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Granite Belt Regional Report 2017 Poll: The best Australian wine region to Pierro Chardonnay Hatherleigh Pinot Noir 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
 
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Granite Belt Regional Report 2017

Mike Bennie headed to Queensland’s Granite Belt to put the region’s wines under the microscope. Misconceptions be damned: the result was as full of surprises as it was incredibly good wines.  

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Poll: The best Australian wine region to “tour” is?

Simple question: what’s the best Australian wine region to tour? Maximum of 3 answers allowed, though you can click on one only if your choice is overwhelmingly in one direction.

pierro chardonnay vineyard w kangaroo

Pierro Chardonnay – a ten year collection from 2006 to 2015

From seemingly nowhere, a ten year collection of Pierro chardonnay arrived at my front door. Thrilled. Blue chip stuff.  

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Hatherleigh Pinot Noir – Full Retrospective Tasting

Established in 1996 with most plantings going on in 1999, this is Nick Bulleid MW’s labour of love, all planted to pinot noir.

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McLaren Vale Regional Report

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.

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Churton: Vineyard as a garden of Eden

You get the feeling Sam Weaver is tired of the nincompoops.

Rudi Bauer by Alli Albanese

Birds of a feather: Rudi Bauer and his Quartz Reef

Sometimes the luck runs against you.

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Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2009-2014

A precious afternoon one on one with the bloody great Kevin Judd.

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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.

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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.

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UPDATE: WET changes have wine producers hopping mad #2

Opposition to the proposed changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is mounting.

terroir al limit

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.    

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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.

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.”

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Dr. Edge Pinot Noir North 2016

25 May 2017

An exploration of Tasmanian Pinot Noir from Peter Dredge (Dr. Edge the nickname gifted him while working at Petaluma in the late 90s). There’s 50 cases (not sure if 6 or 12) each of North, East and South, with 400 cases of the Tasmania blend. This ‘North’ comes from Joe Holyman’s vineyard in the Tamar […]

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania, Tip Top Tipple5 Comments

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Dr. Edge Pinot Noir Tasmania 2016

25 May 2017

A blend of North, South and East, with ‘roughly 50% Derwent Valley, 30% East Coast and 20% Tamar Valley.’ About 400 dozen produced. The striking label (green is the original art) is a “Robert del Naja painting (aka 3D of Massive Attack, allegedly Banksy) similar to my favourite album cover he painted for an old […]

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Posted in pinot noir, Tasmania, Tip Top Tipple4 Comments

st johns road block 8 shiraz

St John’s Road Block 8 Shiraz 2016

25 May 2017

Grown on the highest section of the Resurrection Vineyard, at Ebenezer in the Barossa. Fermented cool in open fermenters before going into old oak. 12.9% alcohol. Over the past few years this Block 8 Shiraz has proven itself as one of the most interesting shiraz-based wines on the Australian red wine landscape.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

Les Dolomies les Boutonniers Chardonnay 2014

Les Dolomies les Boutonniers Chardonnay 2014

24 May 2017

From that famed blue marl clay limestone soil of Jura, a single vineyard wine from vines aged 65 years. It hangs out on lees in old oak barrels for its life before bottling. Organic farming and winemaking (in as much as nothing is added, and winemaking is gentle). This is top of the tree stuff […]

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Posted in chardonnay, Jura, organic, Tip Top Tipple1 Comment

Les Dolomies Tout Pete Gamay Petillant Naturel

Les Dolomies Tout Pete Gamay Petillant Naturel 2015

24 May 2017

This is two thirds gamay and one third savagnin from a single, highly regarded Jura vineyard. The gamay is pressed immediately and sees no skin contact. It ferments naturally and is sent to bottle alive for fizz. What ho!

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Posted in Jura, Pétillant Naturel, Tip Top Tipple0 Comments

Les Dolomies En Rollion Trousseau

Les Dolomies En Roillon Trousseau 2015

24 May 2017

The vineyards sourced are in Passenans, Jura. The wine is naturally fermented and spends time in stainless steel then old barrels for just under a year. Trousseau is typically right down the pile in Jura’s strata of wine seriousness, but some transcend that status. They can be wildly drinkable, and though understated, imbued with fine […]

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Posted in Jura, organic, other reds0 Comments

les Dolomies La Cabane

Les Dolomies La Cabane Pinot Noir 2014

24 May 2017

Vigneron Celine Gormally is one of those deep-in-organic-lifestyle folks, fastidious about the application of organic farming and winemaking, one of Jura’s most exciting newer (established 2008) producers. Pinot noir is down the food chain in Jura, but of course, the dirt is pretty similar to neighbouring Burgundy, just over an hour away. In Jura, you taste […]

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Posted in Jura, organic, pinot noir0 Comments

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Marcarini Barolo La Serra 2013

24 May 2017

La Serra the MGA in La Morra. Importer: Trembath & Taylor

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Posted in Italy, nebbiolo0 Comments

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Three Dark Horses Grenache Rosé 2016

24 May 2017

It’s been so warm and sunny in Sydney these past few days, you could be tricked into thinking it’s rosé season again. Grenache aged in seasoned French oak, no additions aside from a little SO2 before bottling.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, Rose0 Comments

Rutherglen Marsanne

Rutherglen Estate Marsanne 2016

24 May 2017

Single vineyard in Rutherglen. Wine matured in French oak. An effort to elevate the variety.

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Posted in other whites, Rutherglen0 Comments

Rutherglen Estate Fiaon

Rutherglen Estate Fiano 2016

24 May 2017

“Good with Asian food”, said a fellow taster. Generalisations aside, it struck a chord.

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Posted in other whites, Rutherglen0 Comments

Alkimi Roussanne

Alkimi The Good Earth Roussanne 2015

24 May 2017

Interesting wines from Alkimi showing some breadth of winemaking technique and expression of grapes. Here’s a roussanne from Box Grove Vineyard in Goulburn Valley. It hangs out in stainless steel and oak. It spends about six months on lees to build complexity in the wine.

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Posted in Nagambie Lakes, other whites0 Comments

First Drop Mothers Milk

First Drop Mother’s Milk Shiraz 2015

23 May 2017

Dialling in Barossa shiraz for ease of drinking. A pretty reliable drink here.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al0 Comments

darenberg dead arm

d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2014

23 May 2017

The d’Arenberg wine range is giddying in its scope now, so much so that I don’t know what is meant to be flagship, so in my mind, and I guess many, this, Dead Arm, is The One. Good year for red wines from The Vale.

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Posted in McLaren Vale, shiraz et al6 Comments

Rusden Black Guts SHiraz

Rusden Black Guts Shiraz 2014

23 May 2017

From Vine Vale in the Barossa Valley, this is shiraz of generosity, weight and heart. Black Guts is such an evocative name too.

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Posted in Barossa Valley, shiraz et al11 Comments

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Cantina del Pino Dolcetto d’Alba 2015

23 May 2017

It was a good year for Dolcetto in 2015, I feel. This has a swanky glass stopper, which perhaps gives me pause as a closure that stands cellaring, though it’s not important for such a wine as this. Importer: Heart & Soil

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Posted in Italy, other reds9 Comments

take it to the grave pinot noir

Take It The Grave Pinot Noir 2016

23 May 2017

The front label says that it’s from “South Australia” but the website says 100% Adelaide Hills.

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Posted in pinot noir, South East Australia, Top Value0 Comments

Auburn Hills Rose 2016

23 May 2017

The first releases from Hilary Mitchell, the daughter of Mitchell Wines’ Andrew and Jane Mitchell. Rose here from Clare Valley – there’s riesling and shiraz also in the suite of wines. Keep a keen eye out for these, me thinks.

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Posted in Clare Valley, Rose0 Comments

Sud de Frank Rose

Sud de Frank Rose 2016

23 May 2017

Jared Dixon, from Jilly Wines, and Dan Graham of Sigurd Wines are buddies who make this Sud de Frank wine range together. Whimsical stuff that traipses between their offerings from both regions, with minimal intervention winemaking as the middle ground motif. This is a blend of chenin blanc and grenache, adding up to rose. If […]

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Posted in Barossa Valley, New England, Rose, Tip Top Tipple, Top Value0 Comments

Quartz Hill Mencia Rose 2016

Quartz Hill Mencia Rose 2016

23 May 2017

Mencia rose. Quite a thing. Works well in my mind, which is different to in the bottle of course. Looking forward to some straight table wines from the variety, from Australian climes too. Magical place is Aus where you can plant what you like where you like. Website is out of date, but I am […]

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Posted in Pyrenees, Rose, Top Value0 Comments

What is The Wine Front?

The WINEFRONT is entirely independent. It has run continuously since 2002. Our focus is Australian wine but the full wonderful gamut of world wine is in our sights. We score realistically and reliably. 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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