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Granite Belt Regional Report 2017 Poll: The best Australian wine region to Pierro Chardonnay Hatherleigh Pinot Noir McLaren Vale Regional Report Churton: Vineyard as a garden of Eden Birds of a feather: Rudi Bauer and his Quartz Reef Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2009-2014 Riesling Rendezvous 2016 Do preservative free wines age? UPDATE: WET changes have wine producers hopping mad #2 Terroir Unlimited: Terroir Al Limit 2016 Mount Pleasant 1965 Vines Rosehill Vineyard Shiraz 2014 Balnaves The Tally : Vertical Tasting 1998-2013
 
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Granite Belt Regional Report 2017

Mike Bennie headed to Queensland’s Granite Belt to put the region’s wines under the microscope. Misconceptions be damned: the result was as full of surprises as it was incredibly good wines.  

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Poll: The best Australian wine region to “tour” is?

Simple question: what’s the best Australian wine region to tour? Maximum of 3 answers allowed, though you can click on one only if your choice is overwhelmingly in one direction.

pierro chardonnay vineyard w kangaroo

Pierro Chardonnay – a ten year collection from 2006 to 2015

From seemingly nowhere, a ten year collection of Pierro chardonnay arrived at my front door. Thrilled. Blue chip stuff.  

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Hatherleigh Pinot Noir – Full Retrospective Tasting

Established in 1996 with most plantings going on in 1999, this is Nick Bulleid MW’s labour of love, all planted to pinot noir.

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McLaren Vale Regional Report

The Winefront’s Mike Bennie and Gary Walsh visited McLaren Vale in June to assess exactly where the region’s wines are at. The result was a thorough health check of the region with more than a few surprises. Indeed, the odd shock was in store.

churton vineyard

Churton: Vineyard as a garden of Eden

You get the feeling Sam Weaver is tired of the nincompoops.

Rudi Bauer by Alli Albanese

Birds of a feather: Rudi Bauer and his Quartz Reef

Sometimes the luck runs against you.

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Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2009-2014

A precious afternoon one on one with the bloody great Kevin Judd.

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Riesling Rendezvous 2016 – general riesling tastings

Riesling Rendezvous 2016 held in Seattle is over and done with, a large scale event that drew riesling winemakers, lovers, wine writers, MS, MW, CMS, you name it, like riesling, they were there, from all over the riesling planet.

919708 - beautiful vineyard at mclaren vale, south australia

Do preservative free wines age?

Accepted wisdom is that ‘preservative free’ or (very) low sulphur wines must be consumed within a year or at most two from bottling.

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UPDATE: WET changes have wine producers hopping mad #2

Opposition to the proposed changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is mounting.

terroir al limit

Terroir Unlimited: Terroir Al Limit 2016

Next level wines. I can think of few Spanish producers making wines of such excitement, charisma and transparent-feeling representation of place.    

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Mount Pleasant 1965 Vines Rosehill Vineyard Shiraz 2014

The Mount Pleasant winery is my special subject. It was the home of Australia’s first great winemaker – Maurice O’Shea – and until the early 1960s it was known as the producer of Australia’s best table wines.

balnaves the tally

Balnaves The Tally : Vertical Tasting 1998-2013

“When I first started making wine in Coonawarra,” Balnaves long-term winemaker Pete Bissell says, “we always thought the warmer vintages were the better vintages. Now I’m starting to think the cooler vintages are better.”

Si Baba Yaga

Si Vintners Baba Yaga 2017

28 May 2017

Pretty close to 30 days on skins for the sauvignon blanc, with some buckets of cabernet sauvignon thrown in at the end as seasoning. “It finished malo and it was tasting really good, so it went into bottle”, says winemaker Iwo Jakimowicz. Quite playful in the mind, when you get to drinking this…

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Posted in Margaret River, natural wine, Rose0 Comments

Si Vintners White

Si Vintners White 2015

28 May 2017

Semillon to the tune of 90% and chardonnay the rest. It sees about ten days on skins, “semillon is a bit of a bastard to get extraction and volume from, so letting it sit on its skins helps with texture and volume”, says vigneron Iwo Jakimowicz. Twist on the regional staple here. In a great […]

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Posted in Margaret River, natural wine, sauv blanc et al, semillon et al0 Comments

Casa de Si Jesus Angel Vino Tinto 2014

28 May 2017

From a hectare of vines dating back some 90 years or so, set at around 900 metres above sea level. The site is set in an old farming/vineyard area in Ateca, Aragon, Calatayud. Sarah Morris and Iwo Jakimowicz worked in Spain and then bought a couple of old vineyards there to make wine from in the […]

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Posted in grenache et al, organic, Spain, Tip Top Tipple0 Comments

Shaw + Smith Lenswood Chardonnay

Shaw + Smith Lenswood Chardonnay 2015

28 May 2017

To be released in July. “I think for us we’ve been looking for parcels as they come in, and seeing blocks that are special, those that have innate characters that we like to see”, says winemaker Adam Wadewitz. From vineyards planted in 1999, set at 500 metres above sea level. “The grapes taste more coiled, […]

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, chardonnay0 Comments

Shaw + Smith Shiraz

Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2015

28 May 2017

“2015 was an outstanding year, but it was more opulent in terms of this wine. We’re working with less vineyards from the warmer parts of the Hills, and moving to the cooler parts generally”, says winemaker Adam Wadewitz.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, shiraz et al1 Comment

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La Ca Növa Barbaresco Montefico Vigna Bric Mentina 2013

26 May 2017

These are all but gone, but still available at some retailers. I have 2014 about to arrive shortly. It’s a fast-paced life in the Barbaresco lane. Importer: Trembath & Taylor

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value2 Comments

olekstar

Olek Bondonio Barbaresco Starderi 2014

26 May 2017

Starderi is in Neive, not Barbaresco as such. Best known locally, possibly, for wines from Traversa and La Spinetta. Importer: Giorgio de Maria Fun Wines!

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

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Passopisciaro Etna Rosso 2014

26 May 2017

Back to a bigger, bolder Passopisciaro this year, which is now called Passorosso, though I’ll stick with convention. Importer: Mondo Imports

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Posted in Italy, other reds7 Comments

brave new wine schadenfreude

Brave New Wine Schadenfreude 2016

26 May 2017

Single vineyard shiraz from the Great Southern. The 2015 release knocked me for six. Whole bunches, wild ferment, unfined and unfiltered, tiny make.

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Posted in Great Southern, shiraz et al3 Comments

RavensworthSHirazViognier

Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier 2016

26 May 2017

Someone asked me the other day something to the tune of ‘who are the next generation of newer generation producers who will truly create a legacy in Australian wine, not just those in the avant garde creating waves now, but making wines and wine styles that will sustain and be part of the fabric of […]

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Posted in Canberra District, shiraz et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value, viognier et al7 Comments

Les Dolomies Croix Sarrant Savagnin

Les Dolomies Arco Savagnin 2015

26 May 2017

Named for the family donkey, of all things. The two donkeys of Les Dolomies do all the carting of grapes in the vines. Nice. Low cropping vines, tiny plot. Gentle winemaking.

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Posted in Jura, organic, other whites0 Comments

Les Dolomies La Chaux Chardonnay

Les Dolomies Premice Savagnin 2015

26 May 2017

From new plantings in Les Combe, a famed terroir of Jura. Tiny production. It’s matured in old oak for less than a year. Natural fermentation, no fining or filtration, organic farming, the bedrocks here.

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Posted in Jura, organic, other whites0 Comments

Les Dolomies Croix Sarrant Savagnin

Les Dolomies Croix Sarrant Savagnin 2015

26 May 2017

Savagnin is one of the great white grape varieties, I reckon. Takes oak, lees, oxidation, late harvest, straight table wine, from alpine fresh to oxidative complex, it does it all in its stride. Undervalued greatly and has the potential to make some of the world’s best wines. From a 0.28 hectare plot on the slopes of […]

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Posted in Jura, organic, other whites, Tip Top Tipple0 Comments

Les Dolomies La Chaux Chardonnay

Les Dolomies La Chaux Chardonnay 2015

26 May 2017

From a young  (25 years old) plot of just a quarter of a hectare, this chardonnay is just down the way from Chateau Chalon, the famed Jura terroir for yellow wines (vin jaune). Younger generation Jura producer working intensely organically.  

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Posted in chardonnay, Jura, organic0 Comments

david hook de novo bianco

David Hook De Novo Rosso 2015

26 May 2017

Blend of sangiovese, barbera and nebbiolo. Not necessarily in that order.

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Posted in Central Ranges, nebbiolo, sangiovese et al0 Comments

david hook de novo bianco

David Hook Reserve De Novo Bianco 2014

26 May 2017

Pinot grigio, riesling, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, aged in oak and held back a touch prior to release.

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Posted in Central Ranges, chardonnay0 Comments

tyrrells hunter valley chardonnay

Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2016

26 May 2017

Billed as the ‘baby brother’ to Tyrrell’s Vat 47 Chardonnay.

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Posted in chardonnay, Hunter Valley0 Comments

anselmavr

Anselma Giacomo Barolo Vigna Rionda 2010

25 May 2017

From the storied ’round vineyard’, a riserva that spends, I believe, about five years in oak. Riservas not really my ideal style, and they seem somewhat anachronistic, though I guess that’s perhaps precisely their point. Anyway, if you’re going to make a riserva, then this is one of the sites that’s likely to pull it […]

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo8 Comments

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Dr. Edge Pinot Noir East 2016

25 May 2017

East Easy Rider.  50 cases produced from the Hazards vineyard on the East Coast.

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania0 Comments

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Dr. Edge Pinot Noir South 2016

25 May 2017

There’s 50 cases made with fruit coming from the Meadowbank vineyard in the Derwent Valley. Only about 15% new oak used in all these wines, with some of the Dredge signature barrel funk coming through in all of them.

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania3 Comments

What is The Wine Front?

The WINEFRONT is entirely independent. It has run continuously since 2002. Our focus is Australian wine but the full wonderful gamut of world wine is in our sights. We score realistically and reliably. 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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