Author Archives | Mikerism

Jilly Wines Lone Ranger Chardonnay 2018

New England and Central Ranges for this wine. Basket press, barrel ferment, old oak.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $37
Closure : Diam
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Posted in chardonnay, New England0 Comments

Jilly Wines Cactus 2018

Shiraz viognier. The vines were planted mid to late 1990s, planted in the same town in New England as George Wyndham planted in 1841 – Bukkulla is the village. The site is covered in cactus and looks like a desert of the Americas, though the soil is all unusual in that it is blue granite. About 10% viognier with the lot, shiraz and viognier, whole bunch fermented.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $45
Closure : Diam
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Posted in New England, shiraz et al5 Comments

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Jilly Wines Field Blend 2018

Topper’s Mountain vineyard, picked all at once, whole bunch fermented, contains 12 varieties, white and red. Crazzzzzzy. And cool.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 12%
Price : $45
Closure : Diam
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Posted in New England, other reds0 Comments

lg_8378

Rippon Tinker’s Field Pinot Noir 2014

Pure schist soils. “Noble soils”, says Nick Mills, “one of the most remarkable pieces of viticultural land anywhere. Where humans feel best is often where vines go best, north facing, seeing the sun, higher up the slope, a body of water, mountains”.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $130
Closure : Diam
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Posted in biodynamic, Central Otago, organic, pinot noir5 Comments

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Rippon Rippon Pinot Noir 2014

A tiny vintage in volume, with disease pressure tipped in on top. A lot of fruit was left on vine, a lot of bunch selection. By virtue of that, “no funky winemaking” says Nick Mills, “low whole cluster, shorter maceration, less time in oak, etcetera”. The wine so nice they named it twice.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $72
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in biodynamic, Central Otago, organic, pinot noir0 Comments

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Rippon Gamay 2016

Old vine gamay, well 29-year-old, or so, and produced with a gentle hand.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 12.2%
Price : $58
Closure : Diam
Drink : 2018 - 2022
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Posted in biodynamic, Central Otago, organic, other reds2 Comments

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Rippon Osteiner 2017

Osteiner was planted by Mr Mills senior inspired by government recommendations to plant German varieties as they would likely best work in the ‘deemed too hard to grow grapes in’ deep south of New Zealand. “I like having a wine that isn’t too intellectual”, says Nick Mills, “the riesling and gewurz have a certain nobility. It’s more a case of ‘I never pulled it out’ rather than an intention to grow osteiner”. It’s one of only two hectares planted in the world, allegedly.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 10.8%
Price : $33
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2021
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Posted in biodynamic, Central Otago, organic, other whites0 Comments

Fluus

Ruggabellus Fluus 2017

The cuvee name ‘Fluus’ is kind of onomatopoeic to me. Fluuuuusssss. Such flow. Such drinkability. A lush blend of 60% grenache, 24% mataro, 15% syrah, 1% cinsault of which a portion would have been Timaeus, but the Timaeus wine was ‘declassified’ as, to paraphrase winemaker Abe Gibson, the grenache block presented too much in the way of green flavours, which he links to a wet spell in the growing season. Whatever the case, no Timaeus from 2017. Fluus gets bolstered, however. And it’s a cracking drink for the bucks.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $27
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2025
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Posted in Eden Valley, grenache et al, mourvedre et al, shiraz et al, Top Value0 Comments

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Ruggabellus Solumodo 2016

The ‘dark orange’ wine in the trio of Ruggabellus’ orange wines, alongside Quomodo and Sallio. This is 68% semillon, 28% riesling, 4% muscat with an average of 236 days on skins, though the semillon component sees a full year of skin maceration. The wine hits the market a full two and a half years after harvest. Remarkable patience offset against a culture of impatience and ready to drink mentality in some of the avant garde sects of Australian wine. It’s the full textural experience here. It deserves cellaring or time in decanter, and then some. Old vines, low yields, careful selection of fruit underpin the winemaking story.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $45
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in Eden Valley, orange wine, other whites, riesling, semillon et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value1 Comment

Quomodo

Ruggabellus Quomodo 2016

What a suite of wines this 2016 white and 2017 red wine Ruggabellus release is. I’ll go on record saying it’s been the best/most interesting/satisfying collection I’ve seen in the calendar year, to use a pithy landmark in a non-linear scheme. Baseline is, if you like great wine, fine wine, or wine from one of the most progressive and thoughtful winemakers going around, then you’ll find yourself sitting in front of one of these bottles.

This is 95% old vine riesling with a splash of the Sallio 2016 semillon and muscat in the mix, for perfume and texture, or seasoning. The riesling component spends two years on lees – something else. About six days on skins too. Always tinkering and re-touching is Abe Gibson, When I think of Abe Gibson’s winemaking I imagine him as if using tiny paintbrushes on those miniature models Warhammer freaks paint on as if a fetish. Regardless, this results in one of Australia’s new era, great white wines.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $45
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in Eden Valley, orange wine, riesling, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value1 Comment

Sallio

Ruggabellus Sallio 2016

Arguably Australia’s greatest orange wine, let alone that it’s a great wine. If orange wine is an intimidating phrase or proposition, then let’s just say this is a profound, textural white wine. The detail and care to bring this to life is epic, notwithstanding its elder siblings in Quomodo and Solumodo are outstanding too, and born from equal consideration. Winemaker Abe Gibson looks to nth degree in vineyard and winemaking expression. The shepherding to bottle, and patience, is worthy and vindicated clearly. So many producers seem to rush skin macerated white wines to market, this could be the benchmark for those on the learning curve. And look at that pricing…

More or less equal parts semillon, muscat and riesling from old vines, spends an average of 3.5 days on skins, but there’s larger and smaller time frames in the mix. Rests on lees for a year, then just as juice for a year. Gush, gush, gush. See for yourself.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 13.5%
Price : $28
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in Eden Valley, orange wine, other whites, semillon et al, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value11 Comments

chat_tan_grandbarossa_shiraz_125NV CROP

Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz 2017

Ain’t life grand? Sure is Grand for this range of wines from the Barossa Valley.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 14.9%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2022
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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

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Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Grand Barossa at a not so grand price point. I know I will be howled down by loyalists, but for the most part Barossa and cabernet sauvignon feel like very uneasy bedfellows.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 14.5%
Price : $22
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2023
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Posted in Barossa Valley, cabernet et al1 Comment

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 21.40.18

Turkey Flat Butcher’s Block Red Blend 2017

Some shape-shifting with Butcher’s Block, with some new packaging a big thing. The image here is the shiraz, with this ‘Red Blend’ cuvee similarly styled but with red background and white font. I’m a little uneasy about the new packaging, favouring the old, it looks and feels more comical and cheaper, a bit RSL ready, which might be the gist, but hey, it’s what’s in the glass that comes home with a wet sail, or something like that.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 14.1%
Price : $21
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2025
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Posted in Barossa Valley, grenache et al, mourvedre et al, shiraz et al0 Comments

Turkey Flat Shiraz 2016

Turkey Flat Shiraz 2016

Heartland stuff here, but seems to generally find great balance and a sense of freshness. No slouch here. I wasn’t really feeling anything remotely like Barossa shiraz today, but something short-fused in my brain and I ended up with a hearty glass of this in front of a movie, feeling quite satisfied, indeed. This is a cracking release of this wine, more svelte than I can recall, yet still holding richness and flavour.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 14.2%
Price : $50
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2030+
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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al7 Comments

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Spider Bill Wines Chardonnay 2017

New-ish boutique producer out of the Adelaide Hills here with fruit from arguably the dress circle for chardonnay from the region, Piccadilly Valley. There’s a purity to this (these) wines that’s very appealing. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen from Spider Bill.

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Tasted : OCT18
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : $30
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2025
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Posted in Adelaide Hills, chardonnay8 Comments

GRS + NR

Mallaluka GRS + NR 2018

Gris from Freeman Vineyard, Hilltops, the noir from Canberra District from a private, family vineyard.

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Tasted : SEP18
Alcohol : 12.3%
Price : $26
Closure : Screwcap
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Posted in Canberra District, Hilltops, other reds0 Comments

ROSE

Mallaluka ROSE 2018

Freeman Vineyard gris, Canberra District chardonnay. Rose, definitively, as noted on label. Guess that means the 70% gris accounts for the ‘rose’ delineation. Tannins and savouriness a forte of this wine.

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Tasted : SEP18
Alcohol : 11.7%
Price : $26
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 - 2026
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Posted in Canberra District, Hilltops, Rose1 Comment

RSLING

Mallaluka Hilltops RSLING 2018

No skin contact for this wine (as per the Canberra District one), but it does get raised in oak barrels and settles in on lees. Prunevale vineyard (Freeman Vineyards).

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Tasted : SEP18
Alcohol : 12%
Price : $28
Closure : Screwcap
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Posted in Hilltops, riesling0 Comments

lg_5153

Jilly Wines Lone Ranger Gewurztraminer 2018

From Topper’s Mountain vineyard in New England, a prized site for this often overlooked variety. About 30% of the ferment sees skin contact with the balance fermented in new, Russian oak, and the lot left of lees.

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Tasted : SEP18
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $35
Closure : Diam
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Posted in Gewurztraminer, New England2 Comments

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