Here are a few wines that almost made it in February (and a day late I know).
A few serious disappointments here, and a few solid, simple wines. That Ferngrove was notably unbalanced – what’s happening at Ferngrove? Latest releases seem well off the mark. Anyone know what is happening?
Mitchell Watervale Riesling 2017
A big Riesling but lacks a little subtlety as a result. Broad limey nose, in a ripe and expansive citrus style. That breadth is unusual in 2017. Concentration is great but I can’t help but feel a little more delineation would have made a better wine. Best drinking: Good to go but will live for decades too. 16.8/20, 89/100. 13%, $25. Would I buy it? A glass.
Moorilla Estate Chardonnay Musquè 2016
Curious wine this. A new clone of Chardonnay apparently, It’s light and lean, the varietal character a bit subdued and yet there is this honeysuckle character too. I get that it’s meant to be a subtle style but ultimately it’s a featureless wine. Young vines perhaps? Best drinking: Now. 16.8/20, 89/100. 12.3%, $26.
Ferngrove Dry Style Riesling 2017
Lime juice aplenty in a forward, brisk but soft edged style. It’s a fleshy wine, the acidity offset by an apple juice sweetness. Easy, but where is the definition here? Misses the mark, though refreshing enough. Best drinking: Now. 16.5/20, 88/100. 12%, $20. Would I buy it? A glass.
Hither & Yon Nero d’Avola 2017
Lots of fun here though it’s just a little short on depth.. Bright purple and mega juicy fruit aplenty with a lick of vanilla. Almost overflowing with juicy purple fruit. Palate is all squishy berries in an open and easy form, complete with light tannins. Simple fun. Best drinking: Drink youngish for best results. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $27. Would I buy it? A glass.
I am George Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2016
Ironically one of the better I am George releases. Licoricey black fruit. Immediately you can smell the alcohol. A big juicy palate flush with blackberry fruit, a dash of Langhorne mint and drying tannins. Then alcohol. It’s quite smooth in the scheme of things, a powerful mouthful that just pulls back from excess, despite the alcohol impact. All up handy enough, but would be even better with less alcohol. Best drinking: Will be better in 2 years time then will live. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.8%, $19.99. Would I buy it? No.
Taltarni Fumè Blanc 2016
I’ve liked this alot previously but this release doesn’t quite hit the mark. From the Coal River Valley and Pyreneees. Linear and dry style with a fair dash of herbs – it’s a more crunchy, herbal wine compared to the creamier style of yore. Fresh, but that slight chalky green acidity doesn’t quite gel despite the oak smoothed edges. Pleasant enough and likely better with time. Best drinking: Good now, will live and better next year or two. 16.5/20, 88/100+. 13%, $26. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
Goodman Wines Vermentino 2016
The only Goodman release that doesn’t hit the mark. From the Chalmers Vineyard in Heathcote. Has a distinctive pear nose – ripe and varietal. Sour and neutral palate has acid but it’s also broad and flattens on the finish. Not quite convincing in its expression. Best drinking: Now. 16/20, 87/100. 12.7%, $28. Would I buy it? No.
Old Jarvie The Charitable McLaren Vale Rosè 2017
An old style rosé and the balance isn’t quite there. The market has moved onto drier things. Candied pink lolly nose, a slightly old school, off dry style with pink fruit aplenty and some phenolic grip. Easy appeal but a pretty blunt style in context. Best drinking: Now. 16/20, 87/100. 13%, $25. Would I buy it? No.
Ferngrove Frankland River Shiraz 2015
Ripeness is the issue here. Dark ruby red. Mint and black pepper on the nose, it’s both under and over ripe, the alcohol warm, the tannins astringent and a hole where the fruit should be. It’s just a jumble of a wine and little pleasure. Best drinking: It will be better with time. 15.5/20, 85/100. 14%, $20. Would I buy it? No.
Mitchell Sevenhill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Ugh. A dry and severe, minty style with oak the contributing sweetness. Severe and hard edged style with ferocious tannins that may never resolve. Brutal and little fun. Best drinking: I don’t even know. 15/20, 83/100. 14.5%, $30. Would I buy it? No.
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