Author Archives | Mikerism

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First Drop The Cream Shiraz 2015

The combo of the single vineyard Fat Of The Land wines (I think), sees Greenock, Seppeltsfield and Ebenezer blended up in French and to a lesser extent American oak. Long oak maturation (20 months or so) too. The top of the First Drop tree.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 15%
Price : $200
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2019 - 2026+
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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

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First Drop Fat Of The Land Greenock Shiraz 2015

Greenock’s expression of First Drop mega shiraz. Big ‘n’ bold ‘n’ balanced is the gist.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 15%
Price : $100
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2025
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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

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First Drop Fat Of The Land Ebenezer Shiraz 2015

A series of three wines from First Drop celebrating single vineyards in the Barossa, and heavy bottles that contain shiraz wine. I’ve always been impressed by the ‘Fat Of The Land’ range for finding balance in bolder expressions. No slouch here.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 15%
Price : $100
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2020 - 2030
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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

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Beklyn Shiraz 2016

From three vineyards in McLaren Vale. A new producer for me. Hello. Shiraz is the thing.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $45
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2026
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Posted in McLaren Vale, shiraz et al0 Comments

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Wolf Blass Platinum Label Medlands Vineyard Shiraz 2014

Big, bold shiraz from near Dorrien winery in the Barossa Valley. The Platinum Label soaring above the general Wolf Blass offering. French oak is the motif in this wine. So is power and concentration.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 14.5%
Price : $180
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030
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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

Voyager Estate Project Pet Nat 2018

Voyager Estate Project Pet Nat 2018

Voyager Estate doing a pet nat is a pretty out there thing, it just doesn’t seem to fit with the serious, prestige image of the producer, but hey, anything can happen and what a wonderful thing when winemakers get to think and act laterally. Old vine (1978 planted) merlot makes up the bedrock here – it’s, as per the motif of these wines, sent to bottle still fermenting, with large chunks of benign sediment in the bottle resulting. It’s done well here, and you would say that it’s also a good introduction to the style too. *NB not quite the right bottle shot, this comes in clear glass so you can see the deep pink colour. **Price guessed as none on bottle RRP.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 14.5%
Price : $35
Closure : Crownseal
Drink : 2018 - 2020
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Posted in Margaret River, merlot et al, Pétillant Naturel0 Comments

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Les Bruyeres Vin Jaune 2011

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Les Bruyeres Vin Jaune 2011

Stephane Tissot is one of the leading lights of Jura, and one of my favourite producers from the region. His wines feel more kindred with modernity than a lot of the rustic, agrarian charm that the region shows as output, with precision woven into his winemaking. I love so much of the Jura, and its wines, and there’s ups and downs of course in wine releases, but Tissot’s sit in the upper echelon with ease. Les Bruyeres is the vineyard that many of Tissot’s peers questioned as it went in, and now has shown the naysayers how formidable the site is, both for Vin Jaune and table wines. This is a young, young wine, but a belter.

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Tasted : AUG18
Price : $185
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2050+


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Posted in biodynamic, Jura, natural wine, other whites, oxidative style, Tip Top Tipple21 Comments

Mark Haisma Gevrey Chambertin 2016

Mark Haisma Gevrey Chambertin 2016

Mark Haisma is way more than the punchline of ‘Yarra Yering, worked with Bailey Carrodus, makes wine from Burgundy now really well’, but that’s an easy thing to digest. A curator of micro-batches, he shapes wine from a breadth of Burgundy (and further afield), with an eye on producing fresh, vibrant expressions, without too much winemaking overlay. I loved drinking this wine, and in one of those weird caveats, the score is fair, but the drinkability and compulsion to finish the bottle was way higher. Keep that in mind. It’s excellent, excellent drinking here.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $145
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2025


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Posted in Burgundy, pinot noir, Tip Top Tipple10 Comments

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Mark Haisma Bourgogne Aligote 2016

I know this will sound heretical, but I usually like to admire most chardonnay from Burgundy and typically drink the aligote with gusto – the gist is, I kind of prefer aligote, in a relative sense. There’s plenty of fine chardonnay, imperial standard stuff, but aligote just seems to touch the interest-pleasure buttons more. Perhaps a quirk of the job, seeing so much chardonnay, per se, and it’s the unusual that becomes the impulse. That being said, plenty of monochromatic dross out of Burgundy too, but you’re not supposed to say that.

Here’s a wine from the quixotic Mark Haisma, a guy who formally would have been known for his work at Yarra Yering, but now deserves attention for eking out small batch Burgundy wines, from all over the joint there. He’s forthright and thoughtful in his approach, vocal about the world of wine, and delivering a breadth of expressions, including this from my beloved aligote. I think it sees tank and barrel work in its life pre-bottle. I tasted it ‘properly’ then drank the leftovers with my brother and my dog, on a beach of a river, overlooking national park, as the sun went down. That didn’t affect the score-notes, it’s just context for consumption.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $60
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2021


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Posted in Burgundy, other whites4 Comments

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Vinden Estate Headcase Single Barrel Shiraz 2017

From a 1970 block off the Somerset Vineyard (remember Mountain X anyone?!). Eighth generation farmers on this site. About five percent whole bunch layered into the wine. Sat in used oak. A good wine here.

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Tasted : AUG18
Price : $60
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2030
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Posted in Hunter Valley, shiraz et al, Tip Top Tipple1 Comment

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Vinden Estate Headcase Tempranillo 2017

From younger vines (2004) off the Somerset Vineyard. Tempranillo and Hunter Valley seems a pretty logical thing by my reckoning. These might be some of the older tempranillo vines in Australia, but not the oldest.

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Tasted : AUG18
Price : $40
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2024
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Posted in Hunter Valley, tempranillo et al0 Comments

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Vinden Estate Headcase Single Barrel Chardonnay 2017

From Summerville Vineyard in Broke, which is theoretically a ‘cooler site’, and the last pick of the season for Vinden. From twenty barrels a single one is chosen. A bold, unashamed style, done well.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $50
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2025
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Posted in chardonnay, Hunter Valley2 Comments

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Vinden Estate Headcase Skin Contact Semillon 2018

A week on skins here. The idea behind it was to look at the contemporary environment for semillon, and why isn’t there more expressions of semillon that give a ‘fuller picture’ of semillon, to paraphrase the talented young winemaker Angus Vinden. From Stanley Park vineyard, de-stemmed, sent to skin time, plunged, basket pressed then spent three months in French oak on lees. A brilliant intro to skin contact wines appears here.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 11%
Price : $30
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2024
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Posted in Hunter Valley, orange wine, semillon et al1 Comment

Vinden Headcase Rose

Vinden Estate Headcase Rose 2018

A much better release than the 2017, feels like way more has gone into this wine. Single vineyard rose here – mostly tempranillo, some shiraz, a splash of semillon. Clever winemaking. Left on lees, matured in oak.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $30
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2020
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Posted in Hunter Valley, Rose, Tip Top Tipple0 Comments

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Latta Landsbrough Young Skin No 1 Non Dos Zero Additions Nebbiolo 2016

The names of these wines at times sort of work counter intuitive to the zero addition, minimal intervention, organic-leaning thing going on, with maximum intervention naming, but I kind of like it. And they’re fluid. Here’s nebbiolo from Glenlofty and Malakoff Vineyards in Pyrenees. Combo. This is a barrel selection but there’s going to be some single releases to follow. Neutral vessels, whole bunch and no additions here.

Murky garnet-bronze colour. Nebb land. Dark cherry, mocha, dried fig and date scents, not sweet though, thoroughly savoury and overlaid with char, earth and undergrowth character to sniff on. Tannins ripple and assert authority, dusty, gummy, but there’s dark fruit sloshing through too, more of the dark cherry-mocha but with espresso and chinotto distinct and a course of dried brown herbs too. Serious feeling, moody, a deep bass-line of thumping nebb, yet there’s lift to finish too. Curiosity and deliciousness!



Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 14.2%
Price : $42
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2023
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Posted in nebbiolo, preservative free, Pyrenees6 Comments

Latta Coghills Creek Non Dos Zero Additions Pinot Noir 2016

Latta Coghills Creek Non Dos Zero Additions Pinot Noir 2016

From three vineyards in and around ‘Coghills Creek’, including two that are farmed organically by Owen Latta, this is a friendly pinot, naturally fermented in concrete, given some whole bunch ferment seasoning, put in bottle with no additions, no sulphur. There ya go.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $40
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2020
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Posted in Ballarat, pinot noir, preservative free0 Comments

Latta Tranquil Nebbiolo 2017

Latta Tranquil Nebbiolo 2017

From the Pyrenees and the Glenlofty Vineyard, which as Owen Latta let’s me know is just down the way from the famed Malakoff Vineyard, so we’re theoretically in nebbiolo country here. Interestingly, as this wine results in a rose style, it is a rose clone that is on this site, so used appropriately as it were. This is produced with no additions at all, including no sulphur. Owen Latta has such a deft hand with zero sulphur wines, which feel like they could mature to medium term well too. A feat. Want to see one of Australia’s best rose wines? It’s here. 

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 11%
Price : $30
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2020
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Posted in nebbiolo, preservative free, Pyrenees, Rose, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value18 Comments

Latta Rattlesnake Blanc 2017

Latta Rattlesnake Blanc 2017

Named for a snake we don’t have in Australia, but hey, we know this. A blend of viognier, gris, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir juice on gewurztraminer skins. The make up is actually more complicated than that, but that’s the varieties. Lots of skin contact ferments in that mix too. Vineyard sources are ‘Western Zone’ Victoria. Creativity is writ large for Owen Latta. I am listening to Jean-Michel Jarre Oxygene through entirely, and part 17 came on as this hit the glass for a revisit. So fitting – futuristic and uplifting with a nod to the past.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $32
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2020
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Posted in orange wine, other whites, Tip Top Tipple, Victoria0 Comments

Latta Tarrington Pinot Gris Zero Additions 2017

Latta Tarrington Pinot Gris Zero Additions 2017

From an organic vineyard set up by the notable vigneron Tamara Irish, this is pinot gris with a lot delivered though no additions. Several picks came into play, time on lees, varying fermentations (an assumption from the pale salmon colour that time on skins is in the mix). Geez, what can’t young Owen Latta do? It also emphatically shows how good/complex/interesting pinot gris can be in the right hands, and how much insipid wine is made from it on the flipside.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $32
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2022
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Posted in Henty, pinot gris/grigio, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value1 Comment

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Lenton Brae Lady Douglas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The Lady Douglas was the boat on which the Tomlinson’s ancestors arrived on in Australia in the 1880s. It’s a straight up cabernet, pursuing the power and grace possible from Margaret River. Lady Douglas sounds like a drag show at the Erko, just down the road from me.

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Tasted : AUG18
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $30
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in cabernet et al, Margaret River, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value3 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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