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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 Churton: Vineyard as a garden of Eden Birds of a feather: Rudi Bauer and his Quartz Reef

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 […]

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 […]

granite belt pic 2

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.  

53784782 - beautiful vineyard landscape with blue sky and sunshine in ihringen, kaiserstuhl, germany.

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.

barossa valley grenache pic

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.  

55970178 - red wine on black background

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.

red wine grape skins

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.

clonakilla hilltops shiraz

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2016

22 July 2017

Over time it has established a reputation as one of the most reliable go-to wines on the Australian wine landscape. I’ve become less of a fan of Hilltops shiraz over the years – with exceptions of course – but this wine is almost always a hit.

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Posted in Hilltops, shiraz et al0 Comments

clyde park locale shiraz

Clyde Park Locale Shiraz 2015

22 July 2017

Made from grapes sourced from around the Geelong region.

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Posted in Geelong, shiraz et al1 Comment


Bernhard Huber Bienenberg Pinot Noir Grosses Gewächs 2013

21 July 2017

One of Huber’s grand cru vineyards, with vines planted in the 50s and 60s. Finer, and more ‘minerally’ than the Alte Reben 2013, though quite similar. Importer: Cellarhand

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Posted in Germany, pinot noir0 Comments


Bernhard Huber Alte Reben Pinot Noir 2013

21 July 2017

Where Alte Reben means 40 years, in terms of vine age. Spätburgunder is such a good word for Pinot Noir. Importer: Cellarhand.

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Posted in Germany, pinot noir6 Comments


Alessandro e Gian Natale Fantino Barolo Cascina Dardi Riserva 2011

21 July 2017

I’m no big fan of 2011 Barolo, not solely on quality, more that it’s not my preferred style. Regardless, there’s great wines made just about every vintage. Traditional producer from Monforte here, the riserva from 60 year old vines in the Bussia MGA. Importer: Mondo Imports

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments


Victory Point Malbec 2014

21 July 2017

Malbec one of the many M grapes I really enjoy. Mencia, Merlot, Mataro some of the others. Mmmmm. I should have worked on Sesame Street.

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Posted in Margaret River, other reds1 Comment


Zuccardi Finca Canal Uco Altamira Malbec 2012

21 July 2017

From a vineyard 1,100 metres above sea level. You’d get a tan up there, all right. Importer: Langtons

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Posted in Argentina, other reds0 Comments

The Fabulist Pinot Noir

The Fabulist Pinot Noir 2016

21 July 2017

Victorian Pinot Noir. This is available via Vintage Cellars stores only.

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Posted in pinot noir, Upper Goulburn0 Comments

st andrews cabernet sauvignon

St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

21 July 2017

This is what the press release said: “A $6 Cabernet Sauvignon sold exclusively by Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars has won top honours at the prestigious Melbourne International Wine Competition, beating a field of Australian and international competitors to take home a treasured ‘double gold’ medal.” Despite all that, personally, I was sceptical pre-tasting. […]

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Posted in cabernet et al, South Eastern Australia, Top Value13 Comments

stockmans ridge handcrafted pinot noir

Stockman’s Ridge Handcrafted Pinot Noir 2015

21 July 2017

The Handcrafted range is described as the winemaker’s “guilty pleasure”, a chance to experiment. I tried this alongside Stockman’s Ridge Rider Pinot Noir of the same vintage and they are remarkably different wines. Which just goes to show how much influence the winemaker has. This was wild fermented, hot.

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Posted in Orange, pinot noir0 Comments


Brookland Valley Estate Chardonnay 2016

21 July 2017

Invariably lovely Chardonnay from Brookland Valley.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River3 Comments

terre a terre down to earth sauvignon blanc

Terre à Terre Down To Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2016

21 July 2017

Terre à Terre routinely puts texture into its sauvignon blanc; thankfully. Texture is pretty much always a good thing.

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Posted in sauv blanc et al, Wrattonbully0 Comments

terre a terre rose

Terre à Terre Rosé 2016

21 July 2017

Interesting one. A still, table rose but it’s made with both pinot noir and chardonnay. Indeed it was picked for sparkling; this is made from the pressings. It was fermented in three-year-old oak and then given a short stint (two months) in oak before going into tank and then bottle. Only 225 dozen produced.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, Rose3 Comments


Pyren Vineyard Little Rara Noir 2016

20 July 2017

Last year was Nero d’Avola, and this year it’s Schioppettino (91%) and Shiraz. Excellent! Ra Ra!

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Posted in Heathcote, other reds0 Comments


Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz 2015

20 July 2017

New label design, and probably not great, though perhaps better than the old one.

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Posted in Clare Valley, shiraz et al1 Comment


Pipoli Aglianico del Vulture 2015

20 July 2017

Yes, it’s screwcap, but the bottle image is an old one. Aglianico is probably my favourite grape that begins with the letter A. I also see a swag of retailers using Campbell’s note for the 2013, for this as yet unreviewed (until now) 2015. Importer: Mondo Imports

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Posted in Italy, other reds, Top Value0 Comments


Pooley JRD Single Vineyard Cooinda Vale Syrah 2016

20 July 2017

600 bottles produced, which is probably about 600 too many bottles of Tasmanian Shiraz. That’s a joke by the way. Shiraz vines are 17 years old here, so moving into their prime.

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Posted in shiraz et al, Tasmania, Tip Top Tipple15 Comments


Rivetto Langhe Nascetta Borea 2013

20 July 2017

Exclusive to Langtons, and it seems to be sold out, but for the record. Nascetta, from what I gather, used to be a very well regarded white grape back in the day, and is now being grown by a handful of producers. Importer: Langtons

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Posted in Italy, other whites5 Comments


Felicette Grenache Blanc 2015

20 July 2017

One of my most favourite label designs, even though I don’t much like cats.

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Posted in France, other whites0 Comments


Coriole Picpoul 2017

20 July 2017

Inspired, really, putting this grape in the ground in McLaren Vale.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, other whites, Tip Top Tipple3 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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