Wine Talk, August 2006

I often get asked what is or are my favourite wine/s. People are always fascinated to know what someone like me who has supposedly that little bit extra of wine knowledge enjoys drinking in the hope of them discovering something new. Well I'm here to tell you it's not that simple folks. Why, because my favourite wines, wine styles and varieties change often, very often in fact - almost daily sometimes. How is this you ask? - well that's the beauty of wine - new styles, producers, ranges, varietals and vintages abound upon us with exciting regularity - all affecting what we like and enjoy one day and look forward to again the next. Indeed spoilt we are by the vast array of wines we get to try and savour. So each day in the world of wine can be very different to the next and so on. But you must have a favourite wine amongst all these I hear you asking - come on tell us! Well quite simply, the next one is the answer - and this is coupled with all the expectation, anticipation and excitement that every bottle of wine is capable of bringing to its drinker!

Oh and by the way here are some wines I've really enjoyed over the past month!

Rating Scale - Points Out Of 100.

98-100 - Exceptional
95-97 - Superb
91-94 - Excellent
88-90 - Very Good
85-87 - Good

Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 2004

This wine is the jewel in the crown of the Brokenwood stable of wines. It is also the benchmark for Hunter Valley Shiraz. Pretty high expectations exist for this wine year in year out. Coming from a difficult vintage, this one is a more forward and advanced style of Hunter Shiraz. A glorious crimson violet ripe plum colour. Classy, gorgeous and impressive in stature, vibrant yet also intense. Polished delicious fruit characters - blackberry, liquorice, touch of red earth and red cherries abound. Lively yet soft acidity accompanies the fruit. The black fruits are lingering in length and quite seamless in mouthfeel. The oak is totally integrated with smooth superfine tannins resulting in quite an elegant wine. About $100. Drink 2006-2019 - 94/100.

Casella Wines Yendah Viognier 2005

It's great to see a winery proclaiming the Riverina regional name upon its bottles so prominently. And what a better wine than this to show it off upon as well. Classically and typically varietal, this lemony yellow wine has a gorgeous aromatic vibrantly spicy nose. Think orange blossom, perfumed musk, pears and apricots. Pure, fragrant, obvious and delicious fruit flavours flow. Fresh, crisp and lively acidity support the fruit. Yummy and mouth-watering resulting in a well rounded yet also stylish wine that delivers a long finish. Try it with chicken and avocado salad. A very good wine that I really enjoyed drinking a few glasses of. Around $16 - 89/100.

Charles Melton Rose Of Virginia 2006

A deep dark cherry red Rose` from this Barossa Valley producer. Deliciously medium dry - lusciously gorgeous strawberries, raspberries and cherry aromas. A slight sweetness of ripe fruits to the nose - developing quite intensely. An ample bodied Rose` follows - indeed one that will keep even the Shiraz drinkers happy. Smooth and lively with a well rounded mouthfeel. Try with Thai style grilled octopus salad. Around $25. 91/100.

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2005

A wine that is light purple crimson with garnet red hues from this quality Yarra Valley producer. All cherry, strawberry and cranberry on the nose with hints of raspberry and violets. Sweet vanillin oak nuances also ensue. A vibrant wine with polished delicious fruit - fragrant with soft acidity. Lean bodied, silky tannins with exotic spices such as cinnamon. A well rounded mouthfeel follows. Drink 2006-2010. About $25. 90/100.

Devils Lair Chardonnay 2004

A lovely brilliant mid yellow colour. Powerfully complex and classy in aromatics. Vibrant and intense varietal fruit characters ensue - classic peach, melon and a touch of citrus. Soft smooth well rounded acidity supports the fruit providing a very good balance. Nice lees characters with the oak delivering vanillin nuances and a lovely nuttiness to the wine's finish. Delicious to drink and a very sound Chardonnay from this Margaret River producer. Drink 2006-2009. Around $40. 93/100.

Five Geese McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004

A gorgeous crimsony purple coloured wine that is still very youthful and fresh. The nose flows with uplifted violets, sour red cherries and ripe plums. Vibrant and classy in its presentation. Elegant polished persistent fruit ensues - a touch spicy as well as a hint of savoury feature on the palate. Think black liquorice, charred plums, sour cherry with earthy overtures with an impressive length of finish and superfine tannins. A stylish drop. Drink 2006-2012 - $25. 89/100.

Kahurangi Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2005

This wine emanates from the Waimea Plains area of the Nelson region on the northern part of the South Island of New Zealand. Youthfully lemony greeny straw, it is pure and classically varietal in aromas. Gooseberry, herbaceousness, asparagus and a touch of capsicum all ensue. Quite polished and vibrant fruit with a fair level of concentration. Clean, crisp and lively acidity supports the fruit which is quite citrine on the palate with a gorgeous but firm backbone. An extended length follows with a long aftertaste. Have it now with some smoked trout fillets. Well priced at $25. 91/100.

Mitolo Jester McLaren Vale Shiraz 2005

An inky bright purple young fresh and vibrant wine. Lashings of sweet dark liquorice with good cedary oak and coconut and spicy overtones. Deep, rich and promising. Classic blackcurrants, blueberries as well as a savoury dimension. Dark fruits follow which are well pronounced on the palate. Fine grainy tannins as well along with a good length. An excellent food wine, try it with braised lamb shanks. Value at around $28. Drink to 2015. 92/100.

Nugan Estate King Valley Frascas Lane Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2005

A very easy drinking white wine. Citrussy lemon and lime with lovely light tropical fruit notes. Greeny straw youthfulness in colour. All crisp and fresh in presentation and acidity. Soft and well rounded in the mouthfeel bringing out herbaceous and gooseberry notes. Drinking 2006-2007. Try it with smoked trout. Around $20. 89/100.

Port Phillip Estate Chardonnay 2004

This is just a beautiful Chardonnay from this high quality Mornington Peninsula producer. Lemony straw, it exudes elegance from the first pour. Classically varietal with gorgeous tight aromas of peach, melon and a hint of citrus zest. A complex wine, seamless in presentation with luscious fruit and young fresh acidity. A seriously impressive wine that lingers long, is well balanced and has integrated oak along with cashew and vanillin nuances. Just a pleasure to drink. Try it with fresh king prawns. Drink 2006- 2013. Around $30. 94/100.

Primo Estate La Biondina Colombard Sauvignon Blanc 2006

A brilliant pale straw. Fresh and aromatic, gorgeously impressively vibrant. Joe Grilli does it again with this polished number that is just delicious. Pure fragrant fruit with soft lively acidity. Fresh, tangy tropical fruit nuances with lychees and guavas. Mouth-watering flavours, a stylish wine with sweet ripe fruit abounding and a long lingering length. Seamless in palate delivery. An excellent wine to savour now. Around $19 and lovely to have with salt and pepper calamari and prawns. Drink 2006-2008. 93/100.

Red Nectar Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

This is a stunning Barossa Valley wine made by Troy Kalleske grown on the estate of Tammy Schutz. A bright crimson gloriously purple red colour puts you on notice to something special. Classy vibrant and impressive upon opening up. Spicy intense red fruits - ripe plums, raspberries, luscious blackberries and sweet red cherries. Delicious, pure and well balanced on the palate with concentrated fruit. A stylish well rounded seamless wine with an extended finish, integrated lightly spiced oak and smooth velvety tannins. Drink 2006-2015 plus. A superb wine at a superb price of $25. 95/100.

Shaw and Smith Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2006.

Sauvignon Blanc lovers please take note. Go and buy a bottle of this now even before you finish reading this. This is a benchmark Australian Sauvignon Blanc. A glorious youthful watery white pale straw colour, the wine exudes purity as well as ripeness of tropical fruits with passionfruit, guava, lychees and gooseberry. All of this is delivered with class and elegance. The aromas are just magnificent. Lively fresh crisp acidity supports the fruit and provides a beautiful finish which is soft, long and lingering. It is just seamless in the mouthfeel - again as I said this is benchmark stuff. Around $25. 94/100.

TarraWarra Pinot Noir 2003

This is the top shelf Pinot Noir from this well known and respected Yarra Valley producer. It shows a rich crimson purple youthfulness as you pour it into the glass. Ripe rich spicy plums emanate from it as do deep dark sour cherries. Splendid fresh acidity supports the ripe fruit. A touch of game, truffle and leather adds to the complexity of it all. Smooth, luscious and seamless oak integration follows with a good tannin structure. An extended length of finish results in an excellent well balanced wine well suited to Peking duck. Drink 2006-2012. About $45. 91/100.

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 where you can also request to be placed on his mailing list for his newsletter. or visit his website at:

2007 Reviews

Wine Talk - January 2007
Wine Talk - February 2007
Wine Talk - March 2007
Wine Talk - April 2007

2006 Reviews

Wine Talk - January 06
Wine Talk - February 06
Wine Talk - March 06
Wine Talk - April 06
Wine Talk - May 06
Wine Talk - June 06
Wine Talk - July 06
Wine Talk - August 06
Wine Talk - September 06
Wine Talk - October 06
Wine Talk - November 06
Wine Talk - December 06

2005 Reviews

Wine Talk - March 05
Wine Talk - April 05
Wine Talk - May 05
Wine Talk - June 05
Wine Talk - July 05
Wine Talk - August 05
Wine Talk - September 05
Wine Talk - October 05
Wine Talk - November 05
Wine Talk - December 05

Meet Paul Ippolito - The Mystery of Wine Tasting



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