Aramis Vineyards Shiraz 2003
A gorgeous purple red from a boutique McLaren Vale producer that reflects a certain development yet with some youthful exuberance. Really lovely aromatic luscious blackberry emanates with a certain richness. Fruit spice along with ripe plum follows reflecting the fruit driven style of wine it is. The oak and the fruit are well integrated resulting a well rounded mouth feel of black fruit flavours with smooth fine tannins and a long luscious finish of chocolate. Should cellar at least 5 plus years and try with oven roasted lamb shanks. At around $23, this is a very good well priced food friendly wine.
Bremerton Special Release Malbec 2004
This wine is a limited release one that has been crafted by winemaker Rebecca Wilson and is the result of an outstanding parcel of Malbec fruit that caught her eye from their Langhorne Creek vineyards in South Australia. Malbec is a little known French varietal here in Australia and has traditionally only been used for blending. Rebecca is seeking to redefine its use here with a standalone varietal. The wine just absolutely emits gloriously intense aromas of violets, lots of them. Floral and fragrant, it also exudes ripe cherry and deep dark plums with an intoxicating aromatic richness. The nose is just beautifully vibrant and fresh. What follows is smooth well rounded succulent fruit on the palate, secondary characters of chocolate and coffee which leads to well integrated oak and a soft velvet finish. Drinking perfectly with lasagna, and over the next 5 years. Around $25.
De Bortoli Sero Chardonnay Pinot Grigio 2005
Coming from the cool climate King Valley area of Victoria, this is an interesting blend of two distinct white varietals that on first reflection shouldn't really blend that well together. That's until the De Bortoli's got a hold of it. Youthful fresh vibrant greeny straw in colour, there follows an array of fruit driven aromas such as pear, pineapple, honeysuckle and guava. All of this is delivered with elegancy and structure, there also being minerally slaty features to the wine that helps exhibit the purity of the fruit. Soft and well rounded, the wine is easy drinking. Try it with a marinated bbq chicken salad. Around $14.
Devils Lair Cabernet Merlot 2003
Emanating from the Margaret River of Western Australia, this is up there as one of the best red blends in the country. A long reputation for a high quality dimension to their wines, Devils Lair has given this one the works in winemaking treatment. Deep garnet red with youthful crimson hues, the aromas that follow are complex to say the least. You get spicy bacon, charred oak, spiced plum, broodingly dark blackcurrant and an good strong earthiness, all enmeshed together to produce a savoury yet elegant class of wine. Vibrant in its fruit character projection, it delivers a soft full bodied well rounded set of flavours that are very well integrated. Dark berry fruit, chocolate mocha with deep seated plums flow with a long strong savoury finish. Good firm oak packing a punch along with fine powdery tannins support the fruit dimension of the wine, particularly the forward Cabernet features of it. It has at least 10 years plus in cellaring potential. Around $58. An excellent red still in its infancy despite its drinkability. Try with roast lamb.
Dowie Doole Hooley Dooley 2004
Go on repeat after me - Dowie Doole Hooley Dooley, Dowie Doole Hooley Dooley - have another glass then try it again - yer not that easy hah but lots of fun nonetheless - and all the hallmarks of a great drinking game (not that I am condoning excess!). These guys have come up with a fun easy drinking not too serious red blend that is just right. A blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz and Petit Verdot and well oaked and having undertaken malolactic fermentation, the wine is very drinkable and well made. It is vibrant and fresh and the purity of the fruit is really good, youthful and upfront. A range of dark berry fruit ensues on the nose and delivers integrated smooth velvety soft flavours with a persistent length of finish. A very good easy drinking wine for around $15. Will hold 3-4 years and just perfect with some roast beef.
Jeanneret Riesling 2005
There are high expectations of 2005 Clare Valley Riesling. This one by Jeanneret helps maintain that standard. This is classic Clare Riesling from an outstanding vintage that has been crafted beautifully. A vibrant youthful lemon straw colour with green tinges, the wine resonates of lemon and lime citric orchards. Fresh and uplifting, fragrant and aromatic. Intense and juicy both in aroma and palate delivery, the wine has both elegancy and yet also depth of flavour. Fruit driven, well rounded in mouth feel and a glorious finish of fresh acidity, it has cellaring potential of 7-8 years and eminent drinkability with a mixed seafood platter. Coupled with a bargain price of about $15, this is top quality stuff.
Kirrihill Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2005
The Adelaide Hills cool climate region of South Australia is increasingly being renown for producing some of Australia's best Sauvignon Blanc. What makes this one special is both its high quality and its reasonable price. What you get here is a pale greeny straw young wine that is full of complex aromas and upfront in its presentation. A mix of tropical fruit, asparagus, gooseberry and a hint of capsicum, means it could be mistaken for a Kiwi cousin. The intensity and purity of the fruit is mind-blowing. Its mouth feel is luscious and succulent tropical fruit ridden with crisp clean acidity that balances and keeps in harmony the fruit component of the wine. A lingering finish follows making it a memorable drinking experience. Buy up at around $15, this is very good stuff.
Lillypilly Estate Red Velvet 2005
A glorious deep red colour with purple hints of youthful fruit. A delightful light savoury sweet red style of wine that just exudes lovely bubblegum strawberry and raspberry fruit. Luscious and smooth in delivery, you get fresh and lively well rounded flavours, fruit driven and lingering long with a good finish that provides a just right level of residual sweetness. Value at around $14. Drinking beautifully now with lamb korma.
Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
This wine is made by respected winemaker Kym Tolley from the Coonawarra Region of South Australia. The Phoenix name in this wine recognises the first winemaking company purchased by Douglas Austral Tolley, Kym's great grand father, in 1888. Kym has continued the unbroken family winemaking tradition, establishing Penley Estate in 1988 where he has set out to create an approachable drinkable red wine that reflects the unique characteristics of Coonawarra, of balance and the ability to mature well. This wine, unsurprisingly, had good beginnings. A glorious purple garnet red colour reflects its youth on one hand but some development on the other. You get lots of ripe upfront deep red berry fruit with hints of spice and nutmeg. It flows onto the palate with a smooth rich character, fleshy with rich plum and strong blackcurrant flavours that just linger. The oak is seamless, there and letting the fruit do the talking maintaining that sense of balance. The structure is elegant yet substantial. Drinking very well right now for up to 4-6 years, the wine will go well with lasagna. At around $25, this is an excellent value Cabernet from the Coonawarra region.
Penfolds Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2005
Gorgeous light pale straw. The wine reflects its cool climate origins of Southern NSW. A lovely quite lifted citrus lemon tangy nose emits hints of lime zest, crisp apple and ever so subtle tropical fruits. Quite an elegant wine with a tight structure. This youthfulness transforms well delivering soft full fruit flavours that mesh beautifully together and deliver a creamy texture of mouth feel on the finish but with plenty of fruit acidity to support the classic varietal flavours. Drinking very well now this is an excellent wine that should cellar upwards of 5 years plus. Have with oysters mornay. Around $35 at the top end of the market.
Stonier Pinot Noir 2004
Good Pinot Noir at a reasonable price can often be an oxymoron. It is a really hard grape to grow and produce and then deliver at a wine consumer friendly price. Stoniers have take up the challenge of this now for quite a few years and as far as I am concerned are up there amongst the top producers in Australia not only for their ability to deliver quality and premium wines varietally, but to be able to do so on a consistent basis. This year's example demonstrates the quality of fruit that is on offer and can delivered in a Pinot for around $25. You get upfront fresh and fragrant berry fruit aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Secondary characters of gameyness and truffles ensue adding to the quality dimension. The fruit and oak are seamlessly put together delivering silky fine fruit laden features, well balanced with lively acidity to support them. Really nice drinking with 2/3 years cellaring capacity. Have with bbq Moroccan lamb fillets. This is one of the better Pinot's I have tasted of late.
Paul Ippolito writes about wine for publications across Australia, overseas and the Internet. He speaks on radio and writes a free monthly wine newsletter for consumers. Paul can be contacted by email at Paul_Ippolito@hotmail.com where you can also request to be placed on his mailing list for his newsletter.
or visit his website at: www.paulippolito.com.au
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