Wine Travels

Clare Valley July 2019


This was a brief overnight visit. My 2020 NY resolution is to do justice to regions and not rush! The suprises in the Clare this year was tasting some stylish Grenache, learning about the Loosen project at Jim Barry and tasting some savoury stylish Shiraz. There is a strong presence of super premium wines, some with great pedigree, others have not. We had some great explanation about the diversity of climate and soil. Dinner again at Seed Wine House and Kitchen which is always delightful but we did 'get the hump' as the Yerling Camel was sold out.


2014 Kilikanoon Attunga 1865 Shiraz

2012 Kilikanoon The Kelly 1932 Grenache

Highly Recommended

2016 Kilikanoon Mort's Reserve Riesling

2014 Jim Barry The Armagh

2015 Jim Barry McRae Wood Shiraz

2014 and 2015 Kilikanoon Oracle Shiraz

2017 Kilikanoon Killerman Run GSM

2016 Seven Hills Inigo Cabernet Sauvignon


Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula Visit August 2017


TarraWarra Estate South Block Chardonnay 2015. Tight palate with citrus driven acidity but not lean. Elegant and intense.Highly Recommended RRP $35

Riorret Lusatia Park Chardonnay 2016. Yarra Valley. Single vineyard wine showing refined minerality mixed with oatmeal and biscuit. Nice hints of lees and barrel work but not overdone creating an elegant lovely balanced palate. Outstanding RRP $42.00

De Bortoli Estate Grown Chardonnay 2016, Yarra Valley. Elegant wine with biscuit, lees notes and oatmeal on the nose. Well balanced palate with finely tuned acidity and a long finish. Outstanding value for money. To be released in the coming months (as at August 2017) Highly Recommended RRP $30

De Bortoli Villages Chardonnay 2016, Yarra Valley. Great value for money. Citrus but also Mealy and struck match nose. Textured creamy palate. Fermented in old casks, 100% MLF. Highly Recommended $20

De Bortoli Vinoque Sauvignon 2017, Yarra Valley. complex wine with some struck match, mineral and herbal notes. Barrel stirring and some time on skins adds length and intensity on the palate. Highly Recommended

De Bortoli Vinoque The Oval Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2017, Yarra Valley. herbal and pear skin nose. Hint of lees contact. dry savory creamy mid palate with a good long finish. Highly Recommended RRP $30.00

Yeringberg Chardonnay 2015, Yarra Valley. Some struck match and mineral notes along with peach and honey. Rich but with well balanced acidity achieving a long finish. Highly Recommended RRP $50

Yarra Yering Chardonnay 2015, Yarra Valley. Vibrant intense wine with well handled oak and tight acid spine. Long finish. Will age well. Outstanding $92.00

Warramate Riesling 2016. Yarra Valley. Made by Yarra Yering this slightly off dry white has lovely tropical fruits and pear nose. Recommended. $28.00

Oakridge Estate 864 Chardonnay 2015. Yarra Valley. Stone fruit and new oak nose. Intense well balanced palate. Complex wine that will age well. Highly Recommended RRP $78

Oakridge Estate Lusatia Park Chardonnay 2015, Yarra Valley. Barrel fermented oak drive wine with ripe stone fruit. Enjoyable rich style but no MLF. RRP $38.00 Recommmended

Oakridge Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Yarra Valley. 13.2% fume style with grapefruit and stone fruit nose. Textured creamy rich palate. Highly Recommmended

Paringa Estate Chardonnay 2016, Mornington Peninsula. Textured creamy palate with hints of nuts and citrus fruits. Consistent quality wise to the 2015. Highly Recommended

Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010, Mornington Peninsula. Elegant wine with some tertiary leesy toasty notes but also stone fruit. Dry and poised on the plaate with fine acid still there. Outstanding

Moorooduc Estate Pinot Gris on Skins 2016. interesting rose style. textured firm wine with some tannin grip.. Recommended.

Moorooduc Estate Robinson Chardonnay 2014. Mornington Peninsula 12%. single vineyard wine driven by struck match with added concentration compared to the Estate wine. Highly Recommended

Moorooduc Estate Chardonnay 2015, Mornington Peninsula 12.5%. lovely nuts and toast with a hint of struck match. Well balanced creamy mid palate and long nutty finish. Good wine well balanced. Highly Recommended RRP$38

Tasting - d'Arenberg Wines September 2015

A visit from 4th generation winemaker Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg is always going to be an entertaining afternoon and his recent visit to Sydney was no exception.
d’Arenberg is the unique company that has one foot in the past and one foot firmly in the future. You have only to look at their brand names that range from The Feral Fox to d’Arry’s Original to suggest they like to appeal to all markets. Some wines see labour saving machine harvest whilst others are hand picked, bio-dynamically grown and serviced by horse and cart. Trendy new varieties such as sagrantino supplement the reliable GSM. But when it comes to quality in the bottle it is all serious stuff.

The world according to Chester facts from d’Arenberg tastings

  1. There are five Sagrantino vineyards now in the Mclaren Vale and it’s more suited to the variety than Umbria.
  2. The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from an old clone with no name but is immensely tannic (true! see below)
  3. d’Arenberg are now certified bio-dynamic
  4. 2000 sheep are let loose in the vineyards in winter
  5. It’s 1 year to go before ‘the cube’ opens at cellar door, a 5 storey high puzzle at cellar door
  6. Average age of the material in The Daddy Long Legs is 55 years
  7. Cenosilicaphobic means the fear of an empty glass

Below is a pick from our recent tasting:
d’Arenberg NV Pollyanna Polly a blend of 4 different vintages which spends 4 Years on lees. An full flavoured dry sparkling with lovely toast and honey notes. Predominantly chardonnay. Recommended.

d’Arenberg 2008 The Dry Dam Riesling, McLaren Vale, SA. Not a fashionable region for riesling but this is good stuff. Lovely aged toast and lanolin notes on the nose. Dry and concentrated palate with well balanced acid and a clean fresh long finish. Re-released later this year it will be an excellent buy at around $28.00 Highly Recommended

d’Arenberg 2012 The Conscious Biosphere Aglianico Petit Sirah. McLaren Vale, SA. A lovely (85/15) blend showing earthy, leathery notes from aglianico with some complimentary black fruits from petit sirah (AKA durif) Soft fruit driven, medium bodied palate with a dry tannic finish. $28.00 Recommended

d’Arenberg 2010 The Cenosilicaphobic Cat Sangrantino Cinsault. McLaren Vale, SA.  85/15 blend again. This is a lovely wine with red cherries and cedar oak, earthy nose. The palate is more fruit driven with some clove and cedar. The tannins are there (this is one of the worlds most tannic varieties) but well managed. $28.00 Highly recommended   

d’Arenberg 2012 Ironstone Pressings, McLaren Vale, SA GSM blend 70/25/5. Stunning wine full of dark chocolate, cinnamon and cedar oak aromas. Dry, medium plus body with sweet cherry fruits and an herbal edge. Mouth filling grainy tannins, medium plus finish.  $65.00 Outstanding

d’Arenberg 2012 The Coppermine Road, McLaren Vale, SA. Cassis and black fruit driven with a leafy herbaceous edge. Black cherry fruit on the palate with an amazing tannin profile described by Chester as “Barolo like” $65.00 Highly Recommended

d’Arenberg 2012 The Dead Arm Shiraz, McLaren Vale, SA. Cooked meat, salami notes, also some stewed fruits. Well balanced palate with black fruit flavours producing medium plus finish. Slightly closed, it needed more time in the glass. $65.00 Recommended

d’Arenberg NV The Daddy Long Legs Extremely Rare, McLaren Vale, SA. Complexed nose with Grilled nuts, mocha, coffee and dried raisins, Long rich elegant palate superbly balanced wanting you to go back for more. $600.00 Outstanding.



Tasting - The New Wines of Greece - June 2015
Following on from some excellent masterclasses in Sydney this week by the New Wines of Greece I thought I’d share 10 interesting facts:

  1. Around the west coast of the Peloponnese there is Refosco planted. Amazing place to find this northern Italian grape. Makes good wine too, try Mercouri Estate.
  2. Assyrtiko, the famous white of Santorini can suffer from the same problem as Riesling. When it ages it can pick up TDN (petrol aromas)
  3. Staying on Assyrtiko the island of Santorini has the most expensive price for a tonne of grapes in Greece.
  4. Vidiano is a white grape to look out for in the future. Similar to Viognier. Found on Crete.
  5. But in my books the pink skinned Moschofilero is excellent. Imagine a cross between Torrontes and Gewurztraminer. Try Domaine Skouras
  6. Crete makes some good wine! Try the red Liatiko meaning ‘month of July” so I imagine they pick it early. Try Douloufakis Dafnios.
  7. Nemea is the largest region in Greece 2,200ha
  8. Nationally in Greece the plantings currently stand at 65,000ha. 2/3rd white 1/3rd red.
  9. Robola makes excellent wines in Kefalonia but has nothing to do with Italian Ribolla. Try the leading producer Gentilini
  10. Xinomavro (pronounced phonetically Sin no mav row) with its tannin structure and ageing ability is still the top dog in Greece. Try Boutari Grande Reserve.