Monday, 10 October 2016

2013 Tim Adams Shiraz - Clare Valley

HERE'S the drop if you like
your reds big and hearty.

ONE TO NOTE: IF you like your reds big and hearty, one to grab (or maybe two or three) is the just-released 2013 Tim Adams Shiraz.

A blend of fruit off three Clare Valley vineyards, this is a gutsy drop that leads on the palate with blackberry and mulberry fruit flavours, some spiciness and hints of mint, and a strong reminder that it spent twenty-four months maturing in American oak.

And surprisingly it's just $25 to enjoy now, or to tuck away in the cellar to around the mid-2020's. If you're going to buy and drink now, match it with a good steak, or with hearty kangaroo or venison dishes.


Wolf Blass 2015 Yellow Label Chardonnay

FROM South Australia and consistently
fruit driven and full-on in flavour.


David Ellis

IT'S over forty years now that Yellow Label has been at the heart of winemaking at Wolf Blass wines, delivering to buyers a range of wines from South Australia that are consistently fruit driven and full-on in flavour.

And amongst latest releases is a 2015 Chardonnay out of a vintage that started warm and dry, and was followed by much-needed rain and ultimately warm days and relatively cool nights. Then a final burst of heat in late January saw an early and condensed harvest, and as a result more of those wonderfully full on flavour wines.

The 2015 Yellow Label Chardonnay particularly benefited from all this, with loads of stone fruits to the fore and nicely integrated oak, and whilst made with food predominantly in mind, it can be equally enjoyed as a glass or three on its own.

And as well, although best enjoyed young and fresh, some short-term cellaring will see it develop further complexity.

Pay $18 and enjoy this one with what its makers suggest – creamy veal Stroganoff with mushrooms and parsley, or pumpkin ravioli with sage butter sauce.

for week beginning 10 October 2016

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Boutique cider producers show off their wares in Melbourne

No fewer than 28 craft cider producers will showcase 112 different ciders at the 2016 Australian Cider Festival to be held in Melbourne on Saturday.

2016 NSW Wine Awards Gold Medals Announced

The finalists of the 2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine Awards have just been revealed, with the talented winemakers of the gold medal winning wines being informed over the long weekend.

This year, (the 21st annual NSW Wine Awards) sees 10 of the State's wine regions raising a glass in celebration of gold medals; with the following breakdown of top scoring wines…

Canberra District – 3, Central Ranges – 1, Cowra – 1, Hilltops – 3, Hunter Valley – 14, Mudgee – 1, Orange – 8, Riverina – 3, Southern Highlands – 1, Tumbarumba – 1

President of the NSW Wine Industry Association and Awards judge Tom Ward said, "The wines vying for top honours are as diverse as we have ever seen, not just by region but by grape variety and style too. It is really exciting to see wines made to the highest standards from varietals such as Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Pinot Gris and Malbec, as well as the more traditional NSW varieties. We also some outstanding examples in the sparkling and sweet wines."

Please see a full list of the wines competing for trophies below. Preliminary results for all entries can also be accessed at .

The producers of these wines have a lot to be happy about. As well as receiving a 2016 gold medal and now being in the running to receive one of the 19 coveted Trophies - including the ultimate title of '2016 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine of the Year' - they will also be honoured at a reception at Government House. This event will be hosted by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd).

Earlier this year the Governor of New South Wales made his first purchase of NSW Wine Awards winning wines (from the 2015 Awards), in keeping with his commitment that only wines made in NSW will be served at events held at Government House.

Announcement of the top 2016 Trophy winners will take place on Friday 28 October at the NSW Wine Awards Presentation Lunch at Pier One Sydney Harbour's newly hatted Gantry Restaurant. His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd) will also be attending the Presentation Lunch as a guest of the NSW Wine Industry Association.

List of gold-medal-winning Finalists  ~   in alphabetical order only …

Angullong 2016 Pinot Grigio, Orange
Ballinaclash 2015 "Joseph" Cabernet Sauvignon, Hilltops
Cellarmasters 2013 Bin Maturation Bennetts Bonanza Semillon, Hunter Valley
Brangayne of Orange 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Orange
Bunnamagoo 2013 Autumn Semillon, Mudgee
Burnbrae 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Orange
Calabria 2015 Private Bin Montepulciano, Riverina
Colmar Estate 2016 Block 6 Riesling, Orange
De Bortoli 2016 Sacred Hill Moscato, Riverina
De Bortoli 2014 Noble One Semillon, Riverina
De Iuliis 2016 Semillon Single Vineyard Love in the Dale, Hunter Valley
De Iuliis 2011 Sparkling Chardonnay, Hunter Valley
Eden Road 2014 'Tumbarumba' Chardonnay, Tumbarumba
First Creek Wines 2014 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay, Hunter Valley
First Creek Wines 2010 Winemakers Reserve Semillon, Hunter Valley
First Creek Wines 2016 SV Murphys Semillon, Hunter Valley
First Creek Wines 2011 Winemakers Reserve Semillon, Hunter Valley
Four Winds Vineyard 2015 Shiraz, Canberra District
Logan 2014 Cabernet Merlot, Orange
Moppity Vineyards 2015 Escallier Shiraz, Hilltops
Moppity Vineyards 2015 Lock & Key Reserve Tempranillo, Hilltops
Mount Majura Vineyard 2015 Tempranillo, Canberra District
Mount Pleasant 2014 Wines 8 Acres Semillon, Hunter Valley
Nick O'Leary 2015 'Bolaro' Shiraz, Canberra District
Pinnaroo 2014 Vintage Cuvee, Cowra
Pokolbin Estate 2014 "Phoenix" Shiraz Tempranillo, Hunter Valley
Rotherwood 2015 Pinot Noir, Southern Highlands
Silkman Wines 2014 Reserve Shiraz Pinot Noir, Hunter Valley
Tamburlaine Wines 2015 Reserve Malbec, Orange
Tulloch 2016 Cellar Door Release Rose Sangiovese, Orange
Tulloch Wines 2016 Cellar Door Release Pinot Gris, Orange
Tyrrell's 2009 Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley
Tyrrell's 2005 Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley
Tyrrell's 2012 Vat 47 Chardonnay, Hunter Valley
Windowrie 2015 The Mill Shiraz, Central Ranges
Wyndham 2009 Black Cluster Hunter Valley Shiraz, Hunter Valley

Monday, 3 October 2016

Squealing Pig 2015 Syrah - Hawke's Bay New Zealand

GREAT match alongside lamb loin
chops topped with a fennel relish.

ONE TO NOTE:  NEW ZEALAND's quirky-named Squealing Pig has released its first ever Syrah, from the 2015 vintage in Hawke's Bay on the east coast of the country's North Island.

The country's oldest wine region dating back to 1851, Hawke's Bay enjoys plenty of sunny days, and a particularly warm 2015 vintage resulted in fruit that year with great concentrations of flavour and ripeness, and resultant wines of wonderful elegance.

Red berries and dark cherry fruit flavours, coupled with dusty tannins in this 2015 Squealing Pig Syrah, make for it being a great match alongside lamb loin chops topped with a fennel relish. Pay $26 at Vintage Cellars.


Logan 2016 Celementine Pinot Gris - NSW Central West

HERE'S a great drop to go with a
charcuterie board or cheese platter.


David Ellis

TO mark the company's 20th vintage, winemaker Peter Logan has released a very special 2016 Pinot Gris from his Logan Wines at Orange in NSW's Central West.

Very special because firstly this wine has an unusual orange hue to it from including the grape skins in the ferment, something that is normally done only with red wines not with whites, and secondly because he's named it Clementine – after little daughter of he and wife Hannah (who is also Logan Wines' General Manager.)

"We named it Clementine because like its namesake this wine has a vibrant spark to it, is a little unorthodox, makes an impression, demands your attention, is pretty, plus it's also complex and it puts a smile on your face," Peter says.

And he says that including the skins in the ferment has given this Pinot Gris a fuller range of complex flavours than normal, a tang on the palate, and a crunchy finish from the tannins released into the wine from the skins.

"The flavours are more savoury than traditional Pinot Gris, and with the tannin cleaning the palate it makes for a great drop with a charcuterie board or cheese platter," Peter adds. And we like it too for its good-value price tag of $23.

 for week beginning 03 October 2016

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Australian Sweet Wine Challenge 2016 Results

Saddler’s Creek Wines
2013 Botrytis Semillon


Top Sweet Wines up a Creek with a Trophy for a paddle!

The 11th annual Australian Sweet Wine Challenge (ASWC) presentation dinner was held in Griffith NSW tonight (Friday 30 September) to unveil this year’s top sweet and semi-sweet wines.

As in previous years, the wines competing to get crowned the best within their style came from all over the country and were crafted from a wide range of grape varieties, including Semillon, Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Muscadelle, Taminga, Moscato, Verdelho, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and blends of the former varietals.

The expert panel of judges - led by Chair of Judges, wine journalist, sommelier and consultant, Sophie Otton – agreed that the quality across the board was very high, with 83% of ASWC entrants receiving a medal. Sophie Otton commented, “As ever, there were some superb examples of sweet and semi-sweet wines entered; culminating with an exemplary Museum Wine Class that always serves as a reminder of how glorious these wines can be.”

Despite the diversity on offer at the 2016 ASWC, when push came to shove (by some very narrow margins) it was the Riverina and Semillon which shone on the night, collecting the majority of the Trophies. Sophie said, “This result endorses one of the local strengths, something for which the Riverina region can feel extremely proud: producing Australian benchmarks of a wine style that is not only a labour of love, but extremely difficult to execute well."

The Trophy for Best Sweet Wine with a Fruity Style was won by Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon from the Riverina. Another local winery, Lillypilly Estate Wines,

claimed the title of Best Sweet Wine from Other Varieties & Blends with their Lillypilly Estate Wines 2015 Noble Blend and the Trophy for Best Mature Sweet Wine went to the

De Bortoli Wines 2008 Noble One.

And the ultimate title of 2016 Australian Sweet Wine of the Year went to … Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon, Riverina

Sophie Otton said of the winning wine, “A deserving winner. This wine showed all the attributes one hopes to find in these wines and here every element was on song; freshness, complexity, richness and intensity.”

So experience the sweeter side of life this year with wines from the 2016 Australian Sweet Wine Challenge. Beautiful things really do come in little packages!

  • Best Sweet, Floral Style ~ Brown Brothers 2013 Patricia Noble Riesling, King Valley
  • Best Sweet, Fruity Style ~ Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon, Riverina
  • Best Sweet, Other Varieties & Blends ~ Lillypilly Estate Wines 2015 Noble Blend, Riverina
  • Best Museum Wine ~ De Bortoli Wines 2008 Noble One, Riverina
  • 2016 Australian Sweet Wine of the Year ~ Saddler’s Creek Wines 2013 Botrytis Semillon


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