How often do you see ‘Winemakers Reserve’ or ‘Vineyard Selection’ or, in this case, ‘Special Reserve’ on a bottle of wine? I’ve seen a few and I don’t have a problem with that except when it’s not backed up with quality contents. This Huntington Estate Cabernet bottle is packed full of quality contents and deservedly wears the ‘Special Reserve’ label and here’s why.
I wish I could put a picture of the colour here which would do it justice. It’s deep, dark and delectable. It’s also a shame I can’t paint a picture of the aromas. The only thing I can do, of course, is try and describe them as best I can. Plenty of dark berries that smell ripe, lush and mouth-wateringly juicy.
This time, close your eyes and get someone else to read this bit to you. Dark berries and plums do most of the talking with a nice touch of freshness from medium weight red fruits bringing some flavour balance (if you know what I mean). It’s not all about the fruit here either. There’s a terrific soft, creamy oak addition on the finish that sits perfectly with the complementary tannins. All this bodes well for the future of a wine that is five years old!!
Huntington Estate Website
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $36 Source: Sample courtesy of Define Wine
I’ve read a couple of reviews about this wine already (here and here) so I had a pretty good insight about what to expect when it came to trying this wine. I actually debated whether to even review this wine because of just how renown these two bloggers are. I was thinking, what could I add? Anyway, here goes.
Dee-bloody-licious! I’d like to finish my review there but I owe it to the Yelland & Papps team that sent me this gem to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and have a closer look.
I have to tell ya it was difficult even to get past the first stage! Smelling it. I felt a bit like a council worker at this point. I lent on the shovel(s) of black and red fruit aromas while getting my breath back but nothing progressed at a fast pace.
Tasting it revealed there was a private contractor involved. No time wasted, plenty going on and lots to think about yet in an orderly manner. 73% whole bunch to get your mind ticking over, 14 days on skins to add another layer of interest, wild yeast fermentation and 28% new French oak. Plums, blueberries and earthiness adding to the appeal. There’s a licorice effect but it’s not quite licorice. Fennel, maybe (because I’ve experienced a bit of it recently) could be the flavour. Either way, I like it. Actually, I love this wine!
Region: Barossa Valley, SA Price: $40 Source: Sample
I can’t help but mention the game that everyone is familiar with, ‘Simon Says’. Everyone would have played it at least once in their life whether it be voluntarily or because your parents made you when you were a youngster.
My research tells me (google of course) that ‘Simon’ may be a fellow by the name of Simon de Monfort who, back in the year 1264, captured King Henry III at the Battle of Evesham. Over the next year, if King Henry III barked an order it was possibly revoked by Mr de Montfort. Unfortunately for Simon, King Henry III got his seat back on the throne thanks to some loyal supports who ‘did away’ with Simon (maybe because they got a little tired of doing what ‘Simon Says).
Now, I have no doubt if this Saperavi was around in 1264, and Simon said to drink it, things would have been markedly different for Mr de Montfort.
So, let me tell you that it has a beautifully deep, inky, glass staining colour. The nose has fruits as black as the ace of spades and so delightfully intense and fragrant. This is maintained on the palate too but add some silky dark chocolate and slightly powdery tannins and it all comes together as a bold, glossy, deliciously drinkable wine. Loved it to bits!
Lino Ramble Website
Region: Mclaren Vale, SA Cost: $40 (Sorry, sold out) Source: Sample
Zip-A-dee-doo-dah Zip-A-dee-A, my oh my what a wonderful Chardonnay!!
This is my second Patina Chardonnay in a very short period of time and I am mighty impressed. From start to finish, I simply could not put the glass down. Whether it was swirling it, smelling it, tasting it or (eventually) drinking it, it didn’t matter. My wife and I constantly spoke about it in glowing terms.
I realise this is going to seem lazy when it comes to doing a review but, when it comes to this wine, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is the best way to sum it up.
‘Generous’ is the easiest word to use for starters. Aromas and the palate have this is spades. Stone fruits, creaminess, a delicate citrus hit, textural, lovely palate weight, beautifully balanced and long, long, long, long and long!! And that’s a wrap.
Just so you know, “This wine has been fermented and aged for twelve months in new and seasoned French Oak”, and it has been used so judiciously it adds some good complexity to the wine and not obvious at all.
Region: Orange, NSW Price: $45 Source: Sample thanks to Define Wine
Let me start by saying, there is nothing petite about this Petit Verdot. The colour, the aromas, the flavours, the level of interest it generated or the bang you get for your buck. I’m not saying it’s the type of wine that wants to be a scene stealer either, not at all. It’s more like it wears its heart on its sleeve and just wants to be exactly what it is supposed to be. A full bodied, full flavoured, food wine.
Crack the screwcap and you will immediately know what I mean. It was like the wine exhaled the rich black fruit aromas as though they had been (literally) bottled up against their will and what terrific aromas they were. There was no mistaking how full bodied this was going to be.
A lovely deep, dark colour greets you with open arms then wraps them around you providing a warm comforting hug. Dark fruits aplenty is the go and they dominate for sure. Not that that is a bad thing, not by any means. It’s a very good indicator of how young this wine is. Complementing the fruit beautifully was dark chocolate, a dash of spice and a hint of licorice. Put all these flavours together and you can just imagine how delicious and moreish it was.
On the back of the bottle it mentions “…significant tannins”. Now, I didn’t get that. They were there, don’t get me wrong, but they worked in conjunction with the powerful fruit flavours as did the oak (14 months in new and older American & French).
I must add that these notes were made on the second night of tasting it. Not that there was anything wrong with it when I tasted it on the first night. It seemed to have come together, seemed better balanced and was smooth on the finish with plenty of length. This definitely has a bright future.
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $35 Source: Sample courtesy Define Wine
It’s been quite a while since I’ve tried a Kennedy wine. For no other reason than, well, there isn’t one really. This one reminded me of why I should revisit some of the smaller wineries/producers that have impressed me in the past. Now, I’m not going to say which bottle warehouse I bought this from but I was so glad it was there.
Apologies, I’m going to use a ‘formula’ (for want of a better word) for this blog post. I saw it on an Instagram and thought it was simple, succinct and wouldn’t draw on people’s attention too much (to be more specific, bore you. I’ll be interested to know your thoughts).
Colour: It was deep and dark all the way to the rim. It had a such a sheen to it as well. Attractive to say the least.
Nose: It took some work but black fruits got me in. Star anise (or fennel or cheap licorice) and a high percentage of dark chocolate for sure.
Palate: There’s some licorice with dark fruits including plums. There’s a slight fruit sweetness that balances sour black cherries. Medium to full bodied, dense yet delicate with a creamy like (oak?) impact on tasting. It is so very smooth with a long, long finish. Don’t expect the cool climate white pepper. It may be savoury but the fruit is the crowning glory for me. Tannin? Zip, zilch, zero. Very nicely done.
Kennedy Wines Website
Region: Heathcote, Victoria Price: $25 Source: Retail Purchase
I have a lot to thank David Cumming of Define Wine for. A few months back he introduced me to wineries and wines from areas of New South Wales I was not familiar with, didn’t have a proper appreciation for and am now coming to thoroughly enjoy. Patina is a perfect example of this.
There is a great story behind the Patina name and I encourage you to click on the website link below and have a read.
Rich yet subtle mouth-filling and palate coating flavours of peaches, pears and cream. Peaches, pears and cream? Who wouldn’t love that!! A delicious, silky textural element that seems to surf the wave of lush fruit right to the finish. Speaking of the finish, it is…
…surreptitiously long. What do I mean by this? Well, when I tasted it the first time I did everything the normal way including swallowing the wine (I don’t spit wine under these circumstances). I had a bit of a think about the wine and went to have another taste but the flavours were still there, so I moved my glass away for a few seconds. As I raised the glass again, those flavours were STILL on my palate! I think this wine was quietly trying to tell me not to rush it but to savour the flavours it was giving me so generously. Truly delightful!
Patina Wines Website
Region: Orange, NSW Price: $35 Source: Sample courtesy of Define Wine