Aramis Vineyards The Governor Syrah 2002
Syrah is Shiraz. This is the flagship wine in the stable of Aramis Vineyards, rightly so and is sourced from the best fruit from the top vineyards it has access to in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A brilliant deep dark purple with crimson hues. Still quite youthful. Quite aromatic and complex with aromas of blackberry, black pepper, fruit spice, chocolate and liquorice. A big wine with high alcohol and influence. A long length of finish with plenty of ripe fruit. Delivers soft well rounded plum flavours with fine soft tannins. Cellaring up to 5 plus years. Have with beef and potato pie. Around $40.
De Bortoli Noble One 2003 (750ml)
Arguably this is Australia's best dessert wine. It really is benchmark stuff and the 2003 is up there. Golden orange in vibrant colour, the wine exudes lusciousness. Its aromas are ripe fruit driven with apricots, honey, orange marmalade and candied fruits - all a complex melding together. The palate is smooth, succulent and well rounded supported by good lively acidity to make for a well balanced wine. Try with crepe suzette. Around $50. Cellar 10-12 years.
Eldridge Estate Pinot Noir 2004
David Lloyd makes this from his Mornington Peninsula winery. Ruby red with purple hues. Subtle and restrained at first then opens up with time. Polished and delicious fruit with soft acidity ensues. Gorgeous and lean bodied. Quite a stylish wine with a soft lingering finish. Dusty sour cherry, plum and a touch of beetroot and prunes on the palate. A good delicious Pinot Noir priced at around $39.
Jeremiah One Riesling 2005
This inaugural Clare Valley wine release from producer, Jonathan Hyams is a lemony yellow colour. It has lovely floral and citrus forward and uplifted aromas. The citrus is full of lemons, grapefruit and lime juice. The mouth feel is well rounded supple and welcoming with just right acidity on the finish. Drinking well now and for 2/3 years. Try with Thai style bbq pork. Around $18.
O'Leary Walker Shiraz 2004
David O'Leary and Nick Walker are a duo of winemakers long synonymous with Australian winemaking. I have been a fan of the wines for quite some time now and am impressed at their consistently high quality and especially the value for money that their mainstream wines represent. This is a brooding blackish dark purple coloured wine, a blend of Clare Valley and McLaren Vale shiraz that is just intoxicatingly seductive. It exudes liquery ripe sweet blackberry as well as intense rich plums in a plum pudding kind of way. A truly magnificent set of aromas ensue that just captivates the olfactory senses. The palate is a combo of sweet ripe fruit but with a savoury edge to it, a result no doubt of some judicious blending. Meaty - fuller bodied, well rounded and smooth - good alcohol, robust, solid oak influence with assertive fine tannins all follow - a hint of warmth on the finish. This is still a young wine with a long future ahead of it - at least 8-9 years or more. The price, $22 - not a misprint - so it aint going to last long. A really interesting excellent Shiraz.
Penley Estate Hyland Shiraz 2004
Everyone seemingly has an opinion about the worth of wine shows - some take the cynical view, others a more positive one. But seriously when you have a wine like this, the 2004 Hyland Shiraz which has just won the trophy for the 'Best Commercial Red Wine' at the much respected 2006 Sydney Royal Wine Show and which has outclassed some of Australia's more established and well known wines, I reckon you are entitled to tell all and sundry from the highest hill you can find. Well at least I'm going to as winemaker, Kym Tolley is more modest than me, whilst still quite chuffed at this tremendous achievement. This Shiraz is just drinking perfectly at the moment. Deep dark broodingly purple with crimson hues, it is also still a youthful wine. Intensely varietal with rich seductive classic blackberry dominating the nose. The purity of the fruit just abounds. Spicy, rich, ripe yet elegant with a medium bodied style, it is just seamless in palate delivery with a smooth soft well rounded finish. Plum fruitcake flavours on the finish just linger, the oak is there but well integrated and let's the fruit take the front of stage. Cellaring up to 5-7 years but drinking very nicely with roast lamb. At around $25, this is a bargain.
Yalumba Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2005
This white blend comes from Australia's oldest family owned winery is sourced from cool climate Eden Valley grapes from South Australia. A youthful pale straw coloured wine, it emanates freshness and vibrancy from the first crack of the screw cap. Aromatically tropical in aroma, there are hints of ripe lemons and fresh zesty lime. Gloriously fruit laden the nose transports the rest of the senses to somewhere exotic. The fruit flavours are polished, crisp and lively on the palate, a combination of fresh soft tropical fruit characters, nuances of peach and melon with good upfront acidity, melded together to deliver one drinkable wine with a long smooth ever so lightly creamy lingering length of finish. Ever so drinkable now. Try it with ravioli filled with spinach and cheese in a light cream sauce. Priced around $18, but you should be able to get it cheaper. Now excuse me whilst I polish the rest of the glass off!
Schild Estate Merlot 2004
This Barossa Valley winery under the helm of Ed Schild has been producing grapes for fruit driven top quality wine for quite some time now. Since 1952 as a matter of fact. So it comes as no surprise that they can produce such a good Merlot as this notwithstanding how finicky the variety can be at times. At around$24, this is a good wine, crimson deep red in colour that delivers varietal plum, cherry and blackberry fruit characters in a luscious succulent easy drinking manner. Strong earthy overtones accompany the fruit. Well rounded, soft and velvety as well as plenty of alcohol, oak and tannin for the long haul. Still young, with at least 5 years in this but drinking well now with lamb shanks.
Pepperjack Viognier 2005
A glorious copper white in colour. Deeply aromatic - upfront purity of fruit - floral and all lifted. Aromas of gushy juicy pear follows with honeysuckle, apricots, rose petal and frangipanni. High in alcohol, the palate is spicy fruit and musk, smoothly delivered with soft acidity. Quite luscious on the mouth feel. A good wine. Priced at around $22.
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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