Saturday, 30 June 2012

Pizzini Rubacuori 2005

Generally speaking, the ageing ability of the wines that are produced from the Sangiovese variety in Australia is not that good which makes this wine an absolute gem as it is released as a 7 year old. Each year the team at Pizzini select the best parcel of Sangiovese and in recent years they have bottled these parcels separately.  Clonal selection is very important so the Brunello clone is the only one that makes it into the final blend.  The wines characteristics from this clone include high tannin and acid which makes these wines brilliant for extended ageing. They then stash them away and release them when they feel the wines are ready.

I served this wine with my slow cooked Boeuf Bourguignon.

Boeuf Bourguignon

2 Kg Chuck Steak, cubed
2 bottles medium bodied red wine
3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
A handful of fresh herbs
1 Carrot, Chopped
200 g Small Button Mushrooms
200 g Bacon, Diced
300 g golden Shallots, Peeled but left whole

Place meat, garlic, red wine and fresh herbs in a large bowl, cover and leave in the fridge over night.
Drain meat, reserving the herbs and marinade, and pat dry. Heat butter in a large pan and lightly soften the carrots and shallots. Place to one side and brown meat. Heat oven to 160 degrees. Place meat, carrots, shallots, herbs and marinade in large casserole dish in over for 5 hours.

Ten minutes before the time has finished heat butter in pan and add mushrooms and bacon. Cook until soft but not brown.  Add to casserole and stir mixture.  Cook for another 2 - 3 hours. Remove from oven when meat breaks apart and remove herbs. Serve with mash potato.

Pizzini Rubacuori 2005

This wine took ages to open up but when it did the flavours flew.  I mean that literately as the wine seemed to grow wings and fly in my mouth. Where the only thing that was keeping it from getting away was the wall of skin and saliva. The tannins exploded in my mouth like a set of fireworks had been let off with every sip adding loving flavours and textures that seduced my senses. The flavours are pure Australian Sangiovese with moments of cherry, blood plums and cranberry juice but then a rustic Italian moment steps in.  The rusty nail and more earthy flavours, along with a touch of fresh English country garden adds an old world element that takes the quality level of this wine up a few notches. Does the wine fit into the normal medium to light body style? Yes but there is an innate sense of power in this wine that is driving the serious nature along the road of joy. I would have loved to have drunk this wine in Pisa with a slice of Pizza with the women I love but I didn't and I still enjoyed this wine immensely.

Alcohol: 14%
Price: $110
Rated: 93 +
Drink: 2014 - 2032

Friday, 29 June 2012

Windy Peak Chardonnay 2011

Many people go on about the amount of Sauvignon Blanc that is being drunk in Australia but what they don't say is that Chardonnay still ranks as the number one variety based on consumption.  What has happened with the winemaking practises for Chardonnay is that the use of oak has been pulled back and picking dates have been moved back which is great to see as the wines now show much better.  Debortoli's Windy Peak and Gulf Station brands were one of the front runners in the change of styles.

Windy Peak Chardonnay 2011

Everything is subtle in this wine but I think that is much better, especially if you want to pair this with a variety of foods. There still is a hint of oak sweetness but the flavours of grapefruit, peach and candied melon dominate, while their is a gentle whisper of hazelnut blowing in the background.  The palate weight is definitely light but there is a textural element evident in this wine which is not normal for a wine of this price point. What scares me the most is that this wine is the entry level in the Debortoli range yet still offers brilliant value. The quality of the mid-tier and above wines is sublime.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $9
Rated: 84
Drink: Now - 2015


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

La Bossa Sauvignon Blanc 2011

De Bortoli produces this wine with fruit from South Eastern Australia and a touch of New Zealand stuff thrown in.  I think this is a good marketing move as New Zealand produce some very popular drinking wines from this variety with a unique flavour profile.  This wine definitely tastes like it has a bit of New Zealander in it.

La Bossa Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Everything component in this wine comes in little boxes. A little of passion fruit riding on top of a swirl of snow pea purée before a dollop of gooseberry plops in at the end. Nothing takes over and dominates which makes this rather good, especially at this price point. If I had to get down to the nitty gritty then I would say that the flavours after the initial attack the flavours become a bit wishy washy but hay for under the ten buck mark, who cares.

Alcohol: 11.5%
Price: $9
Rated: 83
Drink: Now

Ravensworth Sangiovese 2010 + Chicken Schnitzel and Ratatouille

Ravensworth is the side project for the assistant winemaker for Clonakilla.  The vines are grown on ancient granite soils which means that the soil comprises up to 60% quartz with a little orthoclase, mica and other minerals.




These minerals provide massive amounts of flavours to be extracted from the earth without much nutrients for the vines. This is very important for the production of quality Sangiovese as it massively over crops in fertile soils. 


4 Chicken Thighs
2 eggs
1/2 lemon zest
Olive oil

Flatten the chicken thighs with a tenderiser and set aside. Place pan on a moderate heat and add a little olive oil. Zest half a lemon and mix into breadcrumbs and set in one bowl.  In another bowl beat eggs. To made the schnitzel dunk chicken in eggs, then in breadcrumb mixture and finally in pan. Remove chicken when cooked and serve with ratatouille.  


There are so many recipes for this dish so I use whatever veggie I have in the fridge at the time. 

1 tin Tomatoes
1 egg plant, sliced or diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 capsicum, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed

Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker in the morning and it will be ready when you get home.

Ravensworth Sangiovese 2010

Medium bodied and beautiful in its delivery of sour cherries and bitter chocolate which dance the lambada of love with peppered raspberries and fragrant exotic spice and garden herbs. It is the sort of wine that it easy for the novice to like and still provides cerebral entertainment for the wine nerd. I fit into both ends of the spectrum depending on which mood I'm in so I am having so much fun with this wine. Like so many wines from this variety the flavours seem to jump out of their skin once I paired it with a simple home made chicken schnitzel and some veggies so I would suggest not drinking this by yourself in a dark room but rather sharing it with friends and family.

Alcohol: 14%
Price: $20
Rated: 87
Drink: 2013 - 2020

Monday, 25 June 2012

Patritti JPB Shiraz 2010

I received a comment on a Wirra Wirra wine a little while ago asking if their wine and this wine tasted similar as they come off the same vineyard so I thought I should do a bit of research.

As you can see there are three blocks on this one vineyard.  The block to the right is where the Wirra Wirra Patritti Shiraz comes from and the wine is more aromatic that the two other blocks. While this wine is off of the middle block taste of the wine is a little more robust in its style than the block to the right.  The block to the left is the most robust of the three blocks and tastes a little more like the wines that come from the heart of McLaren Vale.  All of the blocks are on a sandy soil which makes them best during the hotter vintages. As this wine has only just been released I have only seen two places that sell it. At cellar door and myCellars.

Patritti JPB Shiraz 2010

When I first tasted this the thing that stood out the most was the tannin structure. It is more like a Nebbiolo than a Shiraz but the flavours are carried perfectly on the robust velvety tannins.  What also knocked me over was how tight this wine was for at least the first five days, after which flavours of dark chocolate and savoury blackberries started to emerge.  Each day I came back to check on this wine something new and exciting showed itself in the form of smoked blueberries, crushed rock and wood soaked straw.  This is the sort of wine that gets me reaching for my dancing shoes as not often do you find wines that people will be drinking in 30 to 40 years and saying I remember when we first started buying Patritti before they became the star winery of Australia. Did you parents ever tell you about the times when they used to buy Grange by the carton? This wine is the same as that but you get the chance to get on board at the beginning.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $45
Rated: 94 +
Drink: 2025 - 2050

Bremerton Selkirk Shiraz 2010

This wine is the entry level of the top quality wines from Bremerton and is priced far below what a wine of the same quality would be priced from the Barossa or McLaren Vale.

Bremerton Selkirk Shiraz 2010

You either have to be patient with this wine or love oak as it is a major component of this wine. The oak is charry and plush but it does mask the fruit for 5 days. After that the exotic and just ripe flavours start to win the battle. All the right elements of acidity, tannin and flavour are composed within this wine so I have no trouble recommending it but I do warn people that want to be loved right now away from this wine.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $22
Rated: 87
Drink: in ten years

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Hillcrest Village Chardonnay 2010

When I think of quality Chardonnay under 25 bucks I immediately turn to Hoddles Creek but this wine has changed my mind. The wine comes from young vines and is treated with great care and thought.  The wine goes through natural fermentation with only a little sulfur added to stop malolactic fermentation.  The wine then sits in barrel for about 12 months before being racked off and moved to tank for bottling. The wine is not filtered or clarified which makes this as pure a wine as you can get. After tasting this over 4 days I came to the conclusion that this is the best value Chardonnay under 25 bucks in Australia.

Hillcrest Village Chardonnay 2010

For the first two days the oak sweetness was a little too high for full enjoyment which suggest that this needs a year or two to settle into its skin.  On day three the flint and lightly toasted nuts took a back seat to the grapefruit, lemon curd and smoke but it was the razor sharp acidity that pulled everything together that got my juices flowing. The acidity is the bones of the wine and allows the fruit muscle to fully express itself. While this wine is so complete now in 2014 you will have to pull me off of the bottle before i'll allow you to get a glass.  If you haven't had a Hillcrest wine before now is the time to get on board!

Alcohol: 12.9%
Price: $25
Rated: 89
Drink: 2014 - 2019

Seven Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2011

New Zealand, like Australia, is going through a wine glut so I thought I should write something down about what happens to wine prices and the quality of wines during this period. In the lead up to the glut, market pressures suggest that people should plant more grape vines to satisfy the growing demand for consumption but generally too many people get involved and end up planting the variety in areas that wouldn't support quality production. A few years down the track and there is a huge amount of wine on the market which results in the price falling for the cost of grapes and the end bottle price for the consumers.  This can be a great thing for consumers as they can purchase some quality wines at amazing prices but buyers be warned.  In many cases the quality of so many other wines can drop.  Why? Well, if people want to survive in the industry they need to change how they produce their wines.  If the price of the bottle has dropped they may need to increase the amount of wine they produce to allow for the monetary short fall.  The bigger players may increase the amount of their own brands as they can buy in bulk which also puts pressure on the small guys. I'm not saying that is a bad thing but I think that all of the choices that have been made in recent times aren't useful for the long term success of the industry. It is only short sighted short term profit for a small number of players.  I foresee that the wine industry has 3 to 8 years of hardship before they reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Seven Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Nine bucks a bottle and you will need to drink it fast as the flavours run like the wind off of your tongue. you will get a bit of passionfruit but not enough to satisfy a true New Zealand Savy Blanc lover.

Alcohol: 12%
Price: $9
Rated: 75
Drink: Now

Seven Degrees Sauvignon Blanc

Monday, 18 June 2012

Four Winds Vineyard Alinga Sangiovese 2009 + Falafels

Canberra is a beautiful area with the mean January temperature being 23.2 degree Celsius which means that the region has a bit of sun but not quite as much as its Tuscan counterpart. The vineyard at Four Winds may push the boundaries for the Sangiovese variety but with any endeavour it is great to see people experimenting.  The vineyards were planted in 1998 by Suzzane and Greame Lunney with daughters Sarah and Jaime taking responsibility for the winemaking.  There are 33 acres of vines that are planted to a variety of French and Italian varieties. For such a young vineyard these guys are turning out quality wines, if this wine is anything to go by.


Vegetable Oil
400g Soaked Chickpeas
2 cups Parsley, Chopped
1 cup Coriander, Chopped
Handful of mint
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Onion
3 Teaspoons ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Place all ingredients into food processor and process until combined. Set mixture aside and heat vegetable oil in large saucepan.  Roll mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball and then place into oil once the oil is extremely hot.  Remove balls onto paper towel, when it is golden brown and serve warm.

This recipe is so easy and simple and it pairs well with the wine as it is light and fresh. You could serve the falafel with a mint yoghurt, if you like but I decided to leave the ball nude. The photo below has the yoghurt added as my wife wanted the extra moisture.

Four Winds Vineyard Alinga Sangiovese 2009

For such a light bodied wine this has a lot of silkiness attached. The palate almost feels like bed sheets in my mouth which is enticing and cerebral at the same time. The tannins are light and playful with a huge core of acidity pairing well with the flavours of sour cherries, pomegranate and cinnamon. The two most attractive elements of the flavour profile are the pomegranate, it is tart and almost crunchy, and an earthiness that reminds me of sitting in Italy eating a warm ham and bocconcini roll with a glass of chianti in my hand. This wine is truly Australian as it doesn't have enough structure to be Italian but it does have enough drink-ability to consume the whole bottle without thinking.

Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $21
Rated: 86
Drink: Now or over the next 5 years

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Michael Hall Sang De Pigeon Pinot Noir 2011

The Sang De Pigeon label from Michael Hall is his second label which utilises fruit that he thinks doesn't meet his standards. The fruit for this wine comes from the Manyara Vineyard which is located on the main road as you drive from Verdun to Balhannah just as you cross the train tracks.

Michael Hall Sang De Pigeon Pinot Noir 2011

From what is not a very good vintage in the Adelaide Hills, this is a little pearler. The wine starts out light but builds a little as it sits in the glass. To begin with there was a funky dirty element with strawberry's coming through but then the flavour moved to morello cherries that had been covered in fine spice. This wine is your typical Michael Hall number as it is built to show better with a couple of years under its belt.

Alcohol: 13.1%
Price: $32
Rated: 89 +
Drink: Give it two years and then go for it

Sang de Pigeon Pinot Noir 2011

Friday, 15 June 2012

Kangarilla Road Sangiovese 2009

Kangarilla Road Vineyard Sangiovese 2009

I do like myself a clearly varietal yet distinctively McLaren Vale Sangiovese and this wine fits that to a tee. While the oak does play a roll in sweetening up the palate it doesn't move my eyes away from the pungent cranberry and spice one little bit. In fact the whole of the wine sits in the red end of the spectrum which is music to my ears. Easy to drink and easy to like.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $22
Rated: 85
Drink: Now to 2019

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Brokenwood Verona Vineyard Shiraz 2009

The Graveyard Vineyard is the jewel in the crown for Brokenwood but the Verona Vineyard is just across the road.  The vineyard was planted in 1968 from cutting from the oldest vines from the region.  The soil types are the same as the Graveyard vineyard so the wines should share some similarities. The only problem is working out if I should buy Verona or Graveyard. Why not both?

Brokenwood Verona Vineyard Shiraz 2009

The wine definitely shares some flavour and structural facets but those aspects are toned down a notch in this wine. This wine has those lovely medium bodied flavours of chocolate flakes and exotic Indian spice rolling in the deep of the night with savoury herbs and dried clay.  The wine seems to flow from flavour to flavour in such a mesmerising manner that I hardly notice the glass draining in front of my eyes. This is so beautiful to watch but I get the feeling that I should stash this away for 10 years so it can show its true colours.

Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $50
Rated: 91 +
Drink: Beautiful Now but watch out for it from 2019 on to about 2033


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Penny's Hill Footprint Shiraz 2010

Ben Riggs is the winemaker at Penny's Hill and he would have to be one of the most awarded winemakers in the region. Generally his wines are plush and fruit sweet with plenty of ripe flavours and oak treatment. The grapes for this come off a small section from the Penny's Hill vineyard that consistently produces the best quality wines year in year out. If you haven't visited the Penny's Hill cellar door it is a worth while experience as they have some beautiful artwork and top notch lunches that is tough to match in the Vales.

Penny's Hill Footprint Shiraz 2010

This is a meal in itself with its flavours of chocolate mudcake, licorice, spice and dried plums with a hint of crushed rock. While this is definitely full bodied it does have a seductive nature about it which makes it so easy to drink. At  this stage the oak is a major component but the fruit weight should be able to handle it with a little time in the bottle. That said I could easily drink this now if I splashed it around in a decanter.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $65
Rated: 89
Drink: 2014 - 2025

Friday, 8 June 2012

Whistling Eagle Semillon 2008

I have never tried a Semillon from Heathcote so I was interested to see this come across my desk.  The region of Heathcote is a little warmer than other parts of Victoria which got me thinking that this would be stylistically similar to the Semillon's that come out of the Barossa.

Whistling Eagle Semillon 2008

This is the currant release so they hold it back a while to let the oak integrate and it has done this wine wonders. There is still a hair of sweetness from the oak but it is balanced brilliantly by the savoury aspects from the fruit. Tart lemons are so savoury it is scary and this wine is all about the lemon loving. There are also notes of dried grass and lanolin mixed with vanilla pods that pull me back for another sip.  While this drinks well now, I would give it a few more years for all the elements to fully combine.

Alcohol: 12%
Price: $25
Rated: 87
Drink: 2015 and on

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Blackbilly Sangiovese 2009 & roast duck pasta

The Blackbilly name is truly linked to the Australian landscape as it is the Yacca tree which is unique to our heritage.   This wine is made by Nick Hazelgrove and he is based in McLaren Vale which happens to have some very good Sangiovese vines.  The 2009 vintage was plagued by heat suggesting that the wines may not age as well but will show well on release. On the bottle of this wine Nick recommends that a duck pasta would be the perfect match so I thought I should give it a go.

Roast Duck Pasta

400 gr best possible penna pasta you can find
3 cloves garlic
1/2  Cantonese Roast Duck, pulled apart
Duck fat as reqiured
salt and pepper for taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place pasta in boiling water and cook until tender. While pasta is cooking heat a pan on a medium temperature.  Melt some duck fat in pan and add garlic, sauté until tender. When pasta is ready, drain and the add garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, roasted duck and more duck fat to pasta.  Serve immediately. This recipe is dead easy as I cheat by buying the Duck at my local Chinese markets.

While this meal was divine it did not have enough stuffing to compete with the flavours of the wine.  A better match would be pepper steak or any full bodied dish.

Blackbilly Sangiovese 2009

This is a rather full bodied Sangiovese but I guess that was always going to be the case as it comes from a hot vintage. There is a little charry oak at play but it soon settles down to reveal pepper and spice with a side serve of cherry delight.  This is so easy to drink and it does have a funky earthy element that provides a nice counter point to the ripe fruit.  On the back of the palate there is a bit of alcohol heat but this would work well with a skewered steak on the end of your fork. What this wine has is typical for sangiovese and that is nice acidity, an easy feel and food friendliness.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $22
Rated: 86
Drink: Now - 2016

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis 2005

The Chateau d'Ampuis is a stronghold that is situated next to it's own village.  The stronghold or castle has been used since the Roman times and is a beacon of light for the area. As is normal for castles built around that period the architecture is statesman like with cylindrical turrets on one end with large witches hat roofing to allow for the snow to slip off easily. The building is used today when celebration and prestige are in order.

Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis 2005

You have to love a big time wine in a big time glass as it brings with it a sense of occasion. This wine does so in a big old fashion like one of those macho wrestlers did in the early 90s. You know the one I mean. The one with big muscles but with a top that was just too small for him. Were you into that sort of thing back then? Well most probably yes but now you look back at yourself and are a little red cheeked about the whole thing. Now back to the wine. It is flush with roasted meat complexity and big ripe blackcurrant and polished leather aromas that translate perfectly on to the palate. There is also a little rust and red fruit action building on my palate which suggest that while this tastes new world, you can feel a bit of old world coming through.

Alcohol: 13%
Price: $250
Rated: 93
Drink: 2015 - 2030
Importer: Negociants Australia

Monday, 4 June 2012

Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 2009

The Langhorne Creek agricultural area was first founded as it was close to the Bremer and Angus Rivers which allowed for people to utilise the watering capacity around the critical periods over the growing season. While many would think of the Barossa or McLaren Vale as the best tourist destinations, Langhorne Creek provides brilliant value wines from top to bottom plus some spectacular historical buildings such as the hotel which was built in 1850s and you can still have a meal at the bar today.

Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 2009

Boom, boom, boom, boom goes the heart of this wine. This is a big gun of a wine with plenty of bourbon, smoked plum and molasses flavours mixing with chocolate and marshmallow fruits. The power of the fruit can deal with the level of oak but it still took two days for the balance to come around which suggests you shouldn't open this now. Repeat Do Not Open This Now! I really liked this wine but only a little more than the 2010 Selkirk which makes me think I should watch out for the 2010 version of the Old Adam. It is a little unfair to judge two different vintages against each other, especially when 2010 is such a brilliant vintage.

Alcohol: 15%
Price: $50
Rated: 88 +
Drink: 2017 - 2026

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Castagna Un Segreto 2009 plus eggplant lasagna

Castagna walks to the beat of his own drum as he was one of the first in the Beechworth region to plant an Italian variety and was also one of the first to adopt a biodynamic approach to vineyard management. The vineyard is 500 m above sea level and there are herbs and wild grasses speckled throughout the vineyard which attract bees and other positive wild life. If there is something that is attacking the vines these positive wildlife, such as birds, come in to eat those little nasty things. You really have to take your hat off to the people that can think outside the box and adopt a life style that is both good for their own health and good for the health of the vine. Julian is one of those guys and he has a clear vision about what variety should be planted where! I think this wine is the future for blends in Australia as it combines food friendliness and drink-ability in one.

I made this meal to match with Julian's wine and it did so superbly. Watch out that you don't reduce the tomatoes too much as this increases the level of richness in the dish.

Eggplant Lasagne

2 x boxes of fresh Lasagne sheets.
200 g pecorino
5 large eggplants, sliced
3 large tins of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed

Place tomatoes, onion and garlic in large pot and simmer until reduced. Heat pan and add oil. Roll eggplant in flour to cover and then fry in oil until tender. removed from heat and set aside. Heat oven to 180 degrees. In a large baking dish cover the bottom with tomato sauce and then layer lasagne sheet, eggplant, tomato and pecorino until you have reached just inside the top of the dish. Add another layer of lasagne sheet and then over with tomato sauce and pecorino. Cover with foil and place in oven for 20 min and then remove foil and cook for a further 15 min.

Castagna Un Segreto 2009

Medium bodied wine goes perfectly with medium bodied food so this match works perfectly. The Un Segreto is a 60% Sangiovese and 40% Shiraz blend that is lip smackingly dry and savoury with its perfume aromas and wild blueberries bouncing around before light red-fruits and spice take a strangle hold. At this stage the wine is holding is cards close to its chest but it still shows great flavours and mouth watering acidity. The best thing about this wine is the tannins! They are some of the best tannins in the country as they are light yet perfectly balanced with the favours and they spread out on my tongue like a fan that has opened out for the first time. Furthermore the wine is totally balanced with a little extra funky town action that is happening on the back palate.

Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $75
Rated: 92 +
Drink: 2015 - 2024

Brokenwood Regional Blend Shiraz 2009

Brokenwood make a variety of wines from fruit from all over the country. When I first opened the box and noticed the label I was immediately felt a glow of joy as I thought I was in for some Hunter Valley magic but alas on closer inspection this wine comes from McLaren Vale and from a very warm vintage.    This wine is 70% McLaren Vale with a touch, 30%, of Beechworth thrown in.

Brokenwood Regional Blend Shiraz 2009

When I normally taste I have at least five bottles open at one time so I can track their development over three to seven days but with this wine I just kept on wanting to go back to this over all the other wines.  This wine does have richness, through the flavours of tar and chocolate, woven through it but it never gets a head of itself.  There are even elements of glazed cherries and spice mixed with dark plums that freshen the palate right up. In fact I wrote down elegant in a lighter full bodied style across the top of my notes.  In the end I thought a lot of this wine and even though there was a little alcohol warmth on the back palate, for the vintage this is spectacular. I guess that one of the things that takes it up the quality spectrum was the fact that I drank more of this wine that the other samples combined as it was so appealing. 

Alcohol: 14%
Price: $32
Rated: 89
Drink: Now or over the next 7 years


Friday, 1 June 2012

Michael Hall Roussanne 2011

Roussanne can pair so well with so many different foods, especially if it is made in a chiseled and sculptured manner like this one. There is not much of this variety in Australia, which might be due to the fact that it is difficult to grow well and if handled incorrectly will oxidise quickly. Roussanne loves to be paired with any sort of root vegetable and bird even if there is a thick creamy white sauce lathered on top. It is the sort of wine that would be perfect when it starts to get a bit cooler, like it is now.

Michael Hall Roussanne 2011

It is amazing that this wine is so together and complete at such a young age.  The mouthfeel is creamy and slippery with a line of acidity running down the centre of the wine. As the wine travels down my tongue it moves from lightness to a rich mid-palate and then finishes with a lightness which is both invigorating and mesmerising at the same stage. I'm not going to even worry about the flavours but I will say that complexity is not an issue.

Alcohol: 13%
Price: $35
Rated: 90
Drink: give it 5 years before opening your first one.

Dawson & James Chardonnay 2010

I always get excited when I see bottle of wine from a new winery come across my tasting bench.  This wine is the first release from two gentlemen that have been in the industry for donkeys years. In fact they have retired many times from different wineries.  The vineyard that this wine comes from used to make it's way into the top wine from Bay of Fires.

Dawson & James Chardonnay 2010

Massive barrel ferment characters yell from the bottle as soon as I open it but they soon mellow out and allow the bright flavours of grapefruit and peach skin to take the stage.  On day one, the entry of the wine was a little too sweet but by day five everything was humming along. This is a beautiful wine with huge amounts of flavours like toffee, gunpower, smoked spice and nuts woven into the fabric of the wine. At 42 bucks it provides very good value for a wine of this quality.  The only thing that let me down from moving the wine into stupid value territory was the weak mid-palate but I would still happily stash these away for a while before I pulled them out at a party.

Alcohol: 12%
Price: $42
Rated: 89
Drink: 2017 - 2025