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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 […]

riot rose beauty 2

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 […]

giant steps LDR pinot syrah

Giant Steps LDR Pinot Noir Syrah 2018

24 October 2018

Second vintage release of Giant Steps Light Dry Red. It’s a 51/40% blend of the two varieties. The 2017 was a ripper.

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Posted in pinot noir, Yarra Valley0 Comments

in dreams chardonnay

In Dreams Chardonnay 2016

24 October 2018

Have tasted this on a couple of occasions and it’s roared through the palate each time.

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Posted in chardonnay, Yarra Valley0 Comments

st hugo unspoken promise cabernet

St Hugo Unspoken Promise Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

24 October 2018

Made mostly with cabernet grown in the Greenock sub-region of the Barossa Valley. It’s part of the St Hugo Legacy Collection. It spent 20 months in 60% new French oak, 20% new American oak and 20% Hungarian oak.  

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Posted in Barossa Valley, cabernet et al1 Comment


Passopisciaro Etna Rosso 2016

23 October 2018

Tasted at the winery in August, and I believe it’ll be in the country in a month or so. Importer: Mondo Imports.

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Posted in Italy, other reds5 Comments

tim adams cabernet malbec

Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec 2015

23 October 2018

It has a somewhat old-fashioned feel but, it has to be said, it’s old-fashioned in a good way. Proud-fashioned may well be a better way to describe it.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Clare Valley4 Comments

garagiste merricks chardonnay

Garagiste Merricks Chardonnay 2017

23 October 2018

Merricks is regarded as one of the cooler areas of the Mornington Peninsula.

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Posted in chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula0 Comments

garagiste aligote

Garagiste Aligote 2017

23 October 2018

Mike Bennie is the aligote aficionado at The Winefront but I’ll take a stab at this new version from Garagiste anyway. How hard can it be? This is from Tuerong on the Mornington Peninsula.

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, other whites2 Comments

garagiste stagiaire chardonnay

Garagiste Le Stagiaire Chardonnay 2017

23 October 2018

Garagiste is one of the finest producers in the land.

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Posted in chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula3 Comments

lanes end pinot noir

Lane’s End Pinot Noir 2016

23 October 2018

The vines are over 30 years old, it’s all fermented wild, it spends 19 months in oak, 66% new. Gold medal winner at the Macedon Ranges Show earlier this year.

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Posted in Macedon Ranges, pinot noir0 Comments


Musso Barbaresco Pora 2015

22 October 2018

Importer: Ethereal and Piedmont Fine Wines

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo8 Comments


Musso Barbaresco Rio Sordo 2015

22 October 2018

In a warmer year, often the cooler sites do very well. Importer: Ethereal and Piedmont Fine Wines.

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo4 Comments

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Combes Dem Roses 2018

22 October 2018

From a wine dude with ties to Black Hearts & Sparrows, the excellent Melbourne retail chain, comes this Yarra Valley rose. It’s well priced, it feels well made, it feels good to drink, and feels just that touch left of centre in its vibe. Like it.

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Posted in Rose, Top Value, Yarra Valley1 Comment

garagiste maritime chardonnay

Garagiste Terre Maritime Chardonnay 2017

22 October 2018

It sits in the glass like Lucy in the sky. Drink it at a lunch table in the early summer sun and it glitters like diamonds.

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Posted in chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula1 Comment

Cloudburst Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cloudburst Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

22 October 2018

“The 2016 vintage was a dream”, says Cloudburst’s Will Berliner, “a generous year, but where everything seemed to be right, and a magnificence felt from the bounty”. Berliner always has a way with words.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Margaret River, organic12 Comments

by farr farrside pinot noir

By Farr Farrside Pinot Noir 2016

21 October 2018

In some quarters it was a difficult vintage but not at By Farr By The Looks.

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Posted in Geelong, pinot noir2 Comments

Ipso Facto Shiraz 2017

Ipso Facto Shiraz 2017

21 October 2018

From the outstanding Clos du Tertre vineyard – a couple of tonnes, some whole bunch, natural ferment, unfined, unfiltered. Good ingredients, one could say. And shiraz from a ‘Margaret River producer’ but not from Margaret River. Phew. Jokes.

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Posted in Great Southern, shiraz et al5 Comments

Cloudburst Chardonnay 2015

Cloudburst Chardonnay 2015

21 October 2018

One of the last wines produced out of Woodlands, and now the wine production is at Eagle Vale (where Mr Barval is also found). The extraordinary site is the story, though.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River, organic0 Comments

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Lenton Brae Pinot Blanc 2018

21 October 2018

Pinot blanc! Something different from a Margaret River stalwart. It reveals itself as a mega fresh, summery style, with a little extra under the hood.

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Posted in Margaret River, other whites, Top Value0 Comments


Tripe.Iscariot Absolution Dance Macabre 2018

20 October 2018

The quixotic blend of chenin blanc, semillon, chardonnay, muscat. Whole bunches and the like. Lots of charisma too. I watched a mate who likes wine, but cares little for detail, drink around half a bottle in ten minutes, then take a photo of the label, then shake out the bottle into his glass. A telling […]

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River, other whites, semillon et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value0 Comments

McHenry Hohnen Hazel's Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

McHenry Hohnen Hazel’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

20 October 2018

Hazel’s is often the dark horse in the chardonnay trio from McHenry Hohnen wines. Subtle at times. Winemaker Julian Grounds is doing great things, the vineyards full of health and life. Organic farming underpins the winemaking. This is from a suite of chardonnay setting pace.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River, organic, Tip Top Tipple0 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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