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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 The Great Marius Cork Vs Screwcap Battle Tyrrell
 
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 […]

barossa valley grenache pic

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 […]

Marius screwcap versus cork

The Great Marius Cork Vs Screwcap Battle

Bear in mind that we’re talking a thirteen year old wine now. Back in the wild, carefree days when this wine was a youngun’, Winefront stashed a dozen bottles of Marius Shiraz 2002 into the cellar, six of which were sealed with a screwcap and six with a cork. Screwcap was suddenly the rage back […]

johnnos

Tyrrell’s Johnno’s Semillon – from then till now

From the Tyrrell family’s oldest semillon block, planted 1908; an extraordinary site on the winery estate, set on cracking soils and fringed by farm and thickets of bush. This was the first time a line-up of all the wines produced under ‘Johnno’s’ label had been opened by winemaking posse of Andrew Spinaze, Mark Richardson and Chris […]

Pyrette

Bindi Pyrette Shiraz 2015

09 December 2016

This wine has been made for some fifteen years now. A long term relationship with Heathcote, on the side, kind of. About 25% whole bunch and 90% of the oak barrels are used, pinot noir ones.

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Posted in Heathcote, shiraz et al0 Comments

BindiBlock5PinotNOir

Bindi Block 5 Pinot Noir 2015

09 December 2016

“It’s a wine that’s hard to judge, it’s a wine that typically needs four to five years to show itself at best in youth, it won’t drink so well in the first five years, but will age superbly”, says vigneron Michael Dhillon, “It’s a wine that I grapple with, it’s not so charming in youth, […]

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Posted in Macedon Ranges, pinot noir1 Comment

BindiOriginalPinot

Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

09 December 2016

Very even vines, the soils are variegated, but an even playing field for growing, with even berry size more or less even across the two acres. This is the yardstick, so to speak. Spending time with Michael Dhillon is a pretty great thing; insight and thoughtfulness the motif. It translates to the wines. Everything considered, […]

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Posted in Macedon Ranges, pinot noir0 Comments

BindiWinesDixonPinotNoir

Bindi Dixon Pinot Noir 2015

09 December 2016

“There wasn’t a day over 40 degrees in the entire growing season. Mind you, there were four days over 35 degrees”, explains vigneron Michael Dhillon. “The 2015s are harmonious, relaxed, giving, almost disarmingly delicious now, but should live for a very long time, they’re balanced, have intensity, and have requisite acid too”.  This wine spends […]

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Posted in Macedon Ranges, pinot noir0 Comments

schwarz meta grenache

Schwarz Wine Co. META Grenache 2016

09 December 2016

Grenache from Bethany and Marananga in the Barossa Valley. Wild fermented. 86% whole bunches.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, grenache et al0 Comments

BindiQuartzChardonnay

Bindi Quartz Chardonnay 2015

09 December 2016

Chardonnay planted in 1988, this portion, a third of the plantings, comes from a quartz-rich soil profile at the upper end of the vineyard site. All chardonnay is made by whole bunch press, straight to barrel on solids to ferment (naturally). The wines hang out on lees for nine to ten months, but this wine […]

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Posted in chardonnay, Macedon Ranges11 Comments

Bindi Kostas Rind Chardonnay 2015

Bindi Kostas Rind Chardonnay 2015

09 December 2016

This was the wine formally known as Composition. More fertile soil profile here. This gets bigger berries, therefore. Left on lees for nine to ten months, and bottled shortly afterwards. Named for a friend of family, inspiration for the wines, and an intellectual sparring partner of vigneron Michael Dhillon’s father. Nice tribute.

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Posted in Macedon Ranges0 Comments

schwarz meta shiraz

Schwarz Wine Co. META Shiraz 2015

09 December 2016

Wild yeast, 22% whole bunches, unfined and unfiltered. Shiraz grown in the Stonewell, Eden Valley and Moppa sub-regions.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

chaffey bros kontra punkt

Chaffey Bros Wine Co Kontra Punkt 2016

09 December 2016

From the Chaffey Bros website: “100% Kerner (A.K.A. Weißer Herold) from the revered Fechner Bros’ vineyard in the Northern Eden Valley. The Kerner grape is a 1929 cross-breed of Riesling and Vernatsch. Graeme and Michael Fechner brought cuttings to their Eden Valley vineyard in 2001 following a research trip to Germany.

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Posted in Eden Valley, other whites, Top Value5 Comments

chaffey bros dufte punkt

Chaffey Bros Wine Co Düfte Punkt 2016

09 December 2016

Co-fermented blend of riesling, gewurztraminer and weißer herold. “Three Germanic luminaries”, as it says on the front label.

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Posted in Eden Valley, other whites0 Comments

bannockburn geelong pinot noir

Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014

09 December 2016

A (very) high percentage of whole bunches and a challenging style as a result.

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Posted in Geelong, pinot noir0 Comments

CharlotteDaltonShiraz

Charlotte Dalton Love Me Love You Shiraz 2015

08 December 2016

From a tiny plot of vines in Balhannah, Adelaide Hills. Sees about 30% whole bunch and a smidge of new oak in the maturation. Seriously flying start to this fledgling solo project from Charlotte Hardy in South Australia. Keep your eyes peeled.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, shiraz et al0 Comments

YabbySyrah

Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Syrah 2015

08 December 2016

Shiraz and Mornington Peninsula is a fickle thing.

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, syrah7 Comments

2016_Ochota_Barrels_I_Am_The_Owl_Syrah

Ochota Barrels I Am The Owl Syrah 2016

08 December 2016

I am the Walrus. And cool climate, whole bunch Shiraz is not really my thing, but hey, when in the Hills.

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Posted in Adelaide Hills, shiraz et al0 Comments

Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir 2013

Yabby Lake Single Block Release Block 2 Pinot Noir 2015

08 December 2016

Sometimes you reflect on things. Australia seems pretty ok with calling lieu dit within vineyards ‘Block ‘x” while France tends to use an evocative name summoning some significance to place. Says something, at times, about the currency of wine in Australia, that prestige wines can be simply delineated to a block number, like rank and […]

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir1 Comment

2016_Ochota_Barrels_Go_With_The_Flow_Mataro

Ochota Barrels Go With The Flow Mataro 2016

08 December 2016

It’s fair to say, that most often my strategy for a successful night out is to ‘go with the flow’. Only 25 dozen made of this.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, mourvedre et al0 Comments

Block1Pinot

Yabby Lake Single Block Release Block 1 Pinot Noir 2015

08 December 2016

The various blocks of Yabby Lake’s estate vineyard come with varying character, that is evident. Block 1 is 100% whole bunch and all the MV6 clone. The winemaking seems intuitive to each year, and each parcel. That is part of the matrix of these wines.

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir0 Comments

2016_Ochota_Barrels_A_Sense_of_Compression_Grenache

Ochota Barrels A Sense Of Compression The Taras Mjkeenan Collaboration 2016

08 December 2016

Nice label. Divers helmet, maybe.

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Posted in grenache et al, McLaren Vale0 Comments

Block6Pinot

Yabby Lake Single Block Release Block 6 Pinot Noir 2015

08 December 2016

Block 6 is produced with only 20% whole bunch in 2015, and hangs out in oak for almost a year.

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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir0 Comments

2016_Ochota_Barrels_Fugazi_Grenache

Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache 2016

08 December 2016

From a vineyard planted in 1946, bush vines on the Blewitt Springs ridge. 80 days on skins with 80% whole bunches. No adds. Unfined. Unfiltered. 30 ppm SO2 at bottling.

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Posted in grenache et al, McLaren Vale, Tip Top Tipple4 Comments

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WINEFRONT is Australia's oldest and most active wine review site. It keeps consumers ahead of the game by reviewing wines as they are released. It's run by Campbell Mattinson, Gary Walsh and Mike Bennie. A full history of reviews and articles can be accessed via WINE SEARCH. Winefront started in 2002 and is entirely independent.
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