Lanson is owned by
Lanson International and has 0 vineyard holdings. The house purchases grape from
110 different communes and supplies some for the royal family.
Lanson Gold Label
Champagne this time of year is a must but at this
price you could drink this all year round. It seems that Champagne is getting cheaper. Is it that we
are drinking more so they can buy bigger shipments or is it the price of our
dollar? These bubbles of joy have complexity wedged with acidity and
creaminess. On the palate there are flavours of lemon curd, sea salt, roasted
nuts and spicy grapefruit that slowly unfold. Open on Christmas day!
The Blind River
Winery is located in the AwatereValley in Marlborough
region. The famous AwatereRiver divides the valley
as it winds its way to the east coast. The closest major town is Blenheim which
sounds more like a pumpkin than a town.
What increases the
enjoyment level on Sav Blanc? For me it is mouth feel or texture as so many are
fermented quickly without lees contact or barrel fermentation. This wine sees
both and the mouth feel is beautiful. It is a little creamer as well but the
acidity and flavour are bright and zesty. It wasn’t what I expected as I was
thinking ‘just another typical blanc but it was much more than that. Think
lemon grass, gooseberries with a fruit or tropical nature with zest on the
back-palate pulling everything together.
I started tasting
this while I was cooking a BBQ and all I got was a nice dose of satay Chicken.
Not what I was expecting so I sat the glass aside for half an hour before going
back to the wine. The wine is definitely a field blend of all thing Bordeaux with all
components working well together. The medium bodied style is normal for this
wine with a light note of pomegranate and brown sugar adding a difference that
I wouldn’t normally associate with this label. What I do get that is common is
a cinnamon donut flavour mixed with blackcurrant and clay. The flavours work
well with the slow to evolve tannin and nice acidity with the oak sitting
firmly in the background. The wine won’t be a keeper like so many from this
label but it will drink nicely with four years under its belt.
Mike Aylward seems to be kicking a lot of goals as he is
pushing the elegant nature of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to the max. James
Halliday has just written his Chardonnay up as in the top 2 in the country. No
small feet from such a small winery that hasn’t been around that long.
This is impressive
to say the least. The flavour profile is even tempered with staggering
complexity and structure. The palate seems to spread out like a peacock’s tail
which is a little poxy to say but I’m going to go with it anyway. If you forget
about the flavours the mouth feel is silky and seductive like running your hand
along a silk sheet for the first time. It leaves you with a sense of wonder and
delight. Special stuff!
Jim Barry started his wine making career at the Stonyfell
winery in 1945 but he moved to the ClareValley in 1946 after
completing his studies. The iconic wine from this winery is based around Shiraz yet the white
wines fly out at very low prices.
This wine is full on flavour but doesn’t possess the
structure for medium term cellaring. What you get is lime, jasmine and lemon drops
in your face that bounces around with swagger. The wine has a honey like moment
on the mid-palate before finishing up with a blossom note on the back palate.
The flavours are more open than normal but for a wine that drinks well this
summer it does the job nicely.
I have never heard of this winery and the label isn’t your
normal French style as it has a huge pig on the front in bright pink. The wine is
good quality and very well priced. The winery is a local cooperative that
produces a lot of wines for negociants but this winery has decided to keep the
better wines separate and handle them with care into the bottle without much
This light bodied 100% Grenache based wine shows lovely
regional and varietal flavour in an earthy sort of manner. The flow of the
wine is the thing that stands out as each flavour doesn’t seemed forced or
contrived, rather it feel natural and easy. What the wine really needs is a bit
of a beating as it opens up massively over the course of the night to finally
produce lovely red berry notes mixed with musk sticks, river pebbles and dried
earth. The mid-palate is pulsing with acidity and a joyous flavour which makes
me think you can just crack into them now. At this price who really cares how
long you keep them.
The Morts Block vineyard is located in the Leasingham
district which has a habit of producing some great Riesling and Shiraz based wines. This
vineyard was planted 40 years ago and is the spine for this and the Morts Block
reserve wines. This wine has a little fruit from the Khileyre
What is most evident is the amount of fruit weight that is
bursting from this wine. This weight it mixed with scintillating acidity and
grip. Back to the fruit as that is what I notice the most. It has lemon and
lime with some blossom before a feijoa note on the mid-palate and a spicy
finish. From my perspective this offers a lot at just over 20 bucks in a drink
now or later style.
The DADD is a lighter style white sparkling wine made from
fruit grown in the cool and crisp Adelaide Hills. The wine only sees partial
malo-fermentation which highlights the zippy nature of the wine. I would
recommend serving this as an aperitif.
This reminds me of a prosecco wine as there are tart apples
and lemon rind at the core of the flavours. These flavours are joined by spice
on the back palate and grapefruit on the front. Everything is light and
delicate which would make for a refreshing drink over the warmer months. For a white
sparkling it doesn’t possess the full on rich nuttiness or depth of flavour but
it also doesn’t come with a huge price tag either.
This wine is intense with the flavours tasting more like
they come in the essence form rather than the off the tree. It is also so
minerally and/or slatey that it feel like you would be at a mine site. In the
end the wine finishes with great vitality and structure.
The Frost Dodger Shiraz comes from a single vineyard in the
elevated EdenValley. The 16 year old vines are single
wire positioned with 30 % whole bunches during fermentation before being
pressed into French oak hogsheads for 16 months. For a wine that sees a lot of
oak the impact is negligible. The mouth-feel is a little creamy and silky but
otherwise the oak has been swallowed up. The first thing you notice is the
beautiful aromatics that are flowing out of the glass. They are mesmerising and
delicate with floral notes mixed with hinted of Indian spices. On the palate
these aromatic flavours are joined by the essence of blackberries and blood
plums mixed with sage butter. It is a delightful wine and one that makes me
rethink about how I think about Shiraz
The lost block used to be produced from a single vineyard
that was left on the vine a little longer to allow for greater fruit
development. Now it is produced from a variety of vineyard in a house style
sort of manner.
Lemon rind and orange peel makes me feel good that is higher
in palate weight than I am used to for a wine of this age. The wine drinks well
now but will look better with six months under its belt. Currently the wine is
fruit forward but has enough acidity to hold it all together and finish
vibrantly. I would drink this over many sav blanc but it still offers many of
those good easy drinking characters that are associated with that variety.
Price: $18 but try the outlets as it might be cheaper
Full bodied and rocking booze. The wine is both regional and
varietal with masses of plum soaked currants, brandy snaps and chocolate mud
cake thrown in. There isn’t a hint of leafiness or capsicum notes that are
associated with this variety but this is a statement in quality. Any oak? Yes
but it has been totally swallow by the fruit. If you want to impress, this wine
will serve that purpose and a bit more.
The Heathvale vineyard vines are old Chardonnay root stock
that has been grafted onto Sagrantino. This has reduced the amount of disease
in the vines that many of the other growers are experiencing with the original
root stock. The variety is the undisputed king for phenolic compounds in the
skins and the highest tannin level for all wines. Drink at your own peril.
The 2011 wine looks good even though it comes from a cool
vintage. There is a nice plum lift along with cranberries and summer flowers
which makes this a lighter style wine in term of depth of flavour and flavour
profile. The wine possesses good balance of flavour and texture but it doesn’t
possess the tannic kick that is associated with the variety. Why? Maceration.
This wine only spends a short time on skins before being pressed off into
barrel. Does it suffer as a result? No not really, it just makes it easier to
drink as a young wine.
The Riesling from 2013 feel like they are fruit expressive
with many being a little more open than the best years but the best wines
combine fruit weight and structure which put them on par with the 2010, 2012
and 2004 versions.
These regional selection wines are high quality and
generally focus on the cooler or vineyard select varieties. This wine comes
from the pristine Adelaide Hills and tastes like lemon blossom and spring
flowers. The flavours are crunchy which must mean there is a huge amount of
acidity hanging around. I would then recommend a stint in the cellar as this
would work out the bobbly nature on the back palate and allow the flavour to
This tiny little family run winery spans 23 acres in Gigondas,
Sablet and Cotes du Rhone. This wine comes from a 4 hectare plot of land in the
Cote du Rhone region. This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and
I like the dirty nature of the wine that has been produced
by Philippe Cartoux. He has woven a number of elements including plenty of
savoury flavours in the form of liquorice stick, cranberries, lemon balm, mixed
dried herbs and fresh sage. The medium boded weight works well with the
flavours and the easy going tannins. It isn’t a keeper but really for a village
wine it is very good.
This wine is like a shopping list that is based on colour.
Green herbs and capsicum are evident to begin with but they are joined by
mulberries and blackcurrants. Even though it is light bodied the flavours work
well and the mild tannins add a bit of textural elements. The palate is a bit
narrow and the flavour are a little too open for the age but for a village
style drink now wine it works well.
What a great entry to this wine with full bodied flavour of
mint, currants, pipe tobacco and spicy herbs. These flavour attack the front palate like a
viking on a war path but once he is finished he falls a sleep in a heap. If you
want a translation it means that they do not transfer up the palate line. This
wine had me perplexed as I wanted to like it more but I just couldn’t in terms
of the quality. What I did like was the profile of the wine. Oh well you win
some and you lose some.
The wines from this producer come from older vines that are a planted on a hill side. They are hand pruned and picked before fermentation in concrete vats and stainless steel tanks then transferred to second use oak barrels.
This is an authentique Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc with a heap of complexity woven into the fabric of this wine. There are moments of banana skin that fleetingly pass by before citrus and asparagus notes kick in. There is also vibrancy and a chiselled edge to the wine that pulls everything together. While the wine isn’t cheap for a Sav Blanc the inherent complexity and style of the wine puts this way ahead of most of the blancs going around in Australia. The only other two Sav Blancs that are close to this quality are Micheal Hall and Domaine A from the Adelaide Hills and Tasmania respectively. The price of this wine is well under the Domaine A so I would buy this first and get through the case.
The Longhop Cabernet was open fermented and hand plunged before
being pressed into predominantly French oak hogsheads. It sounds pretty easy
as there are not many tricks added. We could call it stripped back
Is a tannin structure a must for Cabernet? Well yes if you
are a purest but easy drinking styles need to tone that down which this wine
is. The flavours of dried blackcurrant marshmallows and strawberry jam are soft
and cuddly. The full bodied nature along with the easy flow makes for good
drinking in the short term.
Mike Press is located in KentonValley
in the Adelaide Hills which is more renowned for cherries and a golf course
rather than grape growing. I propose that Mike should add the sub-region as
well as the Adelaide Hills. It is good to promote districts.
The father of affordable stylish wines has done well with
the 2011 vintage. The oak is prominent but the flavours of Crushed leaves,
dried herbs and cassis over take the oak on day 3. The mid-pale is rather sweet
but it makes it so easy to drink. It’s not a sipping wine but would work well
with a side of meat on the BBQ and a group of friends. If you leave it in the
cellar I think the savoury quality of Cabernet will win out. The amount of oak in this wine suggests that you
will need to cellar it for a while but if you want to drink it now just open it
in the morning before you go to work and leave the cap off.
What does the term weedy mean? The dictionary says
‘physically weak in appearance and containing or covered with weeds’. The
synonyms for weedy are undeveloped, frail, weak, thin and undersized. These
terms are not something that I would normally associate with quality wine but
that is the leading factor in this wine. I think it has to do with the 2011
vintage as it was a cool and wet year. There are notes of plum but they are
green and they are mixed with green pepper corns.
The MorningtonPeninsula has many great
holiday destinations and accommodation places but these are classic; rent a
house, rent a shack and the best home away. They range from the lower end of
the market but most of them would sit in the 4 star category.These come with a pool and/or spa with some
having a nice outside entertainment deck. My wife and I went their last year
and it was fantastic and we would recommend it to everyone.
Strawberries, mulch, spice that come across as with a little
swagger and slightly feral. The wild nature is appealing with an added
fragrance emanating from the glass. On the palate this is pretty much the same,
only a small amount of svelte tannins add texture and chalkiness. I would
recommend drinking this in the shorter term with a light cheese platter.
This is a easy to understand wine with plenty of those
typical Australian Sav Blanc flavours. Think of opening a mixed tropical fruits
tin and then throw in a wedge of lemon grass and you have the profile of this
wine. I’d be happy to crack this open anytime.
The Morgante winery is a family owned and run business on
the tiny island
of Sicily. Their vineyard
spans 200 hectares with 100% of the production used to come from a single
variety, Nero d’Avola, which now spans Frappato, Moscato, Merlot, Cabernet, Inzolia
and Grecanico. The added options allows for great blending choices.
If you are after medium bodied goodness with a slightly sour
profile, look no further. There is a slightly herbal note mixed with fruitiness
so it really offers everything in the one wine. From a textural perspective the
wine possess silkiness with great acidity and a gruff tannin dryness running
underneath. This ticks a low of boxes for style and Nero d’Avola flavour which
would work so well in the weather that we are expecting to have over this
Its Christmas time so get out your National Lampoons
Christmas vacation, sit back in the couch and open something cold. This time of
year lends itself to catching up with everyone, not just you family, on every
night of the week. Today it is my wife’s workplace Christmas lunch so they have
pulled out all the stops with a catered lunch and beverages on show. You have
to love when you get paid to have a few drinks as it lifts the spirits. Enjoy
any of these drinks below, especially as a few of them are pink in colour which
makes them the national drink for this time of year.
To begin with there is an enchanting cherry lipstick note
which is both pretty and light. Once I sip it the wine comes across as medium
bodied with hints of spice and lemon balm. These flavours give the impression
of good complexity, especially when the wine was served really cold, and the
best thing about it is the dryness that the wine finishes with. Drink up with
the weather is hot!
This wine is lighter in colour and weight of flavour but
this only means that it would be a better match for starters or entrée meals.
Flavours of strawberries, rose hip and spice come oozing out and they don’t
stop working their hips baby. This is a beautifully styled Rose that has
acidity as its driving force. Bring more of this on as this didn’t even last
the night. There is also a textural element that takes the interest factor up a
The bomb! This is on special at the moment so it is around
the $14 mark but it is worth around the 25 to 35 mark. This little medium
bodied delight has complexity up the wazoo with flavours of cherry cola, wood
smoked bark, spice and blueberry pie. All these flavour are built of a savoury
profile with silky tannins flowing underneath. I have half a page written about
this wine on my notes but the word that comes up the most is lovely! I’ve
bought some now you need to get on the band wagon.
This wine comes in a kick arse squat bottle which makes this
wine feel impressive even before you open it. The winery has only been around
since 1980 and they focus on everything that is associated with the Sicilian
heritage. They utilise amphora’s and older wood which lets the textural and
flavour of the indigenous varieties speak loudest. The savoury flavours of
orange rind, blood plums, dried autumn leaves and spice are major with a spearmint component on the
back end. The medium bodied palate weight is so satisfying and is a pure joy as
it is miles away for the over bearing and clean nature of a some of the
The long term forecast for South Australia, from the weather
bureau, indicates that we will reach temperatures similar to 07 and 08. In
those years we experienced extremely hot period with over two weeks of 40
degree plus temperatures in a row. The wines from these years were fruit
forward with many lacking structure. Some 08 wines look spectacular if they
were picked before the heat. It just depends when the heat comes. We will wait
and see how this year’s vintage turns out but in the meantime stock up on this
This wine comes in two parts. Firstly the entry which is light
in weight but has nice intense flavours of lemon and lime cordial mixed with
talc powder, dried flowers and creamy high end soup. The second party hits on the mid-palate where
there is a textural element. In the end the wine finishes dry and crisp which
is perfect for a summer like we are expected to have.
Pristine flavour delivered with an undergrowth feeling that
oozes out. It isn’t a funky dirty wine as it possesses plenty of fruit flavour
but it does have an extra something lurking.The profile is sour with some smoky fennel flavours finishing everything
off. The flavours that came to mind were sour cherries and the essence of raspberries
with a bright core of acidity running through the middle of my palate. Drink
now? Yes but will develop nicely in the bottle.
The first vines from this variety arrived in 1832 so it has
been around a while but it is only recently, the last 10 years, has it really
taken off. Generally these wines are released very young but wineries are
experimenting with lees contact and barrel aging so expect some wild new wines
The Pizzini effort is built for summer drinking and loving
and it still possess plenty of flavour in the form of pear skin, lemon rind and
spice. The light weight palate works perfectly in the middle of the day with a
nice light meal yet it still has a richer mid palate with a hint of creaminess
coming through which takes it up the interest ladder. This wine is a very good
effort for a wine under 20 bucks.
I’ve been looking forward to the 2012 vintage release from
Drew and Raegan Noon for some time now so it was interesting to sit down over
the four days and have a look at these. What I will say is that they are not as over
the top as I was expecting. They are full bodied wines with elegance, structure
and big oak, especially the Shiraz.
The wine starts out with mostly Asian spices that have been
pummelled over an open fire. That smokiness is infused with the exotic aromatic
nature of cardamom, cassia, black cumin and cloves which make it feel like a
good Indian curry house. On the palate the vanilla oak comes through but the
fruit manages to work its way out over the course of the four days. The fruit
flavours come in the form of raspberry coulis, smoked coconut, burnt sugar and
blackberries with a nice fine bone of acidity holding it together. The palate
feels soft and cosy yet it still takes its time to fully unfurl. I could still
drink this now without any problem but it will keep for many years.
Price: Cellar door $27 – Online retailers $120 Rated: 91 Drink: Now – 2024
Full bodied with masses of blackcurrants and fragrant
violets cascading out if the bottle once the screw cap is open. The oak smells
like it is not even there but I can feel it once I place the liquid to my
mouth. The oak is well integrated at this stage of the wines life with the
profile firmly sitting more savoury than the Reserve Shiraz. There are moments
of tomato leaf, dried mint, bold blackcurrant, spice, fresh cut violets with
smoked cedar underneath. While this wine is full boded it isn’t as big as
normal which makes it easier to pair with food or just enjoy a few glasses
after work.You could say that it is a
Holden Cruze with a V8 engine in nature as it smells big but has the energy
Price: Cellar door $27 – Online retailer $80 Rated: 93 Drink: Now - 2027
Why is it that many wines taste sweet while some others are sour? Sun I say and how much time the grapes hang on the vines. It is a mix between the wine-maker and vines. This is why we have so much fruit and sweetness in Australia. Slowly people are changing what they plant so as to better fit the variety to the area. This wine is sour and bright with great flavour.
While this winery hasn't been around for that long, Jean-Marc only started in 1989, they are producing some spectacular wines already.
The flavour profile is sour but it works so well. The 50 year old vines have worked their magic as the complexity of plums, strawberries, raspberries and spice are beautiful and perfumed. The tannins take it up a level as they are dry and bold yet oh so pretty. While I love this now I would let it sit for 3 to 5 years in the cellar before I open them up.
The King Valley is a lovely picturesque area with many
wineries and food shops but that is not the only thing going on. Once a year in
October the locals and other competitors get their fitness groove on and take
on a triathlon. The event starts at Lake William Hovell which is a magnificently
breathtaking start to the event. The 15k run takes you through sandy flats and
rustic gum before a 12k Kayak on the Lake which starts out at the boat yard and
ends on the calm end of town. This is then followed by a 39k bike ride and a 3k
sprint. After the event there are so many wineries and boutique beer store I
suggest that you get stuck in to them.
Ticks all the rizza boxes and is worth every cent of the 16
bucks of the RRP. The wine starts out very floral before some lemon drops kicks
in on the mid-palate. While my notes say high in acid it isn’t that noticeable compared
too many of this style from Eden Valley or the Clare Valley. What I would say is the style is highly
drinkable and would work well once the weather starts heating up.