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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 Australia’s Most Expensive Wines: $250 Pinot Noir from Yering Station joins the fray All the latest from Cape Mentelle Adam Granite Belt Regional Report 2017 Poll: The best Australian wine region to Grenache of the day Pierro Chardonnay Hatherleigh Pinot Noir McLaren Vale Regional Report
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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Australia’s Most Expensive Wines: $250 Pinot Noir from Yering Station joins the fray

The price of Australia’s most prestigious wines – either by self-design or by sheer quality – is on a fast march. We have now reached a point where the extraordinary has become ordinary, or at least the new normal. A list of Australia’s Most Expensive Wines now makes for quite remarkable reading. Price has long been a […]

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All the latest from Cape Mentelle

Just finished looking through the latest releases from Cape Mentelle and the range is looking in remarkably strong shape. All the individual wines are reviewed to the site but they are gathered here as a suite. The reviews below are from both Gary Walsh and I, denoted by our initials. PHOTO courtesy Cape Mentelle/Frances Andrijich.

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Adam’s Era: Profile of winemaker Adam Wadewitz

Winemaker Adam Wadewitz is the latest star to join the Shaw & Smith team. Get set for another blast of quality releases. —— First published in Halliday Magazine in 2014. Written by Campbell Mattinson. Successful wineries are like successful relationships. They’re never accidental. They’re the result of a lot of good decisions taken over a […]

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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.

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Grenache of the day

Grenache’s time to shine has been over a century in the making. But the argument for grenache grows increasingly stronger … Words Campbell Mattinson Published: September 2012 _____________________ Suddenly it’s cool to love grenache. We’ve been growing it in Australia from just before the year dot and it’s always had it fans – and consciously […]

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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.


Arimia Estate Chardonnay 2016

18 August 2017

From Northern Margaret River, which I learn today, is about to get an airport that connects to Sydney and Melbourne, with a view to becoming international shortly after. My goodness me.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River3 Comments

Glandore Rose Hunter Valley Vert

Glandore Estate Rosé 2017

18 August 2017

Not heard from Glandore in quite some time.

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Posted in Hunter Valley, Rose0 Comments

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By Farr GC Chardonnay 2015

18 August 2017

Cote Vineyard Chardonnay. According to Nick Farr: “A new wine that has been in the making for 40 years. With all the knowledge that I have been able to extract from my father, we created a close planted/high density planting of chardonnay and pinot noir on an exposed cote. These hillsides facing east, north east […]

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Posted in chardonnay, Geelong, Tip Top Tipple8 Comments


Higher Plane Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

18 August 2017

Just out of curiosity, I opened a bottle of 2010 Chateau Branaire-Ducru to taste alongside this, and there’s no doubt that Margaret River produces very good Cabernet, at fair prices, not that I really needed to say that, though perhaps it’s worth noting yet again.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Margaret River0 Comments

by farr three oaks chardonnay

By Farr Three Oaks Vineyard Chardonnay 2016

18 August 2017

As far as I can tell this is the name now given to the wine formerly known, simply, as By Farr Chardonnay. There is a now a ‘GC’ chardonnay sitting above it on the price hierarchy, from a new/different-but-still-estate vineyard.

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Posted in chardonnay, Geelong1 Comment


Sevenhill St Ignatius 2014

18 August 2017

Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Merlot (25%), Malbec (14%) and Cabernet Franc (9%). New livery it looks like.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Clare Valley1 Comment


Gerard Seguin Marsannay Rouge en Batayart 2015

17 August 2017

Importer: Heart & Soil

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Posted in Burgundy, pinot noir0 Comments


Vallana Boca 2011

17 August 2017

70% Nebbiolo, 30% Vespolina from Alto Piemonte. And just to reinforce the message: there’s wonderful wines for Nebbiolo fanciers outside of Barolo and Barbaresco – Alto Piedmont and Valtellina are not also-rans – they are different, but not lesser. Importer: Enoteca Sileno.

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo7 Comments


Coursodon Saint-Joseph Rouge Silice 2014

17 August 2017

The name is French for silica, so unlikely to have damp problems any time soon. Importer: Beaune & Beyond.

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Posted in Rhone Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments


Three Lads Shiraz 2015

17 August 2017

I’m pretty sure I’d not be considered The Wine Front’s leading authority on Canberra Shiraz, but we adapt, and we do our best.

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Posted in Canberra District, shiraz et al0 Comments


Tim Adams The Aberfeldy Shiraz 2013

17 August 2017

A style where you usually you get what you came for.

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Posted in Clare Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments


Battle Of Bosworth Touriga Nacional 2016

17 August 2017

Invariably enjoy a Touriga as a table wine.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, other reds0 Comments


Vanguardist Wines CVR Riesling 2016

17 August 2017

Hand-picked from a NE ridge of the Clare Valley with 40% spending six weeks on skins, the balance whole bunch basket pressed to old oak. No fining. No filtration. As an aside, I scored this wine 94 points last year in a big blind tasting of 2016 Clare Valley Riesling.

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Posted in Clare Valley, riesling0 Comments


Latta Tranquil Nebbiolo Rosé 2016

17 August 2017

Two vineyard sites, 2km apart, with two different soil types. Two harvests from each vineyard, five different ferments (barrel, carbonic, early pick, late pick, and a continuous ferment from all picks). Zero additions. Well, that’s building some complexity in a wine then, you’d think?

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Posted in nebbiolo, Pyrenees, Tip Top Tipple3 Comments

de bortoli black noble

De Bortoli 10 Year Old Black Noble NV

17 August 2017

NV release but the bottle carries the bottling date: 17/09/16. It’s botrytis semillon, fortified and aged in barrel for 10 years I believe.

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Posted in Fortified, Riverina0 Comments

penley estate helios cabernet sauvignon

Penley Estate Helios Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

17 August 2017

The wines of Penley Estate have been on the slow, drifting decline for a good long while now though it seems the ship is to be turned around. The labels have had a welcome refresh and Kate Goodman has been brought in as winemaker. Kate started with the 2016 vintage so she wasn’t at the […]

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Posted in cabernet et al, Coonawarra0 Comments

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Ruckus Estate Merite Merlot 2015

17 August 2017

A great deal of work, thought and application has gone into the merlot vines at Ruckus, in the Wrattonbully region of South Australia. I liked the 2013 version of the estate’s Merite Merlot but would have liked to see more vineyard in the glass, and less cooper. This 2015 has certainly addressed that concern. Colleen […]

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Posted in merlot et al, Wrattonbully0 Comments

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Clyde Park Block B3 Chardonnay 2016

17 August 2017

Clyde Park planted 16 rows to Penfolds P58 clone chardonnay in 1995. This is the bottled-separately result from the 2016 vintage. 120 cases have been released.

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Posted in chardonnay, Geelong0 Comments

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Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2016

17 August 2017

The three most important – for want of a better word – pillars of Australian shiraz are arguably Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace and Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, with apologies to Tyrrell’s and Mount Pleasant, among others. Given the extraordinary run of quality of Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier over the past (nearly) 20 years it made […]

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Posted in Canberra District, shiraz et al, Tip Top Tipple9 Comments

Stella di Campalto Brunello di Montalcino

Stella di Campalto Brunello di Montalcino 2010

16 August 2017

A bit of a frenzy around 2010 Brunellos. Right on. This is from an organic (certified) producer who doesn’t get enough credit for their wines, or at least not in the mainstream press. The wines from Stella di Campalto are right up there for me. This wine took three days for me to come at […]

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Posted in Italy, sangiovese et al2 Comments

What is The Wine Front?

The WINEFRONT is Australia’s most active wine review site. It started in 2002 and is rigorously independent. It covers Australian wine principally but extends coverage across the wider world of wine. It aims to score all wines both 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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