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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 Napoleone Cider Yarra Valley Penfolds Max Schubert Cabernet Shiraz 2012 News: Wineosphere powered by The Wine Front. Wild Duck Creek Duck Muck redux The Wine Hunter 2015 Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 2010 Passopisciaro Rosso
 
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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. Pierro chardonnay is one of my go-to recommendations for ‘fine’ examples of Australian chardonnay, mostly unswerving in its personality, expression of the grape, power and presence in the glass. I like drinking the stuff. The vineyard […]

Hatherleigh

Hatherleigh Pinot Noir – a retrospective

Established in 1996 with most plantings going on in 1999, this is Nick Bulleid MW’s labour of love, all planted to pinot noir. In the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, the site is set at 910 metres above sea level. It’s an east facing slope in the tiny village of Laggan, near Crookwell. It’s […]

919708 - beautiful vineyard at mclaren vale, south australia

McLaren Vale Regional Report – June 2016

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. The McLaren Vale region is one of Australia’s premier and most […]

churton vineyard

Churton: Vineyard as a garden of Eden

You get the feeling Sam Weaver is tired of the nincompoops. He was the first to plant a vineyard out in the Omaka Valley though he rightly doesn’t like the expression. “If you spend any time in Marlborough you’ll hear people talk of the sub-regions. One of them is what they refer to as the […]

Rudi Bauer by Alli Albanese

Birds of a feather: Rudi Bauer and his Quartz Reef

Sometimes the luck runs against you. Seven years ago I spent three full days with Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef in Central Otago and at no point did he show me his own vineyard, his own winery or his own wines. The man is a mountain of humility. It wasn’t a tactic but it worked […]

Greywacke

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2009-2014

A precious afternoon one on one with the bloody great Kevin Judd. Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc tasted back to its origin in 2009. While quietly spoken, there’s intensity and intent behind his words. Determination, thoughtful approach, deep understanding of the art and science of winemaking. “I just wanted to show people that these wines are […]

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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. Seminars, grand tastings, blind tasting sessions, riesling-based cocktails (!); it had it all. The following notes […]

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. The absence of added preservative means that they’ll drink well in the short term, if they’re well grown and made, but will fall over pretty quickly. Make hay. Don’t hesitate. So if you […]

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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. The proposed changes, if introduced, will dramatically effect the bottom line of producers as the WET rebate is slashed from the current $500k down to $290k over the next two years. More alarmingly – and tellingly – the proposed changes include an “eligibility clause which […]

TerroirAlLimit

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. Terroir Al Limit produce cuvees of skeletal architecture, and filigreed expression of grape varieties, like no other from Priorat, let alone Spain. Simply said. Though there’s a raft of pleasure in unfurling tempranillo set […]

workers in field with buckets and horses

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. Its reputation has barely been dimmed in the years since but nevertheless, scores of wineries have since overtaken […]

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.” It’s the kind of thing only time can tell you, and the Balnaves team have had plenty of that. In their […]

napoleone cider feature mike bennie

Napoleone Cider Yarra Valley – a tasting in 2015

The Napoleones have been orchardists since the 1940s. Maybe five percent of the fruit go to the ciders, the rest goes to market, but it was how they started off their agricultural endeavours with fruits. It was 1985 that Punt Road put the vines in the ground. Geez, they’ve come along nicely. Then 2008 was […]

PENFOLDS MAX'S BANNER

Penfolds Max Schubert Cabernet Shiraz 2012

Penfolds Max’s. It’s not just a new wine, it promises to be a new range of wines. This 2012 blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, from the Barossa Valley and Coonawarra, has been released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Max Schubert’s birth. 500 dozen were made. It was matured in 100% new American oak […]

wineosphere on black

News: Wineosphere powered by The Wine Front.

If you have an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch then today The Wine Front world just grew significantly bigger, and better. Today we launched our dream app: Wineosphere. It’s FREE to download. We’d love to have developed it for both Android and iPhone but we had a choice between doing nothing and developing for one platform only; we […]

wild duck duck

Wild Duck Creek Duck Muck redux

“We finally got our first spittoon four years ago. The first time I saw it I thought it was a funny shaped barrel. My son Liam reckons I’m still trying to work out what spittoons are for, but yes, our cellar door now has one”. That’s how I remember him. It’s been six or so […]

Wine hunter complete

The Wine Hunter 2015

UPDATE: The Wine Hunter: Premium Hardcover Edition is now available. The full price is $52.50. This includes postage to an Australian address. For international orders, please contact: campbellmattinson@gmail.com All orders are being taken via Paypal. ___________________ In 2006 James Halliday called The Wine Hunter book “One of the most remarkable wine books to come my […]

henschke hill of grace shiraz graphic

Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 2010

It’s the little things, the flutter of wings, that count. When I heard recently that new Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh had been asked to pay John Worsfold’s consultancy fee in wine, rather than in money, I was pretty sure I knew what that wine would be. Aussie sporting heroes and high profile business folk […]

passop

Passopisciaro Rosso – from up high on Etna

Winemaker Andrea Franchetti was looking for another ‘extreme’ place to make wine in league with his winemaking and growing at Tenuta di Trinoro in Tuscany. From the relative isolation of Sarteano, tucked away from the bustle of Tuscany’s more favoured terroirs, Franchetti’s early forays to Etna led him to find the Rampante vineyard, the highest and wildest […]

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Luccarelli Negro Amaro 2015

22 February 2017

I prefer, and I believe it’s the correct way, to call it Negro Amaro, though this wine is labelled Negroamaro. Importer: Mondo Imports

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Posted in Italy, other reds, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value0 Comments

tooterandthewizard

Holm Oak The Wizard Chardonnay 2015

22 February 2017

Top shelf offering from Holm Oak.,

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Posted in chardonnay, Tasmania0 Comments

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Merlot 2013

22 February 2017

It’s not the current release ex-winery, but it’s in the retail market at present. I noted, with some interest, in a recent retail email offer, a comment from James Halliday – “If there’s a better merlot in Australia, please get its maker to send a bottle for tasting.” and 97 points. Move over Petrus.

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Posted in Margaret River, merlot et al0 Comments

corsinisanpietro

Podere Ruggeri Corsini Barolo Bricco San Pietro 2012

22 February 2017

Bricco San Pietro is a huge cru in Monforte, as are most of the crus in this sub-region. I don’t know whether it was laziness, or let’s-all-just-get-along, or hot politics, or all of the above, but they seemed to go ‘cru-lite’ in Monforte when they were drawing things up. Importer: Ethereal Wines

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo, Tip Top Tipple4 Comments

passing clouds fools on the hill pinot noir

Passing Clouds The Fools On The Hill Pinot Noir 2015

22 February 2017

It’s from a place called Musk in the Macedon Ranges, according to the back label, and the slope it grows on reaches to 770 metres above sea level. This vineyard was planted by Graeme Leith in the “rain, wind and snow” of the Spring of 1998. I used to work in the area and I […]

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Posted in Macedon Ranges, pinot noir0 Comments

holmoaksb

Holm Oak Sauvignon Blanc 2016

22 February 2017

There’s a lot of areas that do Sauvignon well in Australia, and Tasmania is one of them I’d say.

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Posted in sauv blanc et al, Tasmania0 Comments

kimksb

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

22 February 2017

Don’t see so much Marlborough Sauvignon turning up in the samples these days, but when we go a tasting over in NZ, we get to taste a HEAP of it. Or Mike does.

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Posted in Marlborough, sauv blanc et al3 Comments

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Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015

22 February 2017

Not known for its Sauvignon, though there’s a few good ones around the region.

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Posted in Martinborough, sauv blanc et al0 Comments

riposte the cutlass shiraz

Riposte The Cutlass Shiraz 2014

22 February 2017

Cutlass. Quite a word.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, shiraz et al0 Comments

riposte sabre pinot noir

Riposte The Sabre Pinot Noir 2014

22 February 2017

The pinot noirs from Riposte have almost moved into “eagerly awaited” territory.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, pinot noir0 Comments

clonakilla ballinderry

Clonakilla Ballinderry 2015

22 February 2017

It’s a blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, with all three varieties making major contributions. It’s grown on vines planted between 1971 and 1987. It sees all French oak (Taransaud), 30% new.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Canberra District7 Comments

over the shoulder pinot grigio

Oakridge Over The Shoulder Pinot Grigio 2016

22 February 2017

Yarra Valley pinot grigio, judged to perfection. It sees a bit of new oak but you’d barely notice.

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Posted in pinot gris/grigio, Yarra Valley0 Comments

oakridge over the shoulder pinot noir 2016

Oakridge Over The Shoulder Pinot Noir 2016

22 February 2017

This one goes straight into the ‘buy’ column.

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Posted in pinot noir, Top Value, Yarra Valley0 Comments

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Fratelli Alessandria Barolo San Lorenzo di Verduno 2012

21 February 2017

Importer: World Wine Estates

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

Ron-Thorn-Shiraz

Thorn Clarke Ron Thorn Shiraz 2014

21 February 2017

I read ‘Ron Thorn’, I think ‘Ron Burgundy’. This wine comes in a bottle heavy enough to kill. “Did you throw a trident?” It’s 100% new American oak.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al7 Comments

RB-EV-Shiraz

Rolf Binder Eden Valley Shiraz 2014

21 February 2017

Eden Valley. 30% new American oak.

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Posted in Eden Valley, shiraz et al1 Comment

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Balgownie Estate White Label Shiraz 2013

21 February 2017

One of the things I like best about these Balgownie Bendigo reds, is that winemaker Tony Winspear does not shy away from tannin. And as we all know, tannin is a health food.

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Posted in Bendigo, shiraz et al1 Comment

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Balgownie Estate Old Vine Shiraz 2013

21 February 2017

From 12 rows planted in 1969.

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Posted in Bendigo, shiraz et al0 Comments

airstrip

Mitchelton Airstrip Marsanne Roussanne Viognier 2013

21 February 2017

Release with a little bottle age, and dare I say, in the prime of its life.

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Posted in Goulburn Valley, other whites0 Comments

mule malakoff shiraz

Mule Malakoff Vineyard Shiraz 2016

21 February 2017

It’s only just come in and yet the website says that it’s already sold out. Weird. It’s from the 2016 vintage too. This is the Pyrenees version, there’s also a Mule Shiraz from McLaren Vale. It’s made by the team at Giant Steps.

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Posted in Pyrenees, shiraz et al24 Comments

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The WINEFRONT is Australia's most active wine review site. It started in 2002 and is, and always will be, entirely independent. It's run by wine lovers for wine lovers. It keeps enthusiasts ahead of the game by reviewing wines as they are released. Its focus is Australian wine but the coverage is open slather across the full wonderful gamut of world wine. It's run by Campbell Mattinson, Gary Walsh and Mike Bennie. A full history of reviews and articles, from the ridiculously sublime to the comically ridiculous, can be accessed via the WINE SEARCH tab.
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