Sparkling and White Wine Reviews

On a monthly basis this website will feature a small selection of recommended wines that I taste as part of my ongoing research to produce future guides.

Ratings Key

Ratings Score range Description
Outstanding

 95 - 100

Often an internationally recognised, leading brand or winery - but not always! Produces a classic wine that is a faultless representation of the style/variety. Complexity on the nose and a seamless palate are an example of the hallmarks of an outstanding wine.
Highly Recommended

92 - 94

A quality focused wine that has plenty of style. Length of palate and intensity are often key characteristics of highly recommended wines. These producers could be the ones to watch in the future.
Recommended

89  - 91

An above average well-made, reflection of the style/variety, which often represents good value for money. 

 

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Sparkling and White Wine Tasting Notes (alcohol given as a % abv)

 

Singlefile Fume Blanc Pemberton 2018. WA. Pear and peach nose laced with barrel, leesy yeast notes on the nose. Dry and savoury palate, medium bodied with soft round acidity and a long nutty finish. Made from Sauvignon blanc in a Bordeaux style. Recommended. RRP 32.00

Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner 2017, Adelaide Hills, SA. Pear, minerals, stone fruit and fresh herbs are on the nose. Light bodied but some creaminess in the middle palate. Good example of Austria's leading variety. Recommended. RRP $29.00

Margan Estate Semillon 2016, Hunter Valley. Textured palate, noticably different than the normal young Hunter Semillon. Full of lemon zest and extremely satisfyingly quaffable. Highly Recommended

Margan Estate Albarino 2017, Hunter Valley. attractive peach and pinapple fruits on the nose. Lovely rich textured palate with a long finish. Highly Recommended

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

 

Vinea Marson Prosecco 2014. Apple and pear notes. Dry fresh and clean palate. Spot on for Prosecco. Recommended.

Home Hill Kelly's Cuvee 2013. Tasmania. Bread and yeast nose, 3 years on lees. Some biscuit notes on the palate, very dry with a good mousse. Recommended. RRP35.00

Primo Estate Primo Secco NV, McLaren Vale, SA. Attractive citrus nose. Fleshy ripe fruit on the palate with hints of apricot and peach. Dry and crisp. Well priced. Highly Recommended $20RRP

Lowe Nullo Mountain Riesling 2013, Mudgee. Floral lemon sherbet nose. Zesty acid creating a fresh crisp palate with a slight touch of residual sugar to fill out the finish. Well made. Highly Recommended.

Claurault Chardonnay 2014 Reserve, Margaret River, WA. Hint of struck match and barrel fermented oaky nose. Nice fresh, zesty acidity on the palate displaying some cooler climatic notes. Fairly light, creeping into a medium bodied wine. Highly Recommended RRP38

Taylors' Clare Valley Riesling 2016. Well priced solid Clare Riesling displaying lemon and a touch of tropical fruit on the nose. Dry, light bodied,crisp palate. Recommended RRP19

Streicker Ironstone Block Old Vine Chardonnay 2014, Margaret River, WA. Attractive toasty buttery barrel worked chardonnay with some nice stone fruit on the palate. Dry, medium bodied, well balanced. Long finish. Highly Recommended. RRP42.00

Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016, Margaret River, WA lovely spot on aromatics of cut grass, herbs and hints of green capsicum. Zesty high acid dry with medium length. Recommended $26

Lark Hill Riesling, Canberra District 2016 11.5% Elegant wine strong floral and hints of tropical fruits as well as pear. Complex nose. Light fresh and zesty crisp acidity. pear driven palate. Outstanding

Peter Lehmann Wigan Riesling 2011, Eden Valley, SALovely aged nose on this late release. Kerosene and Toast. Juicy palate with no sign of toast now. A little heavier due to bottle development. Recommended RRP $35

Jasper Hill Riesling, Emily's Paddock, Heathcote, Vic. 12.5%. Lovely aromatic nose full of limes and lemons. Lovely acid spine and minerally on the long palate. This wine sings on both the nose and palate, a suprisingly good wine from a non riesling area. Highly Recommended

Singlefile Mount Barker Riesling, Great Southern, WA. 11.9%. Citrus and lime aromas which flow through to the palate. Great intensity on the palate, crisp acidity. Very poised and well executed. Highly Recommended RRP $30

Henschke Arches Vineyard Chardonnay 2015, Lenswood, Adelaide Hills, SA mealy, nutty and leesy notes with lovely balanced palate that is slightly creamy but light and elegant. Recommended RRP $35

Pinnaroo Estate Chardonnay Premium Partners Reserve 2014, Cowra, NSW. Barrel fermented, buttery and oak driven chardonnay, but in a good way, well handled oak. More traditional in nature. Recommended

Lark Hill Chardonnay 2015, Canberra District, NSW. 12.5% Nutty and leesy on the nose with ripe pear aromas. Fresh with a creamy middle palate and fresh acid, Built to cellar. Recommended

Curly Flat Chardonnay 2013, Macedon Ranges, 13%. Nutty toasty and cashew nut displaying smart new oak. Savoury barrel driven palate. Recommended RRP $44

Curly Flat Williams Crossing Chardonnay 2014, Macedon Ranges 13.4% Expressive stone fruit driven nose with hints of new oak. Easy drinking palate with some lightl MLF notes and complexity. Recommended RRP $25

Lo Stresso Fiano 2016, Heathcote, Vic. 13%This is Emily Laughton's label. Nutty almond nose and fleshy, creamy lemony palate, long, long finish. Great example of Australian Fiano. Outstanding

Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, Margaret River, WA. Honeyed with a hint of herbaceousness. Fleshy creamy palate due to barrel work with sound acidity. Good food wine. Recommended

 

 

2015 White Wine Tasting Notes (alcohol given as a % abv)

 

A Review of Australian Riesling October 2015

With Riesling Week Starting next week as well as the Canberra International Riesling Challenge (mmm. my judges invite must have got lost in the post......again) I thought I'd amass my own modest collection of recent tasting notes. I've tasted 41 Rieslings in the past month according to my black book (with a big thanks to the team at DrinksTrade Magazine)

Out of that 41 here are my 16 recommended dry Rieslings with 1 off dry thrown in for good measure:

Henry Frost Wines of Distinction Riesling, 2013, Clare Valley, SA
From the Scotchmans Hill stables. Distinct lemon and lime nose. Very dry crisp palate with medium plus length and finish. Well defined and well made. Good value. Highly Recommended. RRP $17

St Hallett Eden Valley Riesling. 2015, Eden Valley, SA
Strong green apple and pear aromas. Dry zesty palate with riper lemon flavours but with a softer finish than expected. Recommended. $19

Devils Corner Riesling 2015, Tasmania.
Firm appealing stone fruits aromas such as nectarines as well as citrus. Flavoursome palate of peach skins, not too dry. Well balanced acid structure with a long finish. Maybe a little overworked but bags of flavour. Highly Recommended. $19.00

Harewood Estate Denmark Riesling, 2015, Denmark, Great Southern WA.
My top wine. Strongly aromatic nose with attractive citrus peel, orange and cumquat. Fresh zesty palate, long palate with lingering ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours. Long finish.  Outstanding $21.00

Harewood Estate Mount Barker Riesling, 2015, Mt Barker, Great Southern WA
Another ripper from Harewood with even more ripe aromas on the nose. On the palate it’s a mixture of lemon floral and lanolin. Medium plus length.  Highly Recommended $21.00

Harewood Estate Porongurup Riesling, 2015, Porongurup, Great Southern, WA
In this blind tasting Harewood score consistently well. This offering was more delicate and reserved than the previous two. More floral and herbal on the nose.  Fresh, dry and racy on the palace with tight citrus driven flavours. But a lovely concentration and well balanced finish. Highly Recommended. $22.0

Henschke Peggy’s Hill Riesling, 2015, Eden Valley, SA
Minerally driven nose with green apple and pear skin aromas. Similar flavours on the palate but with a hint more lime juice thrown in. Dry well balanced palate with a medium finish. Recommended. $24.00

Pewsey Vale Prima, 2015, Eden Valley, SA
A pure varietal nose with fresh limes. Practically off-dry which came as a surprise in this tasting. Enjoyable and packed with lovely lime and citrus flavours. The wine had a clean finish. Well made. Highly Recommended. $26.00

Pikes Traditionale Riesling, 2015, Clare Valley, SA
Lovely punchy citrus aromas. Zesty acid driven wine with an intense front palate packed with citrus fruits that hold your attention. Long palate and aftertaste making this a highly pointed wine placed in the top 5. Highly Recommended $28.00

McGuigan The Shortlist Riesling, 2015,Eden Valley, SA
Classic Eden Valley wine with floral driven nose with fresh green herbs. Dry mineral driven, well structured palate with fairly strong acid and good length. Highly Recommended $29.00

Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling, 2013, Eden Valley, SA
Lovely to see this wine, classic vineyard name. Showing some development with hints of toast but also delicate lime and herbal primary fruit. Fresh, racy zesty palate. Recommended.

Singlefile Porongurup Riesling, 2015,Great Southern, WA
Lime and apple blossom aromas with grapefruit hints. Strong stone fruit flavours, dry, medium intensity with fresh acid. Very dry finish. Recommended $25

Singlefile Riesling, 2015, Mount Barker Great Southern, WA
Aromatically driven nose with ripe peach and hints of tropical fruit akin to lychee. Dry, zesty crisp acid driven palate. Medium plus length. Don’t over chill it. Highly Recommended RRP $30

Freycinet Vineyard Riesling, 2014,Tasmania
Lovely floral driven wine, highly aromatic. Fresh and zesty on the palate with more citrus fruit. Medium plus length and finish. What doesn’t Claudio Radenti do well. Highly Recommended.

O’Leary Walker Polish Hills Riesling, 2015 Clare Valley, SA
Mineral as well as lime and lemon notes. Delicate and very dry on the palate.  Fresh crisp acid as you would expect. Recommended. RRP $25

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

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Soumah Single Vineyard Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2013, Vic. Rich Chardonnay with highly aromatic nut/cashew aromas. Lees driven, savoury and intense palate with tight well balanced acidity and a long length and finish. $38.00 Highly Recommended

Casa Freschi Ragazzi Pinot Grigio 2013, Adelaide Hills, SA. minerally and nutty with pear skin. Dry lght bodied with a round supple creamy palate. Pear and apple flavours on the palate make this wine true to style. RRP $23.00 Recommended

Briar Ridge ‘The Briar’ 2014. Hunter Valley, NSW, 13%. One of winemakers Gwyn Olsen’s experiments. A five white variety blend resulting from a field blend. It displays gooseberry and vegetal hints on the nose. Toasty and savoury on the palate with some nuttiness. A wine with nice length resulting from some fermentation on skins. Check the winery for availability. Recommended


Briar Ridge Dairy Hill Single Vineyard Semillon 2014, Hunter Valley, NSW 12%. Kaffir leaves and herbaceous nose. On the palate it is dry, tight and racy with lively acidity with a continued herbaceous edge. Classic Hunter Sem made by the 2014 Young Winemaker of the Year. Highly Recommended. RRP $35.00

Mistletoe Noble Viognier 2013, Hilltops, NSW. Rich and full bodied despite its light colour. Musk, peach and orange marmalade nose with great depth. Rich wine on the palate slightly oily. Recommended. RRP $22.00

Lowe Nullo Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Mudgee, NSW. At 1100 meters this is high altitude for Mudgee. This wine sees all new French oak but achieves a nice balance between tropical fruits as well as grapefruit notes and vanilla oak. The wine has a lovely creamy and slightly grippy feel on the palate which sets it apart. Dry with medium acidity. Drink with a wide range of lighter foods rather than as an aperitif wine. Check the website for availability. Highly Recommended

Lowe Nullo Mountain Late Harvest Riesling 2013, Mudgee, NSW. 12 ½% Some hints of tropical fruits but also floral nose. Full and rich on the palate with plenty of residual sugar but well balanced with acidity making this wine fresh and suitable for a meal, rather than a dessert wine. The wine really excels on the palate. RRP $30.00 Highly Recommended

 

Mount Majura Rieslng 2014. 12.5%. winemaker Frank Van de Loo uses the Giesenheim D2V2 to make a perfumed, aromatic wine with candid lemon peel aromas. Zesty and fresh on the palate. Recommended.

Helm Premium Riesling 2013. Mineral and floral nose with fresh tight,lively palate that is lean and racy. This wine demands time and ageing to slightly soften to become more approachable. Recommended

Helm Premium Riesling 2008. Lovely toasty wine with a rich palate. Long, long length on the palate. Concentrated lemon with a slightly herbal edge. Recommended

Helm Tumbarumba Riesling 2014. 11% alc. A change of style. The wine has ripe tropical fruits, some pear and peach. Sweet front palate before the wine finishes nice and dry. The wine has delicate flavours on the palate compared to the attractive pungent nose. Recommended

Clonakilla Viognier 2013. 14% alcohol. Powerful wine with rich vibrant classic musk and floral aromas. Intense, forceful palate. One of Australia's best 100% Viogniers. Highly Recommended

Eden Road Courabyra Chardonnay2013 Restrained Chardonnay with some lees contact notes and saline hints. Fairly high crisp acidity but overall well balanced. RRP $50. Recommended

Lark Hill Riesling 2014. Demure minerality with lime juice. Fresh, light and extremely lean and racy. RRP$35.00 Recommended

Lark Hill Chardonnay 2013. Wild yeast fermented wine with its focus firmly on grapefruit and lemon aromas. Cool climate wine that is elegant and restrained. RRP$40 Recommended

Plantagenet Omrah Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Great Southern, WA. 12.8%. Herbaceous, grassy SB with hints of passion fruit. Dry, light bodied with crisp acidity and zesty passion fruit flavours. A hint of residual sugar adds a pleasing balance to the wines palate. Good value for money from a quality producer. Highly Recommended RRP $16.00

Voyager Estate Gin Gin Chardonnay 2010, Margaret River, WA. Citrus blossom, grapefrult and dried pear nose with oatmeal and nutty flavours on the palate. Tight, elegant chardonnay with juicy acidity and a medium finish. Attractive, stylish wine made from the famous WA Gin Gin clone. Highly Recommended RRP$65.00

Singlefile Family Reserve Chardonnay, 2013, Pemberton, WA 13.9%. This premium Chardonnay has lovely Meursault style aromas including oatmeal, ripe apple and hints of peach. Just the right balance of new oak and stone fruit. Concentrated palate displaying enough acidity to push flavours into zesty lemons, whilst retaining hints of buttery malolactic fermentation characters. Whilst youthful it is showing some early signs of complexity. Outstanding. RRP $50

Singlefile Fume Blanc 2013, Pemberton, WA. 13.5% Very pale with expressive grassy, herbaceous and gooseberry aromas. High acidity, zesty with citrus and hint of passion fruit. Slightly warming finish. Highly Recommended RRP $30

Scorpo Pinot Gris 2013, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. Nice subtle musk and stonefruit nose. Creamy, textured palate and a hint of residual sugar sitting well with matching acidity. True to style. Highly Recommended

Domaine A Lady A 2010. Coal River Valley, Tasmania Iconic wine for Australia. Sauvignon Blanc given the full works with toasty, honey and buttery notes. Whilst it is creamy, full bodied wine with plenty of stylish barrel work it retains its acidity. Intense. Outstanding RRP $59.00

Domaine A Stoney Vineyard, Sauvignon blanc 2013, Coal River Valley, Tasmania. Mineral,flinty and nettle aromas with some nutty leesy notes. Dry, textured medium bodied wine. Soft and round on the palate with yeasty notes as well as citrus. Highly Recommended

Mitchell Watervale Riesling 2011, Clare Valley, SA. Strong citrus with floral notes and slightly toasty nose. Dry light bodied with zesty acidity with medium lengh. Reliable well made wine Recommended

Singlefile Reseve Chardonnay, 2012, Denmark, WA 13.5%. Intense wine from the outset. Savoury, nutty and toasty new oak nose. Rich full bodied and creamy dairy palate with well integrated acidity. Concentrated and deeply flavoured with long fnish. Highly Recommended $45.00

Innocent Bystander Chardonnay 2012,Yarra Valley, Vic. 13.5%. Fresh, zesty,vibrant Chardonnay with enough barrel work to make it attractive. Delicate hints of vanilla, dairy but retains its acidity throughout and medium bodied at the most. Well made. Recommended $25.00

Clairault Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, Margaret River, WA 12.5%. Tropical fruit with pinapple and lychee. Touch of grassy semillon. Dry, fresh crisp wine on the palate with slightly more herbaceous flavours than the tropical spectrum. Recommended. $22.00

Knappstein Hand Picked Riesling 2013, Clare Valley, SA. Reliable wine showing zesty lime nose with a touch of tropical fruit. Dry, light bodied, just about medium length but falls aways at the end. However it delivers enough varietal punch. Recommended. $18.00

Singlefile Chardonnay, 2013, Denmark, WA. 13.8%. Nose of toasty oak and light peach and citrus peel. Medium bodied slightly fleshy palate, well balanced by crisp acidity. Savoury nutty, malty finish. Recommended

De Bortoli La Boheme Act One Riesling, 2013, Yarra Valley Medium plus intense arooma of appealing tropical fruits with pinapple and ripe peach to the fore. Medium dry, medium bodied with soft acidity and lovely pinapple flavours. Long lingering finish. Germanic style Highly Recommended.

Stumpy Gully Pinot Grigio, 2011, Mornington Peninsula, 13.6% Strong mineral and pear skin nose. Dry and savoury palate slighly oily texture and warmish alcohol. Medium bodied with soft acidity finishing with a classic Italian bitter 'snap'. Recommended.

Sixfootsix Pinot Gris 2013, Victoria. Sitting between Grigio and Gris this wine display pleasant minerals notes and pear on the nose. The wine is dry and more minerally on the pallate with a touch of fleshy Pinot Gris character and fresh acidity. Medium finish, but overall a satisfying wine. Recommended $20.00

Swings and Roundabouts Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, Margaret River, WA. Delicious, vibrant wine with plenty of lovely Margaret River herbaceousness but kept in balance by a hint of Semillon. Dry, light bodied with zesty crisp acidity. Spot on for the style and well priced. Highly Recommended. $19.80

2013 White Wine Tasting Notes (alcohol given as a % abv)

Robert Channon Verdelho 2013, Granite Belt, Queensland. 13%. Intense tropical fruit as well as peach. Off dry but well balanced with fresh acidity. Medium bodied with floral and lychee flavours. Crowd pleaser. Highly Recommended $27.50

Brokenwood Indigo Chardonnay 2012, Beechworth, Victoria. Citrus and tropical fruit aroms laced with new oak. Dry, medium bodied wine with rich highly seasoned nutty oak flavours and strong butter malo notes.Impressive long finish. Highly Recommended $45.00

Brokenwood ILR Semillon 2007, Hunter Valley, NSW. Nicely developing wine with lemon butter aroma and toasty notes. Dry with strong toasty flavours on the palate accompanied by zesty, citrus acidity. Medium plus length. $60.00 Highly Recommended

Brokenwood Pinot Gris 2013, Beechworth, Victoria. 13%. Lovely pear and musk aromas. Some creme brulee notes on the rich creamy palate benefiting from the influence of 20% barrel fermentation. Dry and nicely balanced wine. Highly Recommended

Thomas Wines Six Degrees 2013, Hunter Valley, NSW 8.5%. Absolute fun wine akin to a Germanic Riesling crossed with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Picked early in an off-dry style with bags of tropcial fruit aromas/flavours. Lovely hot summers day wine, knock it back. $23.00 Highly Recommended

Thomas Wines The OC Semillon 2013, Hunter Valley, NSW. 11.5% A lovely riper style of Hunter Sem benefiting from additional handing time. Lovely intense citrus and lime aromas. Firm in the mouth for a young semillon. Slightly malty and savoury notes on the palate makes all the difference. Built to drink now rather than keep. OC stands for Oakry Creek Road, where the fruit is sourced. $23.00 Highly Recommended.

Mount Pleasant Leontine Chardonnay 2011, Hunter Valley, NSW. Made by winemaker Gwyn Olsen during her time at Mount Pleasant this is complex and savoury, funky chardonnay with nutty and buttery malo notes. Saline and flinty notes, well balanced acidity and Burgundian style French oak . $38.00 Highly Recommended

Pepperilly Chardonnay, Ferguson Valley, WA. 12.8%. A mixture of stone fruit/peach and nice oaky barrel nuances. Dry, firm palate with well balanced acidity and rich stone fruit flavours and MLF notes. Warm satifying long finish. RRP $28.00 Highly Recommended

Plantagenet Omrah Chardonnay 2012, Great Southern, WA. 13.5%. Attractive intense peach and oak driven nose. Smooth well balanced palate with medium intensity for a chardonnay. Tropical fruits come through giving a sweet impression. Meduim length. Great value for money.RRP $18.99 Highly Recommended

Pfeiffer Pinot Grigio 2013, King Valley, Vic. 12.5%. Nearly water white in appearance, similar to some Sauvignon Blancs. Bags of fresh pear on the nose. Dry crisp and light bodied. Nashi pear and crunchy green apple flavours on the palate. Quaffable on a hot summers day. Recommended. RRP $17.90

Stumpy Gully Chardonnay 2012, Mornington Peninsula, Vic 13.5%. Strong peach and nectarine notes on the nose. The palate is dry with a leesy and malolactic fermentation notes and French oak driven flavours. Well balanced acid, medium bodied hinting at its cool climate fruit source. RRP $25.00 Recommended.

Dowie Doole Chenin Blanc 2013, McLaren Vale, SA. 13%. Sourced from possibly Australia's oldest Chenin vineyard (Tintookie Vineyard planted in 1933) the wine displays strong tropical fruit, pineapple and banana. Palate is verging on off dry with soft acidity, medium bodied and pleasant tropical fruit and ripe peach flavours. When well chilled it is ideal to cool the heat of spicy chilli driven dishes. What's more it is great value for money. RRP $18.00 Highly Recommended

Plantagenet Chardonnay 2012, Mount Barker, WA. 13.7%. Strong peachy stone fruit with tropical fruit notes. Creamy lemon butter palate with plenty of malo-latic and oak-driven complexity. Slightly nutty finish. Midway point between a traditional chardonnay and the more leaner styles currently in vogue. $29.95 Recommended.

Robert Oatley Finisterre Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Pemberton, WA. Interesting SB with strong herbaceous and hints of fresh green pea. Not lean on the palate with a nice textured creamy middle palate, long ferment and time on lees I'd suspect. $32.95.Recommended

Hungerford Hill Pinot Gris 2012, Tumbarumba NSW. Fresh pear skin and hints of stone fruit aromas. Medium bodied fleshy palate, and whilst dry, it does have some residual sugar hints that are pleasant and fills the palate. Strong tropical fruit flavours especially pineapple. Medium intensity with well balanced acidity. Nice with pork belly. RRP $25.00 Recommended

Sutton Grange Estate Fiano 2010, Bendigo, Vic. Deep yelllow colour. Rich, toasty, nutty 'Italian' nose. Full bodied round and creamy palate resulting from the 100% MLF treatment. However the wine retains its acidity resulting in a superbly textured and intense wine. One of a kind. RRP $60 Outstanding.

Sutton Grange Estate Viognier 2010, Bendigo, Vic. 14.5%. Full throttle Viognier with peach, pear skin and apricot nose. Creamy and rich palate balanced with zesty acidity. Incredible length and flavour persistence on the palate from a substantial time on lees in specially designed cement tanks. It's all about intensity, texture and length - all signs of great quality. Despite the high alcohol it avoids being hot. RRP $45.00 Outstanding

Bress Fume Blanc 2012, Macedon, Vic. Another Fume Blanc - it's coming back as a label term! Strong mineral, gooseberry and herbaceous nose. Medium bodied, dry, with nice palate texture and concentration of flavours coming from some time in oak. Medium plus length. A single vineyard wine from 24 year old vines. RRP $32.00 Recommended.

Bress Gold Chook Harcourt Valley Riesling, 2012. Lovely off-dry style Riesling with citrus, peach and tropical fruit aromas. Citrus comes more to the fore on the palate with that lovely off dry palate balancing the acidity perfectly. This wine undegoes barrel fermentation in old oak which provides the complexity. Highly Recommended.

Singlefile Family Reserve Chardonnay 2011, Denmark, WA. 13.3%. Complex nose with vanillan oak as well as stony/mineral aromas backed up with peach and ripe melon. Dry, full bodied palate with leesy buttery MLF flavours well balanced with zesty acidity, Slightly warm but long finish. Good quality and satisfying Chardonnay. RRP $45.00 Highly Recommended

Domaine A Lady A 2008, Coal River Valley Tasmania 14% The nose is redolent of cedar oak and a mineral flinty aroma. But its the palate that is captivating. Intense, creamy and rich with pear, apple and nutty flavours. The word savoury and sumptious sums this wine up. Long finish. Elegant and complex wine which gets better with age. Australia's top expression of Sauvignon Blanc. RRP $65.00 Outstanding.

Tulloch Vineyard Selection Verdelho 2012, Hunter Valley 13%. Strong varietal character of tropical fruits with some well balanced residual sugar notes on the palate giving passionfruit and banana impression. Good quaffing style suited for mid-week asian feast. RRP $18.00 Recommended

Singlefile Fume Blanc 2012, Pemberton, WA. 13.5%. I like seeing the term fume blanc on bottles, it's kind of nice to differential a barrel fermented and oak matured Sauvignon Blanc with the plethora of other SB's on the market. However, some would be hard pressed to see the special treatment as it is a fruit driven wine with grapefruit, pear, and tropical fruit aromas and a zesty, medium bodied palate with only a whisper of toasty oak. But this wine holds your attention with some impressive palate length whilst retaining its racy varietal character.Highly Recommended RRP $30.

TarraWarra Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2008, Yarra Valley, Victoria 13% Well worked chardonnay with attractive stone fruit - peach and melon with signs of yeasty lees contact and new oak. Dry, full bodied on the palate with soft buttery MLF notes. Accomplished wine with good palate length and finish. Highly Recommended

Climbing Pinot Gris 2012, Orange, NSW. 13% Lively wine with spot on aromatics for Pinot Gris - pear skin, citrus and nutty notes. A dry, slightly fleshy, savoury palate that is moorish. Easy drinking style providing enough texture to hold your attention. Highly Recommended RRP $23.99

Mike Press Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Adelaide Hills, SA. one of the best value wines I've come across recently. Vibrant tropical fruit, gooseberry and some green capsicum notes. Dry, light bodied and zesty palate. Drink now. Highly Recommended RRP 10.83 CD case price

Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner 2012, Adelaide Hills, SA. Green apple, pear skins, saline and strong minerality aromas proves plenty of complexity on the nose. Dry with a fleshy phenolic mouth feel. Savoury palate medium plus body with well balanced supporting acidity. Lovely palate length makes this wine a top drop. Highly Recommended. RRP $28.00 CD 

Yeringberg Marsanne Roussanne 2010, Yarra Valley, Victoria. Lovely toasty, honey and floral notes.  The palate displays fresh acidity which balances the nutty flavours and medium plus creamy textured body. The wine has a long savoury finish. Smart winemaking. Delicious. Outstanding

RVIC Vermentino 2011, Riverland. Very pale in appearance. Strong very distinctive ripe pear nose with some supporting nutty ground almond. Dry but slightly fleshy and perhaps a hint of residual sugar. But extremely flavoursome and round on the palate. Simply but satisfying sums this wine up, dripping with Sardinian savoriness. Good value for money from the not for profit Riverland Vine Improvement Centre Highly Recommended. 

Kemenys Hidden Label Hunter Valley Semillon 2006 Hunter Sem showing some early signs of development with honey and toasty notes on the nose. It's zesty palate and intense flavours are pleasing now but it will continue to develop for another 8 to 10 years. A steal at $11.99 and another classic wine sold under this great Kemenys label. Len Evans once said this wine was the best value white in Australia. Look for the winemakers name on the label Highly Recommended. 

Kemenys Hidden Label Special Reserve Chardonnay 2007, Tasmania & Yarra Valley. Top drawer rich toast new oak on the nose with a dose of minerality hinting at its origins. The palate is exceedingly elegant, driven by zesty acidity, the oak seems consumed by the cool climate fruit. Elegant palate, this wine is built to last for another 10 years. Spot the winemaker locked away on the label and you will discover this is one of Australia's top Chardonnays and a steal for $29.99 (it sells for mid $70). Outstanding  (a clue - it is on my listing below!) 

Polperro  Chardonnay 2010, Mornington Peninsula, Vic. Mineral, gun smoke driven nose with saline, slatey notes. Lovely textured palate with crisp natural acidity (even after receiving 100% MLF) Well balanced with restrained oak and more minerals flavours. Medium plus length. This is produced from an extremely cool climate, high site on the Peninsula and show great terroir. Outstanding RRP 48.00

Lerida Estate Pinot Grigio 2011, Canberra District. NSW. Flavour packed white with peach, ripe pear, and a bevy of tropical fruits. Well balanced, crisp acid  off sets the off dry palate. More tropical flavours make this a great crowd pleaser and eminently quaffable. More Gris than Grigio in my book. Recommended RRP 25.00

Curly Flat Chardonnay 2009, Macedon Ranges, Vic. Elegant nose with strong peach and nectarine perfectly foiled with stylish new oak. Fruit wins out on the palate, with citrus zesty acidity, and hint of nuts and savoury oak edge. Great length and balance to the palate and a long finish. Undoubtably one of Australia's top Chardonnay producers. Outstanding RRP 47.00

50 Recommended, Highly Recommended and Outstanding Australian Chardonnay Update April 2012

This versatile grape variety allows the winemaker to demonstrate all the tricks of the trade, and whilst fads and fashions come and go, Chardonnay remains ever popular- despite being knocked down in the recent Savalanche.

Chardonnay can be grown in a range of climatic conditions from the hot, dry Riverland region of South Australia to the cold damp Macedon Ranges in Victoria. Chardonnay is a popular growers variety, ripening early and suited to all climates. Yields per hectare are good. It retains high levels of acidity even as the grapes reach total maturity and is regarded as the most flexible grape variety, allowing a winemaker to dictate the style. Chardonnay is the principal white grape variety that spends time maturing in oak.

Often Australian Chardonnay displays peach and melon aromas in warm climates, whilst pear, grapefruit, lime or citrus can indicate the use of cool climate fruit. Aromas of flint, slate, oyster shell and a certain dry, austere minerality is another side to Chardonnay. This is displayed to its optimum in the Chablis region of France, where the combination of an ultra-cool climate and Kimmeridgean soils (composed of fossilised limestone and clay) provide a unique terroir to grow Chardonnay.  Travelling south-east of Chablis you come to some of the world’s most renowned and expensive Chardonnay in the Burgundy regions of Montrachet and Meursault located in the Côte de Beaune. The wines in Burgundy display rich intense savoury, nutty aromas and bear new oak characters.

Coming back to Australia, Craigmoor an old Mudgee label, was one of the first wineries to realise the potential of Chardonnay, releasing its first wine in 1971. Tyrrell’s in the Hunter Valley also produced a commercial Chardonnay around the same time. 

At an altitude of 550 meters in South Australia’s High Eden sub region Mountadam vineyard were one of the first to plant Chardonnay in South Australia and claim to have a rare clone called the Marble Hill, (named after the winter residence of the Governor of South Australia) dating back to 1860, which was brought over by a French horticulturalist from Burgundy. The clone was planted by the wineries founder David Wynn in 1972.

With more than 28,000 hectares planted, in all viticultural areas of Australia in 2010, Chardonnay is the most prolific white grape variety. Chardonnay produces outstanding wine in the cooler regions such as Margaret River in Western Australia, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Macedon Ranges in Victoria, Adelaide Hills in South Australia and Tasmania. Other regions to note are Beechworth in Victoria and Tumbarumba, Orange and the Southern Highlands are some of the promising new cool climate sites in New South Wales. However it could be argued that Chardonnay is equally successful in hot regions like the Hunter and McLaren Vale, whilst multi varietal blends source fruit from regions such as Padthaway, Cowra and the Great Southern. There is no clear regional character coming from Australian Chardonnay which is probably due to the influence a winemaker can make in determining the style. However the climate and choice of clones are factors in influencing the wine styles; before you enter the winery. Cooler climates, achieved by a combination of degrees of latitude or altitude, as well as moderating maritime influence, will result in higher levels of natural acidity and a more linear structure. Aromas will often be focused around the green and citrus fruits. The warmer the climate the more the wine will display stone and tropical fruit notes. There is a tendency to pick the grapes early in warm climates to retain as much natural acidity as possible in the wine. Chardonnay needs to retain its acidity to avoid becoming flabby and flat. However, this can be double-edged as it may be at the expense of flavour ripeness.  Traditionally Australia produced rich ripe buttery and oak drive styles. But now Australian winemakers are pursuing a more mineral and elegant style, which, when successful, raises the bar on quality.

Australian winemakers have plenty of choice in Chardonnay grape clones, each having their own aromatics. The French Dijon clones (e.g. 76, 78, 95 & 96) produce melon, lemons and figs whilst the American Davis clones (e.g. I10V5 or Mendoza) produce aromas of tropical fruits and higher acidity. Some of the workhorse clones in the Mornington Peninsula, for instance, are P58 which produces wines with a fuller palate and broad bean characters. Western Australia, with its history of strict quarantine laws, planted its own particular clone called Gin-Gin, which is actually a synonym for the Mendoza clone.

In the winery some producers follow a ‘funky’ French approach in making their Chardonnay. This is achieved by using less intervention, allowing cloudy musts or wild fermentations to achieve a richer mouth-feel, as well as a degree of oxidative handling that would have been frowned upon a decade ago and regarded as poor winemaking. After the fermentation is over the wine may be left in contact with the yeast lees and regularly stirred to building up more levels of complexity and intensity

Oak, preferably French, needs to be kept in balance and accompany the fruit rather than dominate it. Oak maturation can give an array of aromas to the wine including vanilla, oatmeal, nuts, woody, smoky, butterscotch, or pencil shavings.

The winemaker will experiment with varying amounts of MLF to get the right blend. MLF produces two useful by-products for Chardonnay; the first is ethyl lactate, which enhances the sensation of weight or body on the palate. The second is diacetyl which gives that desirable buttery aroma which builds complexity, when used in moderation. Unoaked styles usually display richer fruit character. These styles, often designed to be consumed young, can surprisingly withstand some bottle age. MLF will reduce the acidity in a wine and the winemaker must be cautious so to retain a fresh acid balance or they will have to resort to adding acid back to a wine

 

Key to 2012 Listing

Outstanding

Often an internationally recognised, leading brand or winery; producing a classic wine that is a faultless representation of the style/variety. Complexity on the nose and a seamless well balanced palate with intensity and length are some of the hallmarks of outstanding wines. Score range 95 – 100.

Wine

Region

Vintage

Price

Cullen Kevin John

Margaret River

2010

95.00

Giaconda

Beechworth

1993

“”””””

Sandalford Prendiville

Margaret River

2011

60.00

Curly Flat

Macedon Ranges

2009

47.00

Eileen Hardy

Tasmania

2009

73.00

Giaconda

Beechworth

1998

“”””””

Giaconda

Beechworth

2010

“”””””

Sorrenberg

Beechworth

2010

42.00

Tower Estate Bowyer  Ridge

Adelaide Hills

2010

38.00

Frogmore Creek 42 Degrees South

Tasmania

2010

21.50

Petaluma

Piccadilly Valley

2009

40.00

Yalumba FDW (7c)

Adelaide Hills

2009

32.95

Sorrenberg

Beechworth

2000

“”””””

 

Highly Recommended

A quality focused wine that has plenty of style. Length of palate and intensity are often key characters of highly recommended wines. These producers could be the ones to watch for in the future. Score range 92 – 94.

Wine

Region

Vintage

Price

Bay of Fires

Tasmania

2009

40.50

Hill Smith Estate

Eden Valley

2010

23.50

Heggies Vineyard

Eden Valley

2010

29.95

Peel Estate

Peel

2011

25.00

McHenry Hohnen Burnside

Margaret River

2010

34.00

Lamont

Margaret River

2011

30.00

De Bortoli

Yarra Valley

2010

29.00

A.Retief

Tumbarumba

2011

40.00

A.Rodda

Beechworth

2010

40.00

Tyrrells Vat 47

Hunter Valley

2007

47.00

Killerby

Margaret River

2009

30.00

 ecommended

An above average, well-made, reflection of the wine style/variety, which often represents good value for money. The wine will display good varietal aromas and moderately good length. Score range 89 – 91.

Wine

Region

Vintage

Price

Drakesbrook

Peel

2011

17.00

Edwards

Margaret River

2010

33.00

McHenry Hohnen Rocky Road

Margaret River

2010

34.00

Laurence

Margaret River

2010

Not released

Petaluma Bridgewater Mill

Adelaide Hills

2010

20.00

Willow Bridge

Geographe

2010

“””””

St Aidan

Geographe

2010

24.00

Ferguson Hart Estate

The Van Leeuwin Block

Geographe

2011

35.00

Millbrook Winery limited release

Geographe

2010

35.00

Smithbrook

Pemberton

2011

28.00

Vasse Felix Heytesbury

Margaret River

2010

“””””

Brokenwood

Beechworth

2010

25.00

Piano Piano Sophie’s Block

Beechworth

2010

35.00

Fighting Gully

Beechworth

2010

“””””

The Lane Beginnings

Adelaide Hills

2009

39.00

Wolf Blass Gold Label

Adelaide Hills

2011

24.99

Heemskerk Abel’s Tempest

Tasmania

2010

24.99

Hahndorf Hill

Adelaide Hills

2009

29.00

Barwang

Tumbarumba

2011

20.00

D”Arenberg The Olive Grove

Adelaide Hills

2011

18.95

Hungerford Hill Fishcage

Tumbarumba

2010

18.00

Two Rivers Reserve

Hunter Valley

2011

18.00

McHenry Hohnen Calgardup

Margaret River

2010

34.00

Yarrawood Chardonnay

Yarra Valley

2008

18.00

Armchair Critic

Tumbarumba

2010

20.00

Hedberg Hill Lara’s

Orange

2010

20.00

 

 

 

A.Retief Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2011, NSW. Mineral, zesty cool climate Chardonnay with a touch of grapefruit on the nose. More crisp acid driven flavours on the palate accompanied by smart well integrated vanilla new oak and a whiff of leesy barrel stirring. Lovely, delicate light wine but well balanced. Highly Recommended. 

Bellbird Spring Block Eight Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Waipara, N.Z. 13.5%. Interesting nose of limes and nettles with slight passionfruit. Subdued and more savoury due to fermenting in old oak barrels. Fresh, zesty, bone dry with a citrus and lime driven palate. Restrained NZ SB, mid-way point between the old and new world styles.Recommended

Bellbird Spring Block Eight Pinot Gris 2010, Waipara, NZ. Lovely inviting peach and tropical fruit on the nose. An opulent palate, fleshy, medium-dry with a savoury perfumed, stone fruit and a touch of orange zest on the palate. Good medium plus palate length but finishes a touch hot which is common in Alsace Gris style wines. Recommended

Plantagenet Riesling 2011, Mount Barker, W.A. 12.5% Strong mineral stony as well as lemon sherbet citrus driven nose. Dry crisp, zesty, high acid light bodied wine with citrus driven flavours makes this wine refreshing and extremely quaffable. Ideal with pan fried white flesh fish. Nice to see the International Riesling Scale on the back label. Highly Recommended. 

Forester Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Margaret River, W.A.  Attractive peach, stone fruit and gooseberry aromas on the nose. Zesty palate with peach, passionfruit flavours on the palate. Dry wine with a nicely textured palate and good length. An addition of 5% Chardonnay might have done the trick! A cut above the other blends. Recommended

The Lane Vineyard Gathering Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009, Adelaide Hills S.A. Pale in appearance with strong grassy semillon notes followed by touches of new oak, lanolin and herbs. Dry with zesty lemon acidity, attractive nutty, vanilla flavours and slight minerality. Medium bodied with a lovely long palate length and finish. Good quality. Highly Recommended. RRP 35.00

Bay of Fires Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Tasmania. Stunning nose, herbaceous, gooseberry, freshly chopped green capsicum aromas spring out of the glass. Racy, tight, strong zesty palate laced with powerful fruit flavours. Excellent vibrant wine to match any New Zealand Savvy.  Outstanding

Sorrenberg Chardonnay 2010, Beechworth, Vic. An oxidatively handled white with 30% new oak results in a wine with ripe peach fruit driven nose and a round rich palate with subtle MLF characters. The cool climate fruit makes the wine more refined, well balanced, whilst maintaining its acid edge. Conclusion - nice and complex makes this a top drawer Beechworth Chardonnay -Outstanding

Coolangatta Estate Semillon 2011, Shoalhaven Coast, NSW. Lovely lanolin nose with some mineral notes, classic young Australian Semillon. Delicate, dry wine with juicy crisp acidity, light bodied but with medium plus length. Conclusion - All bode's well for this classic in the making, another good vintage from Coolangatta, handled expertly by the Tyrrells winemaking team. Outstanding

Robert Channon Wines Pinot Gris 2011, Granite Belt, Queensland. Attractive pear skin aromas as well as a mineral edge on the nose. Fleshy, pithy fruit driven palate. Dry but with a hint of residual sugar that is well balanced with medium acidity, this contributes to the length of palate producing a overall good quality wine at a very reasonable price. Conclusion - A clean and light but good example of the Gris style. Highly Recommended  RRP 19.00

Paracombe Holland Creek Riesling 2007 Adelaide Hills, SA. lovely toasty developed style with still a lemon zest core. Tight palate with medium plus length and a slight honey finish. Well balanced mature style Riesling that is a satisfying drop and very well priced. Highly Recommended  RRP 18.99

Alta by Sarah Fletcher Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Adelaide Hills, S.A.Strong passionfruit, green capsicum and intensely grassy aromas. Light bodied, dry and crisp on the palate. Tight zesty palate makes this wine a winner for immediate summer drinking. Recommended 

The Lane Vineyard Block 3 Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, SA. 13% Strong nectarine aromas with supporting peach and tropical fruit undertones. Dry light bodied wine with fresh crisp acidity. A hint of  malolactic butteriness supports the palate. Pleasant wine.               Recommended.  RRP $25.00

Orlando St Helga Riesling 2010, Eden Valley, SA. Pungent citrus and lime aromas that leap out of the glass. Dry, but very fruit driven with intense citrus fruit flavours. Light bodied as one would expect, with zesty, high acidity and a long palate length. Classic Australian Riesling. Oustanding.

Jane Brook Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Margaret River, WA. Vibrant and pungent gooseberry nose with fresh dry and juicy palate with a sightly hints of fruit sweetness that perfectly offsets the medium plus acidity. Who needs New Zealand SB when we produce wines like this. Outstanding RRP 21.00

Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon 2005 Barossa Valley, SA.  Stunning wine with aged toasty and lanolin nose developing into an intense  dry,citrus driven fresh palate with exceptional length and elegance. Outstanding

Printhie MCC Chardonnay 2009, Orange, NSW Astutely handled new oak on the nose, which blossoms on the palate to reveal an elegant chardonnay displaying lovely cool climate apple, mineral and grapefruit flavours. Dry, crisp acidity with great length ideal to drink now or age. Outstanding RRP $35.00

Krinklewood Verdelho 2009, Broke Fordwich, NSW, 12.5%. Pale colour. Strong tropical fruit displaying pineapple and passionfruit and a whiff floral. Slight hint of residual sugar or perhaps simply fruity, but moves quickly to a dry finish. Crisp tropical fruit acidity. Medium length and intensity. Attractive Verdelho that the Hunter does so well. Biodynamic vineyard. RRP $22.00 Highly Recommended

Moppity Vineyards Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2008, Hilltops NSW. 12.5% White peach and subtle oak with citrus undertones revealing its cool climate origins. Pleasant dry, medium bodied wine with crisp acidity. Just the right amount of savoury oak notes build on the restrained fruit. Medium length. Nice to see sensible alcohol levels. Recommended

Cooks Lot Pinot Gris, Orange, NSW, 2009 14%. Youthful primary fruit driven pinot gris with attractive, but restrained, tropical fruit, pineapple core and peach. Dry, medium bodied wine with well balanced acid and alcohol. Generous flavours of melon and peach with some floral and musk notes on the palate. Good length resulting in a good quality example from this cool climate region. RRP $20.00 Highly Recommended

Redbank Sunday Morning Pinot Gris 2009, King Valley, Vic. 12.5% Lovely peach and floral aromas with a hint of nectarines. Well balanced dry wine with a crisp, savoury, fleshy palate producing a long finish. Nicely handled wine with lower than expected alcohol a bonus. RRP $20.00 Outstanding

Coolangatta Estate Semillon 2009, Shoalhaven Coast NSW 2009 11%. Very pale with lemon, lanolin and citrus peel aromas. A hint floral. Elegant and light bodied with fresh lime juice flavours indicating zesty acidity. A lovely linear wine nice to drink young or keep for future bottle development. Another excellent Coolangatta Semillon confirming the pedigree of this south coast Semillon enclave.  Highly Recommended

Coolangatta Estate Savagnin, Shoalhaven Coast, NSW, 2009. 13%. pale colour. Herbaceous and pear skin nose. Dry with pleasant acidity and a hint phenolic. Flavours of peach stone, perfumed and slightly nutty makes this wine attention grabbing on the palate rather than on the nose. Fleshy and round with a long finish. Recommended.

Alta by Sarah Fletcher Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills, 2009.  12.5%. Very pale with green highlights. Youthful chopped green capsicum on the nose with grass and gooseberry thrown in - classic new world SB.  Dry, clean and crisp on the palate, with similar flavours as the nose with a dose of tropical fruit pitched in.  Nice drop from winemaker Sarah Fletcher and proves Adelaide Hills is Australia's top region for this variety. Recommended

Hungerford Hill Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2008. A fine, modern style chardonnay with intense aromas of melon, peach, butterscotch and vanilla. Dry with medium acidity, nice intense flavours with hints of nuts, marzipan and oak. Good quality with plenty of elegance on the palate confirming the use of cool climate fruit. Recommended

Man O'War Chardonnay 2008, Waiheke Island, NZ.  Pale lemon colour with classic peach, melon accompanied by restrained lees and new oak influence.  Dry, medium bodied with  well balanced fruit, acid and oak flavours. Attractive well make wine. Recommended.

Foxeys Hangout Pinot Gris 2008, Mornington Peninsula, Vic 13.5%  Hints of musk and pear skins. Lovely mouthfeel in a true Gris style. Well integrated creamy texture resulting  in a medium bodied  wine that is very satisfying. Highly Recommended.

Montalto Vineyards Pinot Grigio 2008, Mornington Peninsula. Vic.. 13.5%. Mineral aromas with apple and pear skins. Dry, with lovely length and touch of residual sugar balanced expertly with crisp acidity.  Classic Italian style wine. Highly Recommended. RRP CD $24.00

Cassegrain Fromenteau Chardonnay 2006, Tumbarumba/New England. NSW 13.5% Attractive lemon curd nose which carries through to a rich, dry creamy/buttery palate with lovely length and balance. Finishes with some pleasing acidity and peach flavours. Highly Recommended. RRP $32.00

Balgownie Estate Chardonnay 2006, Bendigo, Vic 14%. Pale yellow. Pronounced barrel notes on the nose accompanied by some tropical fruits. Rich, dry and towards a full-bodied style of chardonnay, good length, mouth-filling with some nice citrus acidity to balance the finish. Recommended RRP $35.00

Leo Buring Eden Valley Riesling 2008, SA. Strong lemon and lime aromas with some tropical fruits. Lovely intense palate with good length. Nice, crisp and dry. Highly Recommended 

Pepper Tree Alluvius Semillon 2009, Hunter Valley, NSW.  10.5 %  Lime and pear skin aromas driven with tight green apple acidity on the palate. The wine has intense flavours on the palate and finishes with a strong lime twist.  Classic young  Hunter Semillon either drink now or leave for 10 years. A Jim Chatto wine sourced from the famous Braemore Vineyard. Outstanding RRP $30.00  

Logan Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Orange. NSW. Lovely passion fruit aromas and a hint herbaceous. Dry, with fresh acidity, light to medium bodied with good length. Another excellent varietal sample from this quality driven region. Highly Recommended  

Singlefile Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Denmark, WA. A lovely lifted herbaceous  nose with some ripe tropical fruits thrown in for good measure. Dry and extremely well balanced on the palate with crisp acidity, fruit and nice minerally notes all playing their part.  Highly Recommended RRP $24

Brokenwood Wines Pinot Gris 2008, Hunter Valley, NSW  Grape are sourced from Beechworth in NE Victoria for this wine. A ripe and luscious musky Gris with bonus Italian nutty hints. A nice rich style with some phenolic and residual sugar on the palate that definitely puts it into the Gris rather than Grigio camp. Recommended.   

Leo Buring Leonay Riesling 2006, Eden Valley, SA. Very pale. The nose is driven by cool climate minerality with hints of grapefruit. Crisp and dry on the palate with a lovely mid-palate richness and intensity.Outstanding.

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2005. Yarra Valley, Vic. Pale straw colour. Refined new oak nose with slight aromas of butter and toast. Long dry, elegant palate with crisp, tight acidity. Classic.  Outstanding.

Dessert Wines

 

The 4th edition of the Australian Wine Guide recommends wineries and individual wines to assist consumers in touring wine regions and purchasing wines. The following is a list of Outstanding and Highly Recommended wines.

Australian Rieslings - Outstanding

• Castle Rock 06 (Porongurup), Frankland Estate Poison Hill Vineyard 06 (Frankland River),

Grosset Polish Hill 06 (Clare Valley), Grosset Watervale 06 (Clare Valley), Howard Park 06

(Great Southern), Leo Buring Leonay DW117 06 (Eden Valley), O’Leary Walker Polish Hill 06

(Clare Valley), Richmond Grove Watervale 05 (Clare Valley).

 

Australian Rieslings - Highly Recommended

 

Alan & Veitch 05 (Eden Valley), Frankland Estate Cooladerra Vineyard 06 (Frankland River), Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Vineyard 05 (Frankland River), Helms Premium 06 (Canberra District), Humbug Reach 06 (Tasmania), Iron Pot Bay 06 (Tasmania), Kilikanoon Mort’s Block 06 (Clare Valley), O’Leary Walker Watervale 07 (Clare Valley), Leo Buring Eden Valley 08, Lark Hill 05 (Canberra District),

Mount Horrocks Watervale 06 (Clare Valley).

Chardonnay - Outstanding

Bindi Quartz 05(Macedon Ranges), Coldstream Hills Reserve 05(Yarra Valley). Curly Flat 04 & 05(Macedon Ranges),  Freycinet 05(Tasmania), Giaconda 05(Beechworth), Leeuwin Estate Art Series 03(Margaret River), Penfolds Reserve Bin A 04(Adelaide Hills), Picardy 04(Pemberton)Pierro 05(Margaret River), Yeringberg 04(Yarra Valley).

Chardonnay - Highly Recommended

 Cullens 04 (Margaret River), De Bortoli 04 (Yarra Valley), Hardy’s Eileen Hardy 03(multi-regional), Hungerford Hill Tumbarumba 05 (Tumbarumba),  Kooyong 04 (Mornington Peninsula)

  Lillydale Estate 05 (Yarra Valley), Phillip Island 03 (Gippsland), Pirie Estate 04 (Tasmania),

 Robert Channon Reserve 05  (Granite Belt), Salitage Unwooded 06 (Pemberton),

 Shaw and Smith M3 05 (Adelaide Hills), Willow Creek Tulum 04 (Mornington Peninsula),

YarraLoch Stephanie’s Dream 04 (Yarra Valley)

Semillon - Outstanding

McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale 05 (Hunter Valley), Thomas Braemore 05 (Hunter Valley) Tyrrell’s Vat No1 06 (Hunter Valley),  Uleybury Show Reserve 02 (Adelaide Zone) Pepper Tree Alluvius 09 (Hunter Valley)

Semillon - Highly Recommended

Bethany 05 (Barossa Valley), Hackersley 05 (Geographe), Henschke Louis 06 (Eden Valley),

Moss Wood 04 (Margaret River), Piggs Peake Sow’s Ear 07 (Hunter Valley), Rolf Binder 05(Barossa Valley),

 The Islander Wally White 05 (Kangaroo Island), Vasse Felix 05(Margaret River)

Attention Wine Producers

If you would like to submit samples for consideration in the next edition of the Australian Wine Guide as well as reviews on this website please contact Clive Hartley on the following email address. contact@australianwineguide.com