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Cooke Brothers Wines Broderick Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Broderick Vineyard suggests that this wine is produced from fruit off the long-established Basket Range Wines vineyard of the Broderick family – self evident stuff really. Great to see this wonderful family getting their name out there under a number of guises, including their own diversifying range of wines, with sons Sholto and Louis accelerating things. Anyway, Cooke Brothers is a new(ish) outfit with two releases out there in wine land, this (cabernet with a splash of petit verdot) and a chardonnay from another vineyard. The winemaking here is hands-off in nature, sees 25% new oak.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $38
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2026
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Posted in Adelaide Hills, cabernet et al, Tip Top Tipple0 Comments

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Spider Bill Wines Dolcetto 2017

Tarrant and Melanie Hansen are behind the Spider Bill Wines range, a boutique operation that’s been honed from a tree change and a breadth of winemaking experience that’s seen the couple travel broadly to gain in-field education. The range highlights some deeper interest in Italian grape varieties, including this, a bright, sweet-hearted dolectto. It deserves a good chill and being sloshed around with gay abandon.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 12%
Price : $30
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2021
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Posted in Adelaide Hills, other reds0 Comments

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Geyer Wine Co Chenin Blanc 2017

The Geyer Wine Co is winemaker and grape grower Dave Geyer’s (Barossa’s answer to Chesty Bond) project. An array of excellent new releases has emerged in past months. This wine is pressed to barrel and fermented, left on lees, released with building some complexity into the wine in mind. Aint no cellar door sweetie.

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Tasted : JAN18
Price : $32
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2020
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Posted in Barossa Valley, other whites0 Comments

Cullen Vanya

Cullen Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cullen’s extraordinary ‘Vanya’ release created quite a stir from 2012, and returns in 2015 having been fermented and matured in amphora before a shorter (five month) stint in oak (two thirds of which are new). The currency of vessels aside, the fruit, grown biodynamically of course, is from older vines under the care of Cullen. An emphatic assertion about Australia, Margaret River, fine wine Down Under, and the dedication of the Cullen family.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $500
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in biodynamic, cabernet et al, Margaret River, Tip Top Tipple37 Comments

Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaudevey Chablis

Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaudevey Chablis 2015

About ten years ago GW was writing about how Domaine Laroche had triumphantly moved all their wines to screw cap seals. Well, a recent dive back into Larocheville for me sees wines back under cork. A decade of twist and pour now back in the hands of cork roulette. Laroche is one of the most obvious Chablis producers in the world, so it’s a big deal, one might say. Meanwhile, having not seen many Laroche wines of late, this was one to reignite interest. Indeed, the Raveneau Butteaux 2013 that was tasted (drunk) alongside paled (too blousy, lacking vitality, still very complex, but yeah). Les Vaudevey has three owners only, Laroche one of them.

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Tasted : JAN18
Price : $80
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2025+


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Posted in Burgundy, chardonnay0 Comments

Cascina Roccalini Barbaresco Roccalini 2014

Cascina Roccalini Barbaresco Roccalini 2014

The gist is, a younger generation making passes at older style Barbaresco. Old school, new school, good school. Cascina Roccalini is right next door to Olek Bondonio, so finds some kindred spirit there! “I could either go with the philosophy of Voerzio [modern] or Rinaldi [traditional],” says vigneron Paolo Veglio, “and it was always Rinaldi.” While there is some 20 hectares of land on the estate, only four-or-so are planted to vines, with the rest left to existing woods or old fruit and nut trees, in an attempt to go beyond the monoculture often readily found in the region.

Some prized land holds the vines here too, indeed, his grapes were once sold to Dante Scaglione the winemaker for Bruno Giacosa, as an example. The farm itself is verdant and diverse in animal, insect, bird and plant life, an Eden located at the top of the hillsides on what some call ‘the balcony above Alba’. Intriguing wines.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $99
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2030+


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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo, organic, Tip Top Tipple2 Comments

Cascina Roccalini Nebbiolo Langhe

Cascina Roccalini Nebbiolo Langhe 2016

A producer who caught the eye of importer Giorgio de Maria for a number of reasons, beyond the apparent quality of wines, great vineyards and minimal intervention winemaking – Cascina Roccalini is the neighbour of much vaunted, younger generation producer Olek Bondonio, based in Barbaresco. Easy stroll down the hill and next door. New wines to Australia and set to be in just about all The Right Places, I predict. Easy drinking yet with all the character of Piedmont in tow.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 15%
Price : $56
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2030


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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo, organic0 Comments

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Domaine Jean Maupertuis Puy Long 2016

Chardonnay here. From Côtes d’Auvergne and the gentle touch of biodynamic stalwart, Jean Maupertuis. Tasting blind, my mind went to the saline chenin blancs of Loire Valley, those with a gentle savoury edge. Delicious, is the byword.

Chardonnay enthusiasts will see an entirely different look here – delicacy and calmness the simplest way of describing the style. So gentle. It shows quiet fragrance of lemon butter, lemon sorbet, lime leaf, ginger, sea spray. Flavours swirl in this lightly juicy pool offering citrus, oyster shell-like mineral character, barely there cashew nut savouriness, light macadamia nut feel, a fleeting sweetness, finishing with a growing, mouthwatering tang of citrus freshness. Geez, this is quite a thing. I couldn’t stop tasting (drinking) it.

Importer: Puncheon Bottles [/private]



Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $50
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2022


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Posted in Auvergne, biodynamic, chardonnay, natural wine0 Comments

Domaine No Control Rockaille-Billy

Domaine No Control Rockaille-Billy 2015

Vincent Marie hand tends his small plots of fruit in Auverge using no chemicals in farming, as is the approach in winery. No additions, including sulphur in any Domaine No Control wine – does what the label says. Gamay is the hero here. Auvergne an increasingly interesting place to drink that grape from. The name a play on words of Rockabilly, a sub-culture that quiffs and preens and dresses to a genre, but always makes me wonder ‘what do they wear at home on the couch under the quilt when they’re chilling out?’ – is there a Rockabilly tracksuit thing I don’t know about? Pretty hard to chill in natty jeans and those tight shirts and the big, floaty dresses, let alone ignore the anti-gravity of the haircuts. Anyway, Auvergne gamay.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $60
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2020


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Posted in Auvergne, natural wine, other reds, preservative free3 Comments

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Domaine No Control Fusion 2015

Vincent Marie is the vigneron here, handling a tiny plot in the village of Volvic in Auvergne. While fusion cuisine (lasagne spring rolls aside, and what a miracle they are!) is thankfully in a death knell, ‘Fusion’ cuvee is a mix of both Beaujolais and Auverge gamay – an interesting kind of fusion. No rules. Natural fermentation, no additions including no sulphur. It’s a delicate, pure-feeling expression at hand.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 12%
Price : $57
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2020


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Posted in Auvergne, Beaujolais, natural wine, other reds, preservative free0 Comments

Patapon

Domaine Le Briseau Patapon Rouge 2015

This is the wonderful, peppy red grape pineau d’aunis from Jasnières, Loire Valley. A cottage industry producer, farming biodynamically, making expressive, unadorned wines. The variety pineau d’aunis so often satisfying for medium weight, fine ripple of tannin, savouriness, and all found here. The small estate was established by Christian Chaussard and Natalie Gaubicher, with the former becoming a luminary in natural wine circles. Unfortunately an accident took Chaussard from this world, though the estate is in the car of Gaubicher ongoing. Some great wines emerging.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $50
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2018 - 2021


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Posted in biodynamic, Loire Valley, natural wine, other reds0 Comments

von Hövel 'S' Saar Riesling Kabinett

von Hövel ‘S’ Saar Riesling Kabinett 2016

Few wines can be skolled as quickly as Kabinett riesling. It’s one of those styles that has ease of drinking, gentle sweetness, brisk, refreshing acidity all in tow, making for a near thirst-quenching style. As always, as per the back label, the wines are released ‘after a long, continuous vegetation…’. The ‘S’ a slightly elevated version of the kabinett wines.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 8.5%
Price : $70
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2017 - 2027+


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Posted in Germany, riesling12 Comments

Grace

Charlotte Dalton Love You Love Me Grace Ashton Chardonnay 2017

Charlotte Dalton’s eponymous label is rocketing through the pack in South Australia’s boutique wine producing scene. A new conversation about fine wines. Meanwhile, epic naming for the wine. I am assuming that LYLM is becoming a part range, the ‘wine name’ another element in the picture, Ashton of course about geography. A mouthful at the dinner table! Good wine but.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 12.8%
Price : $39
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2017 - 2022
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Posted in Adelaide Hills, chardonnay2 Comments

Lata

Latta Coghills Creek Jurassique Blanc Ullaged Chardonnay 2016

Winemaker Owen Latta is one of the most exciting wine producers in Australia, and is unnervingly releasing hit after hit. The wines are alt-expressions for the most part, but so easy to enjoy, which makes the chicanery in mind all the more present. That being said, he grows great grapes, or sources outstanding vineyards, uses a slow wine approach to raising these wines and judiciously applies his winemaking know-how. Here’s another belter. The irony is, many winemakers of a technocratic set would balk at the proposition – chardonnay, naturally fermented, no temperature control, intentionally ullaged over a period of 12 months… the maths shouldn’t work, but it does. A nod in the direction of Jura. The fruit is grown by young Latta at his uncle’s farm, close by the Eastern Peake home estate in Ballarat.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $55
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2017 - 2030
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Posted in Ballarat, chardonnay, oxidative style, Tip Top Tipple8 Comments

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Carrick Billet-Deux Pinot Noir 2016

This is from the feted Cairnmuir Vineyard in Central Otago and produced without preservatives. The Abel clone is entirely employed for this wine – again, a high profile thing to include, in terms of chat about fine pinot noir. A big upswing in quality at Carrick in recent years too. Winemaker Francis Hutt a serious asset, intellect and fine practitioner of his trade. Wandering the estate with Francis is something else; there’s a lot going on in that head. Meanwhile, the drinking…

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $50
Closure : Cork
Drink : 2017 - 2022
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Posted in Central Otago, pinot noir, preservative free0 Comments

Silent Way Victorian Highlands Pinot Noir 2016

Silent Way Victorian Highlands Pinot Noir 2016

Matt Harrop (and family) have some runs on the board with this solo project label. Harrop of course has switched out of Shadowfax winery and taken up the winemaking role at Curly Flat. Like a serious football trade.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2022
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Posted in pinot noir, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value, Victoria0 Comments

Corduroy Pinot

Corduroy Pinot Noir 2016

Phil LeMessurier has found himself in the state of South Australia after a good stint at Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley. This solo project is beginning to hum. I’d be keeping an eye out. This is a pretty little number right here.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $28
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2017 - 2021
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Posted in Adelaide Hills, pinot noir1 Comment

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Polperro Pinot Noir 2016

This wine is the ‘regional blend’ expression of pinot noir from Polperrp, let’s call it, combining fruit from Mill Hill, Landaviddy Lane, Polperro Bistro and Bassat Vineyards of Mornington Peninsula. It sees 30% new oak in the maturation of the wine. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13.6%
Price : $55
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2017 - 2022
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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir0 Comments

Polperro Landaviddy Lane Pinot Noir 2011

Polperro Talland Hill Pinot Noir 2015

From the estate vines, this is a first release of this single vineyard wine. I nearly got bogged in a car staying adjacent to the vineyard, but for some slick tyre work on mud, and some low gear driving. GW was there to cheer me on, somewhat. He was in awe of my mastery of a hire car on deep mud. Who wouldn’t be. Top Gear’s drone was whirring nearby.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13.6%
Price : $65
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2017 - 2025
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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir0 Comments

Polperro Landaviddy Lane Pinot Noir 2011

Polperro Landaviddy Lane Pinot Noir 2015

From a reliable site for the Polperro crew, this wine is part carbonic macerated before the grapes are plunged. Spends time in oak (30% new) and hits the bottle without fining and filtration. The name of the vineyard, Landaviddy Lane, sounds like something out of a Roald Dahl book.

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Tasted : JAN18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $65
Drink : 2017 - 2025
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Posted in Mornington Peninsula, pinot noir0 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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