Yelland & Papps Second Take Vermentino

I like the word ‘Vermentino’.  When I say it, I feel I don’t have to put any emphasis on any of the characters.  They seem to speak for themselves.  When the word adorns a bottle of wine, I have a whole new ‘like’ for the word because it means the fermented grape juice inside is Vermentino.  Speak to friends of mine and they will tell you of my enthusiasm for this variety.  If I find one you can just about bet London to a brick I will buy it to try it.  I have the Yelland & Papps team to thank for the introduction to the variety way back when, and I will be forever grateful.

Yes, it’s a little cloudy but nothing to be concerned about.  Take in the aromas and that cloudiness will be a thing of the past.  Aromatically it has citrusy notes, hints of apricot and funk ‘n’ spunk.  Oh yeah!  There’s a freshness on the palate as stone fruit characters come to the fore along with a cashew/almond/hazelnut-iness.  Loved the soft textural feel on the palate with just a hint of spiceyness providing a nice dimension and some acidity chiming in.  This is a balanced beauty.  My memory is not that great but I am comfortable in saying this vintage would have to be up there with one of their best.  But they are always ‘the best’ so, not much more needs to be said really.

Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $45     Source: Sample thanks heaps to Yelland & Papps

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2019 Yelland & Papps Second Take Grenache

It’s easy to get carried away with a quality wine that captures your senses when you open it, pour it, take in the aromas and, of course, taste it.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I consider myself pretty lucky because, for fear of sounding like I am bragging (sorry), it’s a regular occurrence for me.  When the Yelland & Papps wines turn up at my home, that quality is a given.

When it comes to these wines, it’s a bit like trying to decide which child is your favourite.  They all have their little idiosyncrasies, personalities and attractive characteristics, but you like them all equally.  If I had to pick, this one always seems to get more of my attention than the others and not just once or twice but every time, every year.

I don’t know if it is possible to be able to smell aromas of ‘fresh’ and ‘juicy’ but that’s what I got when I dived my beak into the glass.  Raspberries and blueberries and a sprinkling of herbs greet your nasal senses.  The ‘fresh’ and ‘juicy’ aromas are almost tangible on the taste buds where cherry and blueberry characters shine along with a nice dash of spice.  Things just keep rolling along beautifully thanks to silky smooth tannins and the terrific fruit combining for a pretty impressive finish.

It’s lovely, light/medium bodied and fruity, yet seems to move up a notch the longer it sat in the glass.  It just kept drawing me back again and again and again.  Great stuff!!

Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $45     Source: Sample thanks heaps to Yelland & Papps

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2016 Gartelmann Wines Diedrich Shiraz

Many years ago now my wife and I designed and built our first ‘together’ home.  By built, I mean we hired sub-contractor tradies to build it for us.  Anyway, we knew exactly what it was going to look like when it was finished but, during the construction phase, it was quite an interesting experience.  Over an extended period of time, bits and pieces would turn up on-site and, individually, they didn’t look like anything special.  But, as those bits and pieces were brought together by the skilled tradesman, we ended up with a place we called home.

I found this wine to be similar.  The first day I tried it, it was like bits and pieces of the character of the wine were ‘on-site’ but yet to come together as planned by the skilled winemaker.  The second day however, things had taken shape and those ‘bits and pieces’ had formed into a thing of elegance, richness, beauty and completeness.

Quite aromatic thanks to dark and red fruits, a touch white pepper and spice with the oak just poking through.  Heaps of fruit driven flavour when tasting it.  Mainly dark berries and cherries but there’s a nice coating of plums in there too.  It’s delicately spicy on an elegant, medium to full bodied palate as it finishes off nicely thanks to smooth tannins and a good dash of oak.  Gee it’s a good wine!  Just be patient…please.

Gartelmann Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $50     Source: Sample thanks to Gartelmann Wines and Define Wine


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2016 Angullong Orange Region Cabernet Sauvignon

Recently I had a conversation with a young bloke who knew I was into wine.  He told me Cabernet was his go-to wine.  Two things surprised me about the comment.  Firstly, a young bloke talking about wine instead of beer, bourbon or whisky.  Secondly, saying his go-to wine is Cabernet (I would’ve expected Shiraz).  I had to delve deeper.  As it turned out, his father was a staunch Cabernet drinker and he regularly shared a wine with his dad from a well known Cabernet region. How good is that?! I asked if he’d thought of trying one from a different region and he was genuinely interested in hearing my suggestions, one of which was Orange.

Definite Cabernet Sauvignon greeting on the nose with lovely black fruits, a sweetish red berry influence in there too and a sprinkle of herbs and spice.  There’s a lot to like on the similarly appointed palate.  The usual suspects of blackberries and blackcurrants arrive with gusto, yet dried Italian herbs and some chocolate characters don’t miss out on some of the limelight.  Interestingly, I found it to be quite savoury, yet there was a sweet fruit touch to it as well in a balanced way I must add.  Yes, there’s oak, yes there’s (slightly drying) tannins, but it all comes together in an elegant, smooth, medium bodied wine.

My opinion only of course but, I think it is drinking very well now at 4 years of age.  It may have some time up its sleeve but at $22 a bottle, why wait?!

Angullong Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $22     Source: Sample courtesy of Angullong wines and Define Wine

Angullong_Cabernet 2016

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2018 Angullong Orange Region Merlot

On the weekend, just as it started to rain, we managed to finish the mulching but we didn’t get a chance to look and admire our handiwork.  Once inside out of the rain, I looked out of our lounge-room window over the front garden and, while doing so, a blackbird landed on one of the pencil pines.  With his glossy black coloured feathers, he stood out against the green leaves of the pencil pine.  The blackbird balanced perfectly as he seemed to look at me through one of his yellow ringed eyes then scanned the front yard.  I’d like to think he was admiring our work too but I doubt it.

As it happens, Merlot is believed to come from the word Merle the French name for the blackbird.  It’s more to do with the similarity between the colours of the blackbird and the colour the Merlot grape than anything else.  This Merlot had my attention longer than the blackbird did that’s for sure.

Varietal, vibrant and youthful aromas of plums, dark-ish cherries and a hint of spice are a very pleasant introduction to this wine.  The palate was also a pleasant suprise.  It was medium bodied but flavoursome and sort of generous (I typed and deleted this word a couple of times while tasting it.  In the end, it deserved to be in the sentence).  There’s very good balance between dark and red fruit characters that come together nicely in the form of body and freshness.  It may also be a little herbal, a little liquoricey, a little savoury but it has a lot of ‘easy drinking’ qualities.  I don’t know if it will cellar but does it really matter?  This is very good right now I reckon.

Angullong Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $22     Source: Sample courtesy of Angullong wines and Define Wine

Angullong Merlot 2018

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2018 Shanahans ‘Silence is Golden’ Barossa Valley Shiraz

The meaning of ‘Silence is Golden’ is not befitting of this wine. Not by a long shot!  It pretty much means that it is often wise to say nothing.  Now, if I was the winemaker or owner or wine rep of this bottle of Barossa Shiraz, I would not be remaining silent.  Taste this wine and you will know exactly what I mean.  Seriously!  Get on the website and buy some.  When word gets out, this wine will sell out in a heart-beat. 

In 1964, the Four Seasons released a song called ‘Silence is Golden’ in which the chorus is, “Silence is golden, but my eyes still see”.  Well, when it comes to this wine, the eyes see a beautiful colour, the nose is spoiled for aromas and the palate is flooded with flavours.  If you didn’t already pick up on it, I’m excited!

It’s a lovely deep, dark and youthful purple/crimson colour.  Pretty intense aromas of dark fruits, dark chocolate and oak which is a tad deceiving because you think your palate is going to be smashed with big amounts of fruit and oak.  Well, you do but in such very well measured and considered way.   Rich, juicy black fruits are the star of the show (blackberries, dark cherries, even a nice plum like hit on the mid palate), there’s a dark chocolate/cocoa like flavour, it’s a little earthy too and the oak and silky-smooth tannins are perfectly played complementing the whole package that is a terrific wine.

Shanahans Wines Website

Region: Barossa Valley, SA Price: $30 (Bargain!) Source: Retail purchase

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2019 Yelland & Papps Second Take Shiraz

I’ve been landscaping my front yard.  It’s been a long time coming it must be said.  It was similar to so many other front yards in our cul-de-sac but a lot messier.  It needed something and it finally got it.  I have given it its own personality, its own individualism, its own standoutishness (another word with a red squiggly line under it).  I stuck with some of the usuals for the area, like conifers and Australian natives (to attract the abundant bird life we have) but I added difference to the expected in our neighbourhood.  Yes it has ‘structure’ but it also has natural elements.  Yes it has conformity but it also has wild elements.  Put this all together and it just seems to work (even if I do say so myself).

This Shiraz, from the dab hands of Michael Papps, is similar to my (new) front garden.  It has similar traits to others in the neighbourhood, however, Michael has added personality, individualism, and plenty of natural and wild elements to this wine making it stand out in a damn good way!

Breathe in deep after you pour it into your glass because you will be greeted with an abundance of berries and spice and a smidge of herbs.  It’s a delightful start!  Once you’ve finished with the swirling and sniffing, and take your time with that, move on and treat your palate to the same sensory experience.  Right from the outset I could tell there’s terrific fruit, and it hung around like forever over your tongue.  But wait, there’s more. It was like the texture and lovely smooth tannins moved in and latched onto the fruit for the nice, easy long ride to the finish.  This is good!  Really good!!

Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $45     Source: Sample thanks heaps to Yelland & Papps

Y & P Second Take Shiraz 2019

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2019 Dr Edge Pinot Noir

Unlike its maker, this wine is quite pretty (in my defence, Pete Dredge would not like to be called pretty).  However, very much like its maker, this wine exudes character, substance and likeability (because of the red squiggly line underneath, this can’t be a real word, but it works for me).  Mr Dredge knows exactly how to treat Pinot Noir, knows how to bring out its best…especially when it comes to Tassie Pinot Noir.

Not huge aromatics but that’s fine with a variety that can be shy at times.  It’s a little perfumed, there’s some cherries, some herbs and it’s a little earthy.  It makes much more of a statement on the palate though.  It’s medium bodied, bright, fresh and juicy but there is certainly a dark fruit influence, even if red cherries seem to be the main fruit flavour I get.  I detect a whole bunchy character, a hint of dried herbs, lovely fine and silky tannins and very good length on the finish.  This is a very good wine combining elegance with difference.  It’s also deliciously moreish.

Dr Edge Website

Region: Tasmania     Price: $50     Source: Website purchase


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2018 Serere Beechworth Syrah

I don’t like Mondays.  I’m sure there are those that do but personally, I don’t know anyone that does.  Maybe hospitality industry guys and gals because that is part of their weekend.  However, for us Monday to Friday slaves to the norm, we try to make Sundays one of the best days of the week.  With that in mind, we look for wines that are going to contribute to our “serene Sunday”, to help prepare us for the week ahead.  Joe Warren of Serere Wines has kindly helped us out with this little beauty from the under-rated Beechworth district of Victoria.

It reeks of generosity and elegance from the aromas right through to the flavours.  It has sort of a sweet/savoury nose with plenty of red fruits and a slight earthy character.  The palate is fresh and generous yet in an understated and modest way.  Red and black fruits seem to shimmy across the palate with ease, cool-climate pepper characters and a touch of herbs add a nice savoury touch as it seems to glide to the finish.  Everything about this wine was easy and effortless.  It seemed to do everything for me from the first sip.  On their website, Serere is “to be bound, to be interwoven, to be entwined”.   This is nicely ‘together’ already.  Bravo Joe Warren!!

Region: Beechworth, Vic     Price: $42     Source: Wine swap

Serere Wines Website

Serere Wines Syrah

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2019 Angullong Orange Region Shiraz

A little while back I posted a review about a very good chardonnay.  The main thing I pointed out at the time was the opinions about the variety.  Well, I had a similar response from a couple of work colleagues recently about Shiraz.  Comments like “… it’s everywhere; there’s heaps of it in bottle-shops”; “too dry” and “it’s too heavy for me” came out in the conversation.

I wasn’t about to say they were wrong because it’s their opinion and everyone’s taste is different.  However, I couldn’t help myself, I had to respond in defence of Shiraz.  I had to.  We have been friends for many years.  I covered off, as best I could, on all the negatives thrown around and even managed to get a couple of positives from the small group.  They mainly focused on how good the variety was when drunk alongside chunks of red meat and at barbecues, and the other one was “it’s pretty cheap”.  The all-round upside though, they said they would continue to buy it!  I definitely need to bring this wine to their attention.

Beautiful deep colour. Just beautiful. Loved it right from this point on. Crimson/purple with ruby red rim at the edge of the glass. Tick!  Giving plenty on the nose showing its youthfulness that’s for sure. Fresh dark fruits, plums and a hint of star anise poking through. Another tick!!  Abundant fruit flavours of blackberries, dark cherries, plums and blueberries. A dash of pepper adds a nice dimension too. The oak and tannins play bit parts (but doing their bit nicely) and finishing beautifully smooth. Tick number three!!!  A very well made and very enjoyable wine.

Angullong Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $22     Source: Sample courtesy of Angullong wines and Define Wine


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