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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 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
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 […]

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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 […]

yering station scarlett pinot noir

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 […]

cape mentelle grapes

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.

adam wadewitz

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 […]

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.

longview kuhl gruner

Longview Kuhl Gruner Veltliner 2017

15 December 2017

I don’t have any of the finer details but it’s a terrific wine.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, other whites, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value3 Comments

st johns road motley bunch gsm

St John’s Road The Resilient Grenache 2017

15 December 2017

New wine to the St John’s Road range and so I don’t yet have the correct bottle image. It’s Barossa grenache matured in all-French oak, none of it new.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, grenache et al, Top Value0 Comments

st johns road line length cabernet

St John’s Road Line & Length Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

15 December 2017

Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at an affordable price. Apt wine to review on a cricket day. It sees all-French oak, none of it new.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, cabernet et al0 Comments

bannockburn shiraz

Bannockburn Shiraz 2015

14 December 2017

Bannockburn and stalks/whole bunches is a knife-edge thing. I didn’t enjoy the 2016 Bannockburn PN, which is riddled with stemmy character, but I did enjoy this, which has a deal of it too. There you go.

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Posted in Geelong, shiraz et al0 Comments

bannockburn srh chardonnay

Bannockburn SRH Chardonnay 2013

14 December 2017

From 1976 plantings, left on lees for 30 months in (large) French oak casks. All wild yeast for both the primary and secondary ferments.

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Posted in chardonnay, Geelong0 Comments

bannockburn chardonnay

Bannockburn Geelong Chardonnay 2016

14 December 2017

Wild fermented in 500 litre puncheons, 20% new. Full Malo. 14 months on lees. No sulphur until bottling.

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Posted in chardonnay, Geelong0 Comments

bannockburn sauvignon blanc

Bannockburn Sauvignon Blanc 2017

14 December 2017

Bannockburn has never done things by halves when it comes to its sauvignon blanc. This 2017 release was made in three separate batches: one partially destemmed with skin contact, one barrel fermented and the third fermented in tank. It’s low in alcohol, but almost sweet with fruit ripeness.

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Posted in Geelong, sauv blanc et al1 Comment

Vinden Estate Chardonnay 2017

13 December 2017

This is 100% barrel fermented chardonnay, a pretty old school-good school take on the variety. Vinden Estate stands alongside the edgier ‘The Vinden Headcase’ range. Sees about 50% malolactic ferment too.

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Posted in chardonnay, Hunter Valley0 Comments


The Vinden Headcase Semillon 2017

13 December 2017

New generation winemaker Angus Vinden is at the helm of the Vinden Estate, per se. A youthful approach shows through in wines, with a diverse approach to some of the releases. This sees 24 hours on skins, ala Mosel or similar, let’s say, and it spends time in barrel (three months) to mature. Feels like […]

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Posted in Hunter Valley, semillon et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value0 Comments

flowstone margaret river chardonnay

Flowstone Chardonnay 2014

13 December 2017

Single vineyard chardonnay from Karridale/Margaret River. 320 dozen produced.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River0 Comments

flowstone cabernet touriga

Flowstone Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga 2013

13 December 2017

70/30 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and touriga, the latter off a vineyard planted in the 1970s and the former from a vineyard planted late 1990s. It sees 20% new French oak. 400 dozen produced.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Margaret River0 Comments


Crivelli Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato 2016

12 December 2017

Ruchè is the grape variety grown in Monferrato. New one for me. No matter how much you think you know, Italy is a country that always keeps you on your toes. Importer: Quelvino

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Posted in Italy, other reds4 Comments


Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz 2012

12 December 2017

It is screwcap now, I just couldn’t find a bottle image. It’s kind of insane reviewing this after the low oak, low intervention wines from Lamoresca, but it’s a wide world of wine, and we do what we have to do. Get behind thee Satan! Be keen to hear what CM thinks.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al14 Comments


Lamoresca Vino Rosso 2016

12 December 2017

The wines of Lamoresca certainly have what you might call a ‘house style’, in much the same way Penfolds do, though of course they’re very much at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of intervention. This is Nero d’Avola and Frappato.  Importer: Mondo Imports

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Posted in Italy, other reds, Tip Top Tipple7 Comments


Lamoresca Mascalisi 2016

12 December 2017

Nerello Mascalese grown on an old contrada on the Northern Slopes of Etna. Importer: Mondo Imports.

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Posted in Italy, other reds5 Comments

jacobs creek limestone coast shiraz

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Limestone Coast Shiraz 2016

12 December 2017

Say what you will but these wines never want for flavour.

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Posted in Limestone Coast, shiraz et al1 Comment


Coriole Barbera 2016

12 December 2017

What great things Coriole have done for Australian wine with their championing of Italian grape varieties. Barbera first went in the ground at Coriole in 1998, as the back label tells us. A vision splendid for bright, fresh, high acid varieties going well in sunshine and coastal wine regions, and therefore in our outdoor-loving, Indian […]

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Posted in McLaren Vale, other reds0 Comments

small island north pinot noir

Small Island Single Vineyard North Pinot Noir 2016

12 December 2017

Too many “single vineyard” releases aren’t distinctive enough to really warrant the spotlight. That’s not the case here. The difference between this “North” bottling and its sibling “East” bottling is profound. They are a fantastic side-by-side duo. The most common ground they share is in their quality. The north vineyard is called Glen Garry and […]

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania, Tip Top Tipple29 Comments

Brave New Wine Gewurlitzer 2017

Brave New Wine Gewurlitzer 2017

12 December 2017

Brave New Wine find that great mix between irreverence, serious winemaking intent, eye for vineyard sites, quality in bottle. Pour out a glass and there’s a sense of excitement about what might follow. No disappointment from that scheme with this skin contact ferment gewurztraminer, raised in older oak. Great Southern magic.  

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Posted in Great Southern, orange wine, other whites2 Comments

small island east pinot noir

Small Island Single Vineyard East Pinot Noir 2016

12 December 2017

I came across a captivating range of Tasmanian wines recently. The ‘brand’ is Small Island Wines. This single vineyard release is from the Gala vineyard, though exactly where this vineyard is located I’m not sure. The website is full of interest, if low on actual wine detail. There was only 80 dozen of this wine […]

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania, Tip Top Tipple6 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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