Monday 24 July 2017

Patritti Lot Three Shiraz - McLaren Vale

GREAT match with a winter's beefy stew
or roast beef with a pepper sauce.

ONE TO NOTE: TUCKED away on a quiet street in suburban Dover Gardens in Adelaide is historic Patritti winery and cellar door, the last of what were once many such family-owned suburban wineries in the city.

Established in 1926 they've just released a very more-ish 2014 Shiraz made at Dover Gardens from fruit hand-picked off Patritti's Lot Three Elliott Road vineyard at Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. With typical McLaren Vale Shiraz black fruits and dark chocolate notes, this one's backed-up with blue fruits and savoury elements that make it quintessentially Blewitt Springs.

At a recommended $35 it's a great match with a winter's beefy stew or with roast beef and a pepper sauce.

24 July 17

Stockman’s Ridge 2015 Pinot Noir - Orange

IF you like oven-baked salmon fillets,
here's a perfect pairing.


David Ellis

JONATHON Hambrook is a pretty harsh taskmaster when it comes to the Pinot Noir vines on his Stockman's Ridge vineyard at Orange in the high, cool climate Central West of NSW.

But being that harsh taskmaster has paid off, with vines planted closer together (around just half the norm in distance between each vine,) pruning reducing each vine to just one cordon (the arm of the vine extending away from the trunk,) and each of those cordons being kept to eight spurs from which fruit will grow.

"This means that in a good year we're only asking each vine to produce eight excellent bunches of fruit after its 50% thinning rate, and in a bad year we can drop that crop further to ensure the vine produces just four really good bunches," Jonathon says..

"So it means that essentially we value quality over quantity, with each vine having to do less, and putting all its energy into the fruit and not the vine itself."

Jonathon took inspiration for this from many vineyard visits to France, particularly the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions, where he saw the advantage of such vineyard management.  And as Pinot Noir is one of the better candidates for high density planting, it's all come together very well on his Stockman's Ridge.

A now-available 2015 Stockman's Ridge Handcrafted Pinot Noir has lovely forest floor and berry aromas plus hints of peppery sweet spice, and on the palate blackberries and plums that coat the mouth beautifully.

Pay $30 and pair perfectly with oven-baked salmon fillets.

 24 July 17

Monday 17 July 2017

Logan Wines’ 2013 Apple Tree Flat Merlot - NSW Central West

ONE TO NOTE: THOSE who compile the figures tell us that the second-most popular red wine in the world today after Cabernet Sauvignon is Merlot, with sales in Australia putting us amongst those making it the current hit that it is.

With a velvety softness on the palate and less tannin than Cabernet, Merlot has an ability to prove a great match with just about any food – just dodge anything highly spiced, or fish or leafy greens.

This wine proves perfect with grilled lamb chops, roast chicken, pork loin with a mushroom sauce, tomato-loaded Italian dishes, casseroles it can also be tossed into during cooking, barbecued steak, and beef or veal burgers.

And one label ideal with all of these is Logan Wines' 2013 Apple Tree Flat Merlot from the Central West of NSW, where altitude and cool climate see it develop abundant yet soft flavours of blackberry, plum and black olive, and which winemaker Peter Logan sums up as "a deliciously fruity, soft and fun mealtime drop."

Only query is the price – some buffs wonder if at just $13 it's not perhaps a little under-valued?

[] AT just $13 a bottle, some Merlot buffs wonder if this one's perhaps a little under-valued considering its quality and flavour.


Tim Adams’ 2017 Clare Valley Pinot Gris


David Ellis

THERE were plenty of reasons for smiles in South Australia's Clare Valley this 2017 vintage, amongst grape-growers because of highest prices they'd enjoyed for years – coupled with above-average quantities of fruit off their vines – and amongst winemakers in having fruit they've lauded as the best in three decades.

Plus there'll be smiles to come amongst wine buffs too, as the outstanding wines of this vintage start coming onto the market.

And one you'll find already on the shelves is Tim Adams' 2017 Clare Valley Pinot Gris, a drop of outstanding structure, flavour and acid profile, and reflecting a vintage that Tim ranks in the Top Five in his 40-odd years as a winemaker and vigneron.

With rich and robust fruit characters on the palate and bright acidity, pair this one with fish, prawns, lobster or oven-roasted chicken.

And at $22, there's reason to smile at the price, too.

WINESPEAK:  When a winemaker refers to a wine as being "Big" they're not referring to the bottle size, but to the wine being high in alcohol content, or in intensity of flavour.

[] HERE'S a drop that makes for a great pairing on the table with fish, prawns or lobster, or with oven-roasted chicken.

Friday 14 July 2017

Ross Hill's Phil Kerney - pick a pair of Pinnacle pinots

By John Rozentals

I wrote a few weeks ago about Orange's Brangayne having two vineyards — one decidedly higher and cooler than the other.

They're certainly not the only ones in the district adopting this approach. Ross Hill also has two vineyards — their 'home' vineyard at Wallace Lane, high on the slopes of Mt Canobolas, and the Griffin Road Vineyard, on the milder north-western edge of Orange as you head along the Mitchell Highway towards Molong and Dubbo.

If winemaker Phil Kerney didn't have the Griffin Road Vineyard at his disposal, the only red in Ross Hill's premium Pinnacle Series would be a pinot noir.

That's the only red variety that Phil and Ross Hill's owners reckon will ripen at Wallace Lane, and hence it's the only red variety planted there.

But the Pinnacle Series label carries four reds, of which the 2015 vintages have just been released — the two I've reviewed here plus a 2015 Shiraz and a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter already having sold out.

They formed a very solid quartet, which will expand to a quintet if Phil Kerney gets his way, by the addition of a pinot noir made 100 per cent from the Griffin Road Vineyard.

That should make for a highly interesting comparative tasting — two pinots made by the same hands from vineyards separated by a couple of hundred feet in altitude.


CAPTION: Phil Kerney … wants a pair of pinots in Ross Hill's Pinnacle Series.

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Cabernet Franc

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Cabernet Franc ($45): Meets all the Pinnacle Series requirements by being made 100 per cent from a single estate-owned vineyard, in this case Griffin Road, a vineyard I often pass on trips between my Molong home and Orange. Cabernet franc is a bit of a freak at Griffin Road, easily qualifying for its own individual guernsey. I really like the power and length of this wine, as well as its perfumed, herby characters. Visit

- John Rozentals

Huntington Estate 2016 Chardonnay - Mudgee, NSW


Huntington Estate 2016 Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay ($24): The Mudgee district has a proud history with chardonnay and, in fact, claims to have been the birthplace for the variety in Australia. This is a richly flavoured, complex dry white which spent eight months sitting on yeast lees in barrel. Its fruit flavours are primarily in the stonefruit sector of the flavour wheel but there's a hint of old-fashioned chardonnay oakiness there as well … and I like that. Visit

- John Rozentals

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Pinot Noir - Orange, NSW

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Pinot Noir ($40): Made from 100 per cent Wallace Lane fruit, this is a quintessential cool-climate pinot, showing subtle flavours and a medium-bodied, sinewy structure rather than beefy muscle. It's a spicy, food-friendly wine that I'd love to try in Beijing or an Australian Chinatown with the best Peking Duck. Visit