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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 […]

RR

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 […]

3 bridges durif

Westend 3 Bridges Durif 2015

28 February 2017

The Riverina is a pretty dab hand at growing and making durif. Rutherglen is almost synonymous, in a red wine sense, with the variety but the Riverina rivals it. Controversial.

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Posted in other reds, Riverina0 Comments

calabria private bin nero davola

Calabria Private Bin Nero D’Avola 2016

28 February 2017

Anything Calabria’s montepulciano can do, its nero d’avola can do better.

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Posted in other reds, Riverina, Top Value0 Comments

calabria private bin montepulciano

Calabria Private Bin Montepulciano 2016

28 February 2017

It’s one of those in-the-know brands; the prices are low but the quality strike-rate is high.

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Posted in other reds, Riverina, Top Value0 Comments

ClosCantenac

Clos Cantenac Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2012

27 February 2017

This is from a six hectare estate and historical property in Saint Emilion. There’s no pre conceived idea of where the fruit goes for a first and second wine (Petit Cantenac) in this range, with each vintage taken on merit. This is 100% merlot. From the former owner of Chateau de Sours, Martin Krajewski and […]

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Posted in Bordeaux, merlot et al0 Comments

ClosCantenacPetit

Clos Cantenac Petit Cantenac St Emilion Grand Cru 2012

27 February 2017

The Clos Cantenac property was bought in 2006 by former owner of Chateau de Sours, Martin Krajewski. A canny investor who knows his Bordeaux turf well it seems, as well as the marketing of accessible, modern wines from the region. The estate is set on six hectares in St Emilion. This is a blend of […]

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Posted in Bordeaux, cabernet et al, merlot et al, other reds0 Comments

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Rouge

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Rouge 2011

27 February 2017

Mostly merlot here. All the fermentation is in stainless steel with a shift to barrel after ferment, pretty much.

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Posted in Bordeaux, merlot et al0 Comments

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Rose

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Rose 2015

27 February 2017

This is 90% merlot with the rest cabernets franc and sauvignon. Pretty simple sort of production, via fancy machinery  – new machine harvester with sorting table, into truck tray with sorting section, into vibrating hopper, light crush into gentle pump, through cooling system, pressed in a big fancy press of some 30, 000 bottles of […]

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Posted in Bordeaux, Rose0 Comments

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Blanc

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Blanc 2014

27 February 2017

An audience with Martin Krajewski this afternoon. Krajewski sold (reluctantly it turns out, but there’s a happy ending) his pride and joy, the Bordeaux estate of Chateau de Sours, to Alibaba founder Jack Ma. A relationship has blossomed from that transaction too. Quite the yarn. He’s still a front man for the business currently, and he’s […]

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Posted in Bordeaux, sangiovese et al, semillon et al0 Comments

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Fattorie Parri Chianti 2015

27 February 2017

Importer: Mondo Imports.

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Posted in Italy, sangiovese et al5 Comments

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Traversa Barbaresco Canova 2012

27 February 2017

Canova is in the Neive sub-region, and is planted to only 15% Nebbiolo (50% is Moscato). Importer: Mondo Imports

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

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Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2014

27 February 2017

The trick with these warm-hearted Grenache wines, I often find, is to serve them with a light chill. They taste fresher, and drink better too. Even adding an ice cube is a good idea.

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Posted in grenache et al, Mount Lofty Ranges0 Comments

witchmount lowen park shiraz

Witchmount Lowen Park Shiraz 2015

27 February 2017

Cool climate shiraz, wild fermented with 1% viognier, bottled unfined.

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Posted in shiraz et al, Sunbury0 Comments

witchmount lowen park sangiovese rose

Witchmount Lowen Park Sangiovese Rosé 2016

27 February 2017

Heathcote rosé made with sangiovese. A portion spends some time in oak. Bottled unfined.

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Posted in Heathcote, shiraz et al0 Comments

howard park grand jete

Howard Park Grand Jete Sparkling 2012

27 February 2017

Howard Park has most bases covered, and well, these days.

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Posted in Great Southern, Sparkling0 Comments

balgownie estate sangiovese

Balgownie Estate Black Label Sangiovese 2015

27 February 2017

Grown on the estate at Maiden Gully/Bendigo. Fermented in stainless steel with 24 days on skins before going into all-old oak. Bottled unfined.

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Posted in Bendigo, sangiovese et al0 Comments

balgownie estate shiraz

Balgownie Estate White Label Shiraz 2014

27 February 2017

Estate grown on vines with an average age of 25 years.

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Posted in Bendigo, shiraz et al0 Comments

balgownie estate yarra valley chardonnay

Balgownie Estate White Label Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2015

27 February 2017

Balgownie puts out a White Label Chardonnay from Bendigo, and White Label Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley. This is the latter version. Part natural, part inoculated ferments. The label says 13.6% alc but it’s actually 13.2%.

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Posted in chardonnay, Yarra Valley0 Comments

mr riggs montepulciano

Mr Riggs d’Adelaide Hills Montepulciano 2015

27 February 2017

Without wanting to sound like the fun police … it’s quite a bizarre name.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, other reds5 Comments

mr riggs yacca tempranillo

Mr Riggs Yacca Paddock Tempranillo 2015

27 February 2017

This is a particularly “Aussie” tempranillo.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, tempranillo et al0 Comments

bussia

Podere Ruggeri Corsini Barolo Bussia 2012

27 February 2017

Great fruit here, sees a bit of French barrique (not too much, mind) which it doesn’t need to my way of thinking, though I try not to be a style Nazi. Importer: Ethereal Wines

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

What is The Wine Front?

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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