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Penfolds media circus Riot Rose, wine in a can Rootstock pulls up stumps Penfolds goes to infinity and beyond Mildara Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Test: Repour Grenache Project 17 Grosset Wines Retrospective 2017 Penfolds G3 launched New wind blows at Thousand Candles Nineteen Eighty-Four: Californian Cabernet Australia The Barossa Cellar: Major build for the Barossa Valley Coriole Shiraz: 25 vintages of an Australian classic
penfolds media tasting

Penfolds media circus

The Penfolds circus. Every year Penfolds holds media tastings of its new super premium releases. These tastings are held around the world, a fair bit out from the release date (4 October 2018, in this case; tasting was in August) with a publishing embargo in place so that, if you swallow the story whole, each […]

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Riot Rose, wine in a can

McLaren Vale winemaker Tom O’Donnell is on to the wine-in-a-can movement in a big way: big on quality, that is. Personally I’m not yet at the stage where I’m shopping for wines in a can but I like the idea, like the vessel itself, love the idea of it as a take-on-a-camping-trip essential (lightweight to […]

verona wine bar

Rootstock pulls up stumps

Too bold, too good, too successful; the wild ride that was the Rootstock Sydney Festival has come to an end, and the wine world in its entirety will now be lesser. Today the organisers of Rootstock Sydney announced that “Australia’s largest natural wine festival has called last drinks”. It had run for five years. It […]

penfolds art

Penfolds goes to infinity and beyond

It’s hard to know where to start. Australian wine company Penfolds today jumped the biggest of sharks: it will from now on be a global wine producer rather than merely a global wine brand. From now on, starting as soon as possible, Penfolds will source and make wine out of both the Napa Valley in […]

mildara cabernet art TWF

Mildara Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

It doesn’t happen every day. Indeed it’s only happened a few times in the 16 year history of The Winefront, and two of those times it happened because of the same source. A wine was flicked my way, by post, off the bat of a subscriber. No affiliations, no barrows, just a wine lover who […]

repour packet

Test: Repour

On February 28 I opened a bottle of the lovely Punt Road Gamay 2017 in among a vast number of other wines. I immediately wanted to stop tasting and just drink it, but alas life wasn’t on my side. I would tip it. And move to the next wine. Or normally I would, except that […]

grenache project duval single bottle

Grenache Project 17 – A celebration of single vineyard grenache

All manner of groups have proposed a collective yet individual approach to a winemaking schemata, but by my reckoning none so far where a single vineyard of grenache has been explored through the lens of six, diverse winemakers. New territory is being broken.   


Grosset Wines Retrospective 2017 – a tasting of riesling and cabernets

Earlier in 2017, Jeffrey Grosset hosted an intimate session showcasing current releases and a slew of back vintage wine. The presentation was accompanied by some candid home snaps and a detailed explanation of sites and vintages, but perhaps most telling was the candid home pictures, included one of Grosset in his first, own winery, bearded, […]

penfolds G3 beauty

Penfolds G3 launched

It’s not so much three bottles of Grange for the price of one as one bottle of Grange for the price of three. It’s a blend of Australia’s most famous blend. It’s an NV red wine, in a heavy bottle, for $3000 a pop. Everything about it is wrong save for three things: rarity, prestige, […]

thousand candles redone

New wind blows at Thousand Candles

It was the best of stories. It was the worst of stories. Thousand Candles launched with a grand vision and an even grander vineyard and the perfect team of people to execute it. It had a beautifully-designed label, the hottest winemaker in the country at the time – Bill Downie – and a viticulturist as […]

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Nineteen Eighty-Four: Californian Cabernet

Decanter magazine reported of the 1984 Californian harvest, “This was one of those rare too good to be true vintages that was big in size and ranged from good to excellent in quality. The harvest was early due to a hot spell that kicked it off and a long period warm weather followed to keep harvesters […]


Australia’s Best Grenache? Yangarra Estate High Sands Grenache 2010-2014

Yangarra’s High Sands Grenache has been a star performer over the years (see all our reviews here) but the stunning quality of the just-released 2014 made us stop and think. Is this Australia’s Best Grenache? A recent chance to taste a complete set of this benchmark Grenache was the perfect way to dig deeper. What is now […]

The Barossa Cellar render

The Barossa Cellar: Major build for the Barossa Valley

It’s a great initiative, and step forward. The Barossa Valley plans to build an independent, globally recognised, regional wine museum. The Barossa Cellar, as it will be known, has been a dream of (the) Barons of Barossa for many years. With over $2.0M cash, pledges and in-kind donations already ‘in the bank’, it now looks […]

75722142 - winery vineyard and silhouette of vines on dusk featuring rows of vines, grapes or sultanas on wire. filmed mildura, victoria.

Coriole Shiraz: 25 vintages of an Australian classic

Coriole Shiraz, I’m pretty sure, is a staple of many Australian wine cellars. I was lucky enough to taste through twenty five vintages at Coriole’s beautiful winery on a fine autumn day in April 2017. I first visited Coriole back in 1995, and have something of a history with their Shiraz. I can recall tasting […]

yarra yering semillon

Yarra Yering Semillon 2017

17 October 2018

Yarra Valley semillon from Yarra Yering.

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Posted in semillon et al, Yarra Valley1 Comment


Principia Altior Pinot Noir 2016

16 October 2018

Interestingly, I prefer the ‘standard’ Pinot Noir to this, as a drink, though the quality is similar.

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir0 Comments


Principia Pinot Noir 2016

16 October 2018

It’s been a few years since I’ve tried anything from this producer, but there’s three in the wings here now. Tasted sixteen wines from 2016 (Australia) and 2015 (ROW) last night at the Stonier International Pinot thingy, which was interesting. This wasn’t included, but feel I’ve kind of got my eye in, a little. I’m […]

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir5 Comments


Mirafiore Barolo Riserva 2010

16 October 2018

It’ll be a bit of fun, in years to come, working out which was the ‘better’ vintage: 2010 or 2013. Of course, some wines will be superior in one year, to the other, but as an overall thing, kind of interesting. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments


Mirafiore Barolo Paiagallo 2013

16 October 2018

Paiagallo, at least for me, is an MGA that doesn’t get the acclaim it perhaps should. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo3 Comments


Mirafiore Langhe Nebbiolo 2016

16 October 2018

2016. Not met one I’ve not liked yet. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

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Ruggabellus Solumodo 2016

16 October 2018

The ‘dark orange’ wine in the trio of Ruggabellus’ orange wines, alongside Quomodo and Sallio. This is 68% semillon, 28% riesling, 4% muscat with an average of 236 days on skins, though the semillon component sees a full year of skin maceration. The wine hits the market a full two and a half years after harvest. […]

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Posted in Eden Valley, orange wine, other whites, riesling, semillon et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value1 Comment


Ruggabellus Quomodo 2016

16 October 2018

What a suite of wines this 2016 white and 2017 red wine Ruggabellus release is. I’ll go on record saying it’s been the best/most interesting/satisfying collection I’ve seen in the calendar year, to use a pithy landmark in a non-linear scheme. Baseline is, if you like great wine, fine wine, or wine from one of […]

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Posted in Eden Valley, orange wine, riesling, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value1 Comment


Ruggabellus Sallio 2016

16 October 2018

Arguably Australia’s greatest orange wine, let alone that it’s a great wine. If orange wine is an intimidating phrase or proposition, then let’s just say this is a profound, textural white wine. The detail and care to bring this to life is epic, notwithstanding its elder siblings in Quomodo and Solumodo are outstanding too, and […]

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Posted in Eden Valley, orange wine, other whites, semillon et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value9 Comments

hickinbotham the peake cabernet shiraz

Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard The Peake Cabernet Shiraz 2016

16 October 2018

Cabernet sauvignon (57%) and shiraz (43%) from a block planted in 1971. The shiraz spends 15 months in Burgundy-coopered French oak, 80% new. The cabernet goes into Bordeaux-coopered oak. 467 dozen were made.

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Posted in cabernet et al, McLaren Vale0 Comments

hickinbotham elder hill grenache

Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard Elder Hill Grenache 2016

16 October 2018

Bush vine grenache from a block planted in 1962. 10% whole bunches. Matured in Burgundy-coopered barrels. 473 dozen made.

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Posted in grenache et al, McLaren Vale0 Comments

hickinbotham brooks road shiraz

Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard Brooks Road Shiraz 2016

15 October 2018

The Hickinbotham wines tend to combine powerful flavours with (comparatively) modest alcohol levels; i.e. they’re not overdone. There’s a best-selling novel to be written, set in the Australian Wine Industry, titled Power Without Heat.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, shiraz et al7 Comments

yarra yering chardonnay

Yarra Yering Chardonnay 2017

15 October 2018

The Yarra Yering wines are made by Sarah Crowe. The 1969-planted vineyard is the hero, no doubt, but the place got lucky the day Sarah Crowe walked through the door.

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Posted in chardonnay, Yarra Valley1 Comment

yarra yering pinot noir

Yarra Yering Pinot Noir 2017

15 October 2018

It would be fair to say that the band of Yarra Valley pioneers – Yarra Yering, Mount Mary, Yeringberg and Wantirna Estate – are all in terrific form. As indeed is Seville Estate.

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Posted in pinot noir, Tip Top Tipple, Yarra Valley7 Comments

bird on a wire chardonnay

Bird on a Wire Chardonnay 2015

15 October 2018

Yarra Valley chardonnay at the hand of Caroline Mooney.  

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Posted in chardonnay, Yarra Valley0 Comments

chat_tan_grandbarossa_shiraz_125NV CROP

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2017

13 October 2018

Ain’t life grand? Sure is Grand for this range of wines from the Barossa Valley.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

chat_tan_grandbarossa_Cab Sav SCREW CAP 2016v

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

13 October 2018

Grand Barossa at a not so grand price point. I know I will be howled down by loyalists, but for the most part Barossa and cabernet sauvignon feel like very uneasy bedfellows.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, cabernet et al1 Comment

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Turkey Flat Butcher’s Block Red Blend 2017

13 October 2018

Some shape-shifting with Butcher’s Block, with some new packaging a big thing. The image here is the shiraz, with this ‘Red Blend’ cuvee similarly styled but with red background and white font. I’m a little uneasy about the new packaging, favouring the old, it looks and feels more comical and cheaper, a bit RSL ready, […]

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Posted in Barossa Valley, grenache et al, mourvedre et al, shiraz et al0 Comments

Turkey Flat Shiraz 2016

Turkey Flat Shiraz 2016

13 October 2018

Heartland stuff here, but seems to generally find great balance and a sense of freshness. No slouch here. I wasn’t really feeling anything remotely like Barossa shiraz today, but something short-fused in my brain and I ended up with a hearty glass of this in front of a movie, feeling quite satisfied, indeed. This is […]

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al7 Comments

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Spider Bill Wines Chardonnay 2017

13 October 2018

New-ish boutique producer out of the Adelaide Hills here with fruit from arguably the dress circle for chardonnay from the region, Piccadilly Valley. There’s a purity to this (these) wines that’s very appealing. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen from Spider Bill.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, chardonnay8 Comments

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The WINEFRONT has flourished as a wine review and information site since 2002. We believe in hard work, realistic scoring, reliability and rigorous independence. We cover Australian wine principally but we extend coverage across the wider world of wine. The hunt for the next beautiful wine knows no boundaries. The WINEFRONT is run by Campbell Mattinson, Gary Walsh and Mike Bennie. A full history of reviews and articles is available to subscribers via the WINE SEARCH tab.



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