2016 Rowlee Nebbiolo

I’m happy to admit I did not know what to expect when I poured this wine, for two reasons;  I’d not heard of Rowlee and Nebbiolo was not a variety my olfactory senses were familiar with.  At the very least I was off to a good, educational start!

Not knowing the variety very well, the colour surprised me.  Lighter than I thought it would be for a red wine but it was bright and glossy.  Sounds good but wait…there’s more.  A lot more.

The aromas tell me I’m in for something different and special.  The darker side of red fruits dominate here but there is a sort of citrussy character too.  Sorry, but I don’t know how else to describe it.

Dark cherries are generous on the palate but there is almost that sweet/tart flavour of fresh raspberries too.  Spice gently hustles in but only to link arms with the fruit and hold on as the tannins subtly kick in.  It offers plenty yet is easy to drink.


Region: Orange, NSW          Price: $40             Source: Sample courtesy of Define Wine

Rowlee Nebbiolo

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2016 Trentham Estate Pinot Noir

Imagine if Australia and England turned up to a venue on day 1 and the pitch was all over the place.  The bounce was variable with the ball flying left, right and centre.  Heads would be shaking, huge sighs and questions asked.  Fair enough too.

On day 1, this wine was exactly like that.  All over the place, totally disjointed and quite scary actually so I stuck it in the naughty corner hoping it would pull itself together.

Day 2, totally different.  Considering the price of this wine, to be better the next day speaks loudly about the bargain this wine is.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complex wine but it is true to its variety.  Red fruits with cherries the main player.  Some spice/savouriness add value to a moderate length.  It’s pretty smooth too.  I think, if you treat it nicely, it’s a bargain for the price.


Region: Murray Darling               Price: $18                       Source: Wine Show Purchase


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2014 Robert Stein Mudgee Shiraz

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this, but December is not the time of year to be thinking about shiraz, nor roast meals (at Christmas).  But, and there is always a ‘But’.  Okay, not always but on this occasion, there is.

When the shiraz is made to complement any season, any meal, any time of the year, it means it’s an “any occasion, anytime” wine.  This is one of those rarities.

Such an easy going wine, I get the impression this never intended to set out to impress.  It just wants to be what it is.  A wine of integrity, enjoyability and reliability.  There ain’t a hair out of place in this context.

Mulberries, some red fruits, spice, plums and slightly drying oak tannins.  It hangs around on the palate very nicely without you looking for more food to help it out.  It looks after itself in this respect.  It’s a bang-a-de-bang-bang bargain!!


Region:  Mudgee, NSW     Price: $25     Source: Sample courtesy of Define Wine

Robert Stein Shiraz

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2010 The Blok Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

If there is one thing everyone should have on their bucket list it is to drink a bottle of aged Coonawarra Cabernet before you…ummm…are not in a position to be able to.

This is a delight.  Blackberries still the main player, herbal. an oh so slight touch of mint, tannins have softened very nicely and it has all come together in a way that will have you grinning from ear to ear.  Well, I was!

There are, arguably, very few wines better than aged Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.  Clearly the gang at The Blok think so as well considering this is their current release and it is a ridiculous price.  Bravo and thanks to the lot at The Blok.


Region: Coonawarra, SA          Price: $30 (Seriously!)          Source: Gift

Blok Cabernet

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2013 Huntington Estate Special Release Mudgee Shiraz

Years ago I watched a show called Wine Lovers Guide to Australia.  On one of the episodes, Bob, Wendy and Susie Roberts, the original owners of Huntington Estate, were interviewed by Grant van Every and presented some of their wines for tasting.  You could tell just how proud the Roberts’ were of their wines.  I can’t remember which of the older wines they presented but van Every was mighty impressed with how they had cellared.

If you head to the website you will see photos of Tim and Nicky Stevens, the current owners, and the rest of the Huntington Estate crew.  I couldn’t help but notice they are also proud as punch.

Lovely, ripe dark fruits are unmistakable from smelling it to tasting it.  Palate pleasing plum flavours do their bit to balance out the sweet/savoury notes and slightly dusty drying tannins.  It’s up there in the alcohol stakes but it didn’t interfere with the wines lushness and drinkability.  That should tell you just how nicely balanced this wine is.

This ain’t no wallflower let me tell you.  Yes it’s big, bold, brash and bountiful in what it presents but it’s not over the top at all.  I’m not saying it is elegant either but it has benefited from a few years of bottle age for sure.  It paired very well with a perfectly cooked scotch fillet steak.  Loved it!!


Region: Mudgee, NSW     Price: $36     Source: Sample courtesy of Define Wine

Huntington Reserve Shiraz

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2017 XO Wine Co Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Barbera

This is a nice little collaboration between Greg Clack and Kate Horstmann punching out a small bunch of low production wines that are impressive buggers…just like their makers.

Barbera loves the Adelaide Hills and I think the feeling is mutual.  It must be the elevation or the climate or the soil or the location.  I stand to be corrected but all of this sort of equals terroir.

We have all experienced and soaked up the petrichor (highlight, right click, hit ‘Search google for petrichor) that comes with the first rain after a long period of hot, muggy, dry weather.  It is such a terrific, fresh and satisfying feeling.  That is what this wine offers  when you pour it, smell it, taste it and drink it.

It’s a young wine to start with so there is a certain level of expectation when it comes to freshness and vitality, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Juicy berries galore, the spiciness level is perfect, the mid palate weight is complimentary and has good length to boot. Nice!!


Region: Adelaide Hills     Price: $32     Source: Online Purchase

Bottle photography as refined as your wine by CSP Creative

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2016 Rowlee Single Vineyard Orange Chardonnay

Rowlee?  I have no idea where the name originated…and…it doesn’t matter.  The wine speaks for itself.  What must be highlighted is the vineyard sits at the same level as if you were three parts the way up Mount Wellington/Kunanyi in Hobart.

The aromas left me a little bit Mmmm.  It presented obnoxiously, like it knew it was good but you had to dig for the ‘goodness’.  Let me tell you, it is worth the perseverance.  Okay, it provides the usual characteristics of cool climate chardonnay.  Lovely stonefruit (thank you), a bit of texture is nice touch indeed (thank you again) with a lemony acidity adding some good, good length.  Lots to love!

It clearly states its youthfulness and its capacity to age but don’t be afraid to indulge now.  It will please the punter in both these locations.


Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $40     Source:  Sample courtesy of Define Wine

Rowlee Chardonnay

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