The wines featured today are the ones that will appear in Vintages (or exclusively on-line) between now and February 2010 – I’ll break ‘em down here by release month – wines rating 4.5 to 5 stars below, with mini-reviews of 4-star wines further down the page – aw heck, just read ‘em all.
October 2010 …
Evans & Tate 2004 The Reserve Chardonnay ($29.95) – there are only 15 cases of this beauty showing up at the board, which is why it’s an on-line exclusive. The nose is roasted-vanilla with a light butter and caramel base; that all follows into the mouth along with nice roasted peach flavours. Firm and full in the mouth (14.5% alc.) but without the alcoholic taste or smell to ruin the experience; this one is toasty, tasty and complex. (*****)
Henry’s Drive 2007 Pillar Box ($17.95) – a brawny blend made from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; big fruit and dark chocolate, a little hot in the mouth (15% alc.) but with nice spice and pepper notes. This one’ll go great with bbq’ed fare. (****½)
Tamar Ridge 2008 Devil’s Corner Riesling ($29.30) – from Tasmania, this is a nice cool climate Riesling that has crisp acidity, petrol, apple, pear and peach; seems simple at first but develops nicely in the mouth. (****½) – look for a hot climate style Riesling coming in December.
Tamar Ridge 2007 Pinot Noir, Kayena Vineyard ($28.90) – the only Pinot on the table, and in the room, but what a gorgeous example. Soft fruit with cherry, raspberry and floral aromas; palate is fruit driven with a touch of earth and mineral – delicate and balanced, especially for a Pinot with such elevated alcohol (14%). (****½)
Thorn Clarke 2006 Shotfire Shiraz ($24.95) – dark purple in colour with pepper on the nose, the palate really shines here: dark chocolate, plum, white pepper, a bit of grit on the tongue, but it’s mostly big fruit and bit pepper with finesse and a long finish. (*****)
November 2010 …
Gemtree Vineyards 2007 Uncut Shiraz ($24.95) – this Shiraz is loaded with finesse and mineral; white pepper, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry with excellent mouth feel and length on the finish. Not your typical jammy Shiraz. (****½)
Gemtree Vineyards 2008 Bloodstone Shiraz-Viognier ($17.30) – chocolate, mineral, blackberry, herbs and vanilla; great price for such a tasty wine. (****½)
Thorn Clarke 2007 Shotfire Quartage ($24.95) – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Malbec, this wine is both complex and incredibly smooth: blackberry, white pepper and vanilla notes dominate, coursing through the mouth leaving a lovely spiced raspberry flavour behind. (*****)
Glaetzer 2007 Anaperenna Shiraz-Cabernet ($59.95) – what many consider the penultimate Aussie blend, Shiraz and Cabernet, this one has a big blackberry nose with licorice and cherry; there’s nice acidity and juicy flavours including chocolate, blackberry and a whole gamut of sweet fruit that ends with a lingering finish. Big alcohol at 15%, but nice balance so that it goes un-noticed. (*****)
December 2010 …
Petaluma 2008 Riesling, Hanlin Hill ($21.95) – this is a heavier style of Riesling than the Devil’s Lair, reviewed above; still with nice fruit, good acidity and bright tropical fruit – there’s a certain delicacy that lingers in the aftertaste for quite some time. (****½)
Other options – 4-star wines (mini-reviews) …
Coriole 2006 Redstone Shiraz ($17.95) – lots of red fruit.
Grant Burge 2007 Miamba Shiraz ($19.95) – graphite, chocolate and toasty.
Glaetzer 2007 Wallace Shiraz-Grenache ($24.95) plum and cherry fruit, easy on the palate.
Thorn Clarke 2007 Terra Barossa Cuvee ($15.95) – a little bit of everything in this wine, which adds up to a lot of taste.
Grant Burge 2007 Summers Chardonnay ($19.95) – peachy, tropical, vanilla with a smooth mouth feel.
Richard Hamilton 2007 Gumprs McLaren Vale Shiraz ($18.95) – spice and pepper, nice finish and plenty age-worthy, all at a nice price.
January 2010 –
Chapel Hill 2007 McLaren Vale Shiraz ($20.95) – jammy black fruit and easy drinking.