Wine Talk, November 2006

Something Special To Impress - Tim Adams Riesling 2006

The Riesling revival is coming, the Riesling revival is coming - repeat after me. Well seriously if I keep claiming this over and over again and hyping it up, one day it will gain enough steam of its own and come off - and then you will say, why didn't you tell me sooner about this stuff. Seriously, if there ever was to be a wine that could set off this figurative locomotive, it would be this little gem. This one won the 2006 International Riesling Challenge in Canberra last week and I got a sneak preview of it shortly after and it is a cracker of a wine. Pale greeny straw, lemons and lime abound resonating with freshness and it has a firm crisp nature. Bracing acidity, a touch of mineral character yet a well rounded soft long finish also exists that makes it linger on and on. Very nice with herb crusted barramundi fillets but also drinks remarkably well on its own. Drink 2006-2021. This is top shelf Riesling. Buy a bottle and convert a wine loving friend. At $22, it is a bargain for a benchmark wine. Take a bow Tim Adams. 94/100.

Discover Something New - Turners Crossing Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

I am going to declare it "The Year Of The Cabernet". This one is part of quite a long line of really good Cabernet Sauvignon wines I've had lately. For me, ripe fruit and balance are the key factors. This is an elegant well balanced fruit driven Cabernet from a respected Bendigo boutique producer. It has a good structure, plenty of ripe black fruits such as blackcurrant and mulberry. Accompanied by seamless oak, the wine delivers at all levels, with a beautiful mouthfeel, alcohol in check and fine lingering tannins. Drink 2006-2018. Bargain priced at around $25. 93/100.

Put This Away In The Cellar - Meerea Park Hell Hole Semillon 2006

I could sit here until the cows come home espousing how good Hunter Valley Semillon is to you but I won't because I know most of you will have switched off as soon as the word Semillon has been mentioned. So I will write this tasting note to myself to remind me of how good this varietal is when it is done right. Lemony greeny straw. Juicy fresh light citrus lemons abound. Delicate and fragrant. Really good acidity, bracing and lingering with a crisp finish. Characteristically Semillon, light in alcohol, high in flavour. For those of you still reading, try this with oven baked trout fillets as it is a match made in heaven. $25. Cellar 2006-2018. 90/100.

Celebrate Spring With This - Innocent Bystander Pinot Rose' 2006

Steve Flamsteed is a damn good winemaker (and a good bloke). Unsurprisingly, he has really hit the mark here with this gorgeous Rose' - whilst in my book anyone can make a Rose', a damn good one like this one requires wine making talent and good grape stock. This just oozes Summer wine and the Yarra Valley has provided him with good ripe Pinot Noir to put this together. Ripe, delightful, fruit driven, fragrant and a touch of confectionary on the nose carries through to a dry style of wine that is just a perfect food match. Try it with garlic prawns. About $17. 89/100.

Treat Yourself - Lindauer Special Reserve Méthode Traditionelle

One of the hardest things about being a wine scribe is writing objectively about wine styles that you are not that keen on. For me, sparkling wine is one of those styles that I could frankly take it or leave it. Indeed place a decent Yarra Valley Chardonnay alongside of some bubbly in front of me and I'm pretty predictable about which direction I would go. Now that's nothing personal to all you Champagne and sparkling wine drinkers out there but I just get my wine kicks somewhere else. Anyway, back to the job at hand, and may I say I really enjoyed this bubbly. It is indeed quite stunning, tight and elegant in its presentation. Sourced mainly from Pinot Noir grapes, it is quite focussed with tightly knit bubbles, toasty features and a biscuity nature, that carries through with a lovely finish - a moreish one at that. A few more glasses and I think a conversion could have occurred, but not quite yet. Anyway at about $22, this is damn fine drinking - so you bubbly heads - go forth and buy some! (and see, yes I can remain objective). 92/100.

Value Drinking - Paxton Chardonnay 2005

My strike rate for tracking down really good McLaren Vale Chardonnay has been quite high over the past few years. Nearly every one I have gotten around to tasting has impressed in one way or another. The quality, consistency across vintages and the value they offer all come together nicely. Oh and the wine people at Paxton are doing Chardonnay particularly well after many decades of growing the stuff themselves. Made by winemaker David Paxton, this is a fruit driven, typically varietal quite elegant style of wine. Loads of classic peach melon characters, hints of tropical fruit and good oak. A fresh vibrant wine with a lingering finish that leaves you wanting more. Drink 2006-2011. About $29. 90/100.

Wine Rating Scale - Out Of 100 Points
98-100 - Exceptional - A truly world class wine
95-97 - Superb - A memorable drinking experience
91-94 - Excellent - A wonderful mix of a top wine at a decent price
88-90 - Very Good - Really well made wine that should impress
85-87 - Good - Honest everyday drinking

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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