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TWF Chardonnay in 2018 – The Year in Review Kumeu River Chardonnay retrospective 2018 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
 
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TWF Chardonnay in 2018 – The Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed since the Brisbane tasting panel’s December 2017 review of the tWf trio’s work on top end Australian Chardonnay (those which scored 96 points or better) but indeed it has. So once again the panel assembled to review the 2018 Chardonnay guidance given by the three Winefront […]

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Kumeu River Chardonnay retrospective 2018

It feels like a very long time since June 2018, but the extraordinary tasting made available to GW and I rings loud in the cloister of the wine brain. Visiting Kumeu Estate is of course formative for the New Zealand wine enthusiast, and an exceptional opportunity to get a feel for history coupled to an […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.   

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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, […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Chapel Hill Road Block Shiraz 2016

11 December 2018

The Road Block is planted 1993.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, shiraz et al0 Comments

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Chapel Hill House Block Shiraz 2016

11 December 2018

I have the House Block open alongside the Road Block, and they taste pretty similar, overall, to me. Perhaps it’s a case of sheep looking different to shepherds.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, shiraz et al0 Comments

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Rosi Schuster Rotburger 2017

11 December 2018

It’s Zweigelt. Bless you. Importer: Cellarhand

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Posted in Austria, other reds3 Comments

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Rosi Schuster Sankt Laurent 2017

11 December 2018

St. Laurent a crossing of Pinot Noir, and something else back in the depths of time. Importer: Cellarhand

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Posted in Austria, other reds0 Comments

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Andevine Signature Collection Hunter Valley Shiraz 2017

11 December 2018

It’s Hunter Valley, but Upper Hunter Valley, which is quite different in many respects.

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Posted in Hunter Valley, shiraz et al2 Comments

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Giovanni Rosso Ester Canale Rosso Lange Nebbiolo 2015

11 December 2018

It’s young vine from the top of Vigna Rionda, and possibly the most expensive Langhe Neb in the world. Importer: Andrew Guard

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo4 Comments

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Podere Ruggeri Corsini Langhe Nebbiolo 2016

11 December 2018

One of the better value, better quality Langhe Nebbiolos around. Importer: Ethereal & Piedmont Fine Wines.

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo1 Comment

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Willem Kurt Chardonnay 2017

10 December 2018

There’s no doubt that Beechworth is ‘flavour country’ when it comes to Chardonnay.

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Posted in Beechworth, chardonnay0 Comments

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Dexter Chardonnay 2017

10 December 2018

Tod Dexter knows a thing or two about Chardonnay (and Thunderbirds, as an aside). In his email asking if we’re up for reviewing the 2017s, he simply says “I think they’re OK.” Well, I do too, and the wines, of course, speak for themselves. We don’t need hyperbolic press releases…

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Posted in chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula3 Comments

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Bay of Fires Chardonnay 2017

10 December 2018

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost touch with a number of the products from both Accolade and Treasury, but at the MBTF, everything is there. Never before has there been so much, for so few.

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Posted in chardonnay, Tasmania1 Comment

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Guthrie Clones Chardonnay 2018

10 December 2018

Bernard and Entav clones, and really, it’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (lately Merlot) where (some) people care about clonal make-up.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, chardonnay2 Comments

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The Lane Block 1A Chardonnay 2018

10 December 2018

Often good value, released a little too young (at least for purposes of review).

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, chardonnay0 Comments

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Alkoomi Victrix Chardonnay 2017

10 December 2018

From a block planted in 1993, handpicked, and given the royal treatment. I love Asterix comics, have a whole swag of them, and the name puts me straight into a little village in Gaul.

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Posted in chardonnay, Frankland River0 Comments

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Moss Wood Chardonnay 2017

10 December 2018

This wine was a ring-in at the recent Real JH Chardonnay Challenge, though there’s no mention of it in the notes. Anyway, it was served blind on the day, and I gave it a score of 95 points. Tasting again from a fresh bottle here, so I think I’ve the measure of it now.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River24 Comments

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Rosily Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2017

10 December 2018

A few things from Margaret River today, because I feel I’ve been a little neglectful of one of my favourite regions.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River0 Comments

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Rosabrook Single Vineyard Estate Chardonnay 2016

10 December 2018

Not so familiar with this estate.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River0 Comments

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Flowstone Chardonnay 2015

10 December 2018

It’s the current release, so comes with a little bottle age for free.

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Posted in chardonnay, Margaret River0 Comments

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Heirloom Vineyards Touriga 2017

10 December 2018

The word “delicious” is overused in wine. I overuse it myself; it’s just so apt, so often. The problem with its overuse is that it loses both its meaning, and its persuasive powers. The heirloom website describes this touriga as “deliciously delicious”. The word delicious is now officially dead.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, other reds5 Comments

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Thousand Candles Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

09 December 2018

No new oak, all wild yeast, 40% whole bunches. From the beautiful Thousand Candles site at Gruyere.

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Posted in pinot noir, Yarra Valley1 Comment

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Thousand Candles Single Vineyard Syrah 2017

09 December 2018

Wild yeast fermented with a high percent of whole bunches in the pot. Minimal sulphur and no new oak – indeed, the ‘newest’ oak was four years old.

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Posted in shiraz et al, Tip Top Tipple, Yarra Valley2 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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