richness, but it’s too fat to enjoy. Best drinking: 2016. 15.5/20, 86/100. 13.3%, $37. Would I buy it? No.