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Lethbridge Allegra Chardonnay: 2004 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

Lethbridge Allegra Chardonnay: 2004 – 2015

Vineyard is the Rebenberg (Mt Duneed) vineyard, planted by Ken & Joy Campbell in 1968 to Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon (Malbec & Cabernet were later grafted over to Shiraz). The Chardonnay was added in 1981 planted to P58 and a mixture of Bernard Clones. In regards to winemaking, they’re pretty much the same: fully […]


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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]


Luke Lambert Chardonnay 2018

17 February 2019

Invariably interesting style of Chardonnay from LL. It’s a bit Yarra v Jura v Chablis, but for all that, very much its own thing. Without wanting to typecast, this is more a Mike Bennie style of Chardonnay than a Campbell Mattinson one.

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Posted in chardonnay, Yarra Valley0 Comments

story assets shiraz

The Story Grampians Shiraz 2016

16 February 2019

Sub-titled “No Assets, Plenty of Skin”. I very much liked the use of a comma in the title of a wine, on the front label.

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Posted in Grampians, shiraz et al1 Comment

yabby lake block 6 chardonnay

Yabby Lake Single Block Release Block 6 Chardonnay 2017

16 February 2019

Mendoza clone, large format oak, no mlf, shoots for the stars.

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Posted in chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula2 Comments

hastwell lightfoot fiano

Hastwell & Lightfoot Fiano 2018

16 February 2019

Fiano and McLaren Vale. Often a pretty decent match.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, other whites0 Comments

parker coonawarra cabernet

Parker Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

16 February 2019

$24 Coonawarra cabernet. Prime buying zone. Let’s see.

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Posted in cabernet et al, Coonawarra0 Comments

woods crampton michael john shiraz

Woods Crampton Michael John Single Vineyard Shiraz 2016

15 February 2019

Heavy bottle, wax sealed, cork sealed. Old vine (planted 1894), single vineyard, Barossa Valley shiraz. French oak, 50% new. 15% alcohol.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

yabby lake block 6 pinot noir

Yabby Lake Single Block Release Block 6 Pinot Noir 2017

15 February 2019

The Yabby Lake Block releases are usually money in the bank in quality terms.

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir3 Comments

gala estate black label pinot noir

Gala Estate Black Label Pinot Noir 2016

15 February 2019

Gala Estate is at Cranbrook on the east coast of Tasmania.

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania0 Comments


Thibault Liger-Belair Corton Charlemagne “Les Languettes” 2016

15 February 2019

I know that Mike also tasted this wine recently, and thinks along the same lines. It’s from a tiny .15ha parcel, two barrels produced, and hence, 50% new oak. Spends 7 days on skins. Cop that! Can’t find a bottle image, so just imagine the one here is in a green bottle, filled with white […]

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Posted in Burgundy, chardonnay, Tip Top Tipple12 Comments

gala estate pinot noir

Gala Estate Pinot Noir 2017

15 February 2019

Interesting pinot noir from the north-east coast of Tasmania. Smoky and reductive in a good way. Complex. Undergrowth, forest berries, spice notes and roasted nuts. Everything moves swiftly and juicily along and yet there’s much being said at the same time. Very good pinot.    

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania0 Comments


Bel Colle Barolo Simposio 2015

15 February 2019

Apparently inspired by Bartolo Mascarello and is a blend of cooler sites from Verduno, La Morra and Barolo, listed in order of contribution. Average vine age is 50 years. Importer: Ethereal Wines

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments


Luke Lambert Syrah 2018

15 February 2019

Many people know I don’t go a bunch on Shiraz, or more precisely, I have quite specific needs. Luke Lambert is the Jim Clark of winemakers.

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Posted in shiraz et al, Tip Top Tipple, Yarra Valley24 Comments


Fontanafredda Barolo La Rosa 2013

15 February 2019

The do enjoy a label change over at Fontanfredda. This from a section of Fontanfredda’s eponymous cru in Serralunga. Took me by surprise a little, this wine, and shows evolution in style and good handling of the most noble grape. Importer: Fourth Wave

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

Montalto Pennon Hill Chardonnay 2017

15 February 2019

Wild fermented, aged on lees, 30% new oak, the fruit sourced from three vineyards in the Red Hill, Main Ridge and Tuerong sub-regions.

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Posted in chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula1 Comment


Fontanafredda La Lepre Diano d’Alba 2017

15 February 2019

Part of Diano d’Alba lies within the Barolo region, but not all. It’s famous for producing excellent Dolcetto. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine

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Posted in Italy, other reds0 Comments


Fontanafredda Briccotondo Langhe Arneis 2017

15 February 2019

So good to see more Italian whites coming through with screwcap. Arneis is a hard grape to get ‘just right’. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine

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Posted in Italy, other whites3 Comments


Mirafiore Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2016

15 February 2019

Must get to that pile of Barbera and Dolcetto shortly, meanwhile this tasted at the winery late last year. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine

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Posted in Italy, other reds0 Comments

wynns white label shiraz

Wynns Coonawarra Estate White Label Shiraz 2017

14 February 2019

Tried and true, Wynns White Label Shiraz. Or vintage white, perhaps. I suspect this is pre-release but we’ll go with it anyway.

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Posted in Coonawarra, shiraz et al, Top Value3 Comments

sticks pinot noir

Sticks Pinot Noir 2018

14 February 2019

Sticks is a hard range to get a handle on. I can never really tell whether they’re making a serious play at quality or whether they’re just trying to keep the distribution channels happy/making wine to a price.

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Posted in pinot noir, Yarra Valley2 Comments

petaluma white label shiraz

Petaluma B&V Vineyard Shiraz 2017

13 February 2019

Adelaide Hills shiraz with 5% whole bunches and 70% new oak. This is probably pre-release but we’ll give it a rip anyway.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, shiraz et al0 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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