2017 Yelland & Papps Vermentino

The first thing I’m going to do with this post is thank Michael and Susan of Yelland & Papps for introducing me to this variety.  It’s simply a lovable alternative to the mainstream bunch of wines that I still enjoy, yet you can imagine my excitement when this arrived on my doorstep.

This is such an occasion wine.  Now, I know you going to think, why would an entry level Vermentino be an occasion wine?  Well, the weekend I decided to try this wine was a warm one here in Hobart plus there was plenty happening in my back yard, literally.

As much as an excavator did most of the work, I was general dogs-body moving retaining wall blocks, shoveling dirt here and there.  It was a momentous occasion in this household I gotta tell ya!  Much was achieved and deserving of a reward.  This delicious wine was it today.

The freshness of a fruit basket was the winner.  A lemony tang, peaches and pears give it some really good texture sitting on the palate.  I was thinking there was a passionfruit character there too but it could’ve been a cheeky dip of the toe from that one.  There is some acidity but it’s pretty subtle letting the fruit do the talking.  It’s a ‘here and now’ delicious drink that will satisfy a thirst easily.  Who needs beer after a hard days labour?



Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $25     Source: Sample


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2016 Taylors ‘Taylor Made’ Malbec

In case you didn’t know, there is a producer in Clare Valley who has some of the oldest Malbec vines in Australia, maybe even in the world.  It’s famous, there’s no other way to say it.

Now I’m not saying others in the Clare Valley shouldn’t put the same variety into bottle but gee, for those in the know, it’d want to be good.  This is!

It’s off to a really good start.  The colour is pretty dense.  If you don’t like the colour purple (and I’m not talking about the movie) look away now.

So, apart from the obvious dark fruits, there was a peppery note on the nose that made me think that it could have been a cool vintage in the Clare in 2016.  I didn’t bother using Google to find out because they were pretty inviting aromas so it didn’t really matter to me.

Crikey I could drink a lot of this.  It has a melange of coloured fruits.  Red, black and blue, spicy cherries play a role and plums seem to be all through this wine in spades.  It’s like it can’t find the right place to sit in your mouth until you realise it has filled the whole place!

It’s pleasantly medium bodied with plenty of length.  Oak and tannins didn’t bother showing up when I tasted it.  I’ve no doubt they are there but it’s a good indication how well this has come together already.  As I said, I could easily drink a lot of this.


Region: Clare Valley     Price: $25     Source: Retail Purchase

Taylor Made malbec

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NV Taylors Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut Cuvée

Let’s face it.  We are so, so spoilt when it comes to sparkling wine in this country (among other varieties of course).  At all price points the quality is mostly pretty good.  No wonder it’s so popular.  Taylors have served up another that may sit at the cheaper end but matches many at twice the price…easily.

How cool is it what they’ve done with the bottle?  Wrapping it up like they have.  It definitely caught my attention.

I’ve no idea of the split with the varieties but Pinot Noir gets first mention so I assume that’s the dominant variety.  Chardonnay is the only other variety mentioned so I reckon these two make up most, if not all, of the mix.

The bubbles, or mousse as it’s sometimes known, didn’t seem to hang around long.  It was like they had better things to do and I think they did.  I’ll let you know in a minute.

Flavours and aromas were unmistakable.  Really fresh and vibrant, it throws everything citrus at you, and your smell and taste senses can’t help but take them in.  This is where the mousse I mentioned earlier seems to have integrated in some way and added to the liveliness.  Wait for it.  It doesn’t stop there.

Act two seems to begin as Act one fades away proudly.  Lovely fruit on the palate, really soft and creamy.  It’s sort of like ‘peaches and vanilla ice cream’ sweet but not too sweet.  That sounds odd, and fair enough, but there is a spice or savoury hint that seems to counter this or balance it out more the point.

The citrus and spritzy bubbles hang around at the finish making it a blend of everything you’d want in an expensive bottle of sparkling wine let alone one at this price.  I can see this creating big gaps in bottle shop shelves regardless of its competition.


Region: Clare Valley      Price: $20      Source: Sample

Taylors Sparkling

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2017 Oakridge Meunier

I like the idea that Oakridge have dropped the ‘Pinot’ half of the name of this particular variety and called it simply ‘Meunier’.  It gives it, and the producer, the opportunity to show that it can stand on its own instead of being associated with a more famous Pinot thingy.

This is simply beautiful to look at, incredible to sniff and smell, and pretty amazing to drink.  I know it’s the wrong way to look at a wine but with this one, I put more thought into trying to find something I didn’t like about it.  Well, how do you reckon that went?  The bottle was empty (I did share it) and I had nothing, zip, zero, nada.  It’s probably more that I kept finding new and exciting things about this wine that I didn’t bother wasting my time on the negatives, as you’re about to see.

It’s incredibly fresh and full of ‘red fruit’ life.  The fruit is so delicately concentrated, the acid is so gentle, tannins are there but so fine and a lithe savoury note rides alongside everything.  There is bucket loads going on here but it is so beautifully balanced and the length!  It’s a brilliant wine.



Region: Yarra Valley     Price: $28     Source: Cellar Door Purchase (only available at CD)


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2017 Raidis Estate The Kid Riesling

A Riesling to help rid that work day frown,

No matter the weather in Hobart Town,

This from Raidis, The Kid it’s been named,

’cause it’ll take some time to be tamed,

But don’t hold back, drink anytime,

Enjoy those flavours of lemon and lime,

It’s fresh it’s crisp with a nice hint of spice,

It’s good, it’s great, don’t dare call it ‘nice’,

Grab one or two and put your money down,

Missing out will bring back that work day frown.


Region: Coonawarra     Price: $20     Source: Cellar Door Purchase (sort of)


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2017 Taylors Promised Land Pinot Noir

“DON’T LOOK DOWN” are three words I’ve heard suggested to people who say they are afraid of heights.  Now, you don’t have to worry about heights when reading this but I still ask that you don’t look down…at the price of this wine.  It’ll make you dizzy and make you start slapping your own cheeks!

Don’t get too worried when you pour it.  It’s obviously a young wine and it shows in the bright colour.  Same when you take a sniff.  It’s all red fruits of course but there is a dab touch of spicyness.  In all honesty, even here it was not that promising.  It took a bit to show itself and you’d be forgiven for thinking “what have I got here”.   Hold that thought.

The palate, the tasting, the drinking is where this wine comes into it’s own.  Goodness me!  It doesn’t tell you where the fruit was sourced but, don’t worry yourself.  Enjoy this for what it is.  A vivacious, savoury/spicy, smooth, almost medium bodied, absolute bargain buy wine.  It screams “drink me” which is what this wine is all about.  Don’t be afraid to chill it down if you live in the warmer climes of Australia.  It would probably thank you for it.  It’s a ‘go to’ and a ‘buy it’ type of wine.


Region: It doesn’t matter     Price: $14      Source: Sample

Promised Land PN

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2015 Craigie Knowe Cabernet Sauvignon

Disclaimer: I am bias when it comes to Tassie wines and I make no bones about it.  I’d also like to add that it doesn’t influence my views of the wines.  Honestly.

So, you’re possibly thinking, why on earth has he started off with that, or more likely you probably couldn’t care less.  Either way, I’m going to tell you why I’ve said it.  Cabernet Sauvignon from this neck of the woods has been questioned at length as to why growers, winemakers and producers persist.  The reasons are many and varied I’m sure.

Tasmania is known for particular varieties.  Pinot Noir (obviously), Riesling (of course), Chardonnay (probably not so but deserves to be) and Sparkling wines (think Arras, Bay of Fires, Jansz, as you do).  Cabernet is not on that list.  Rightfully so, but it shouldn’t be disregarded.  There is one which is rated ‘Outstanding’ in Langtons Classification of Australian Wine.  Says a lot don’t you think?  Here is one, in my humble opinion, that reiterates that view.

These guys have the oldest vineyards on the East Coast of Tasmania.  Planted in 1979, this Cabernet Sauvignon (with some Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot) has long been forgotten in this world of cool climate Cabernet.  Not surprisingly though.  The original owner was not one for social media, interweb or on-line sales sort of thing but, in his defence, it wasn’t so accessible either.

It’s going to surprise you and everyone else with the colour.  Deep, clean and pretty.  Smell this and you’ll straight away be thinking about picking and eating fresh blackberries directly from the bushes.  Juicy buggers aren’t they?  That’s what it’s like when you drink it.  It has a lovely fruity, juicy, (better than) medium bodied character that I reckon will be popular with the good folk but not voted class captain or prefect because of its approachability and  down to earth nature.  Its future lies in the ‘secondary’ part of its evolution where it will be able to show its best to those who are patient.  I just wish I was more patient.

Don’t be like the ‘experts’, and I mean that in a respectful way.  I’m not going to say what they thought of this wine because it is an ‘opinion’ of which they are entitled.  My only advice is, don’t be persuaded by preconceived ideas or independent views about Tassie Cabernet Sauvignon.  You could find yourself missing out on some absolute beauties like this one.

Did I mention the silver medal it received at the Royal Hobart Wine Show in 2017?  Enough said.


Region: Swansea, Tasmania     Price: $50     Source: Gift

Craigie Know cabernet-sauvignon


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