2018 Main and Cherry Pinot Syrah

From what I have been able to find out on Google, the legendary (in the wine industry anyway) Maurice O’Shea made a blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah during the mid 1900’s that proved to be quite popular (the French would have had conniptions).  Unfortunately, the trend faded for a number of years in the late 1900’s, but thankfully, there are now a few producers reviving the blend.  This is the first one I have tried and, if this is anything to go by, I intend to try more.

Pinot Noir makes up 56% of the blend while Syrah (Shiraz) makes up the remainder.  There’s 20% whole bunches and I’m guessing it has spent time in seasoned oak because it’s all about the fruit when it comes to this wine.

Smells fresh, fruity and juicy.  On the palate, cherries, plums and blackcurrants provide everything required for a delightfully flavoursome wine which this is.  There’s a delicate spiciness and subtle licorice note (both probably thanks to the Adelaide Hills Syrah) that complements the lovely, juicy berry fruits of the Pinot Noir perfectly.  I must say, for a wine built to drink now, this has pretty good length too.  This is a very easy wine to like, full stop.

Main and Cherry Website

Region: Adelaide Hills, SA     Price: $30     Source: Online purchase

Main Cherry Pinot Syrah 2018

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2016 Patina Wines ‘Jezza’ Red Blend

I have been watching a television series all about building and/or renovating houses.  Very fancy houses too, I might add, and the end result is usually a very high quality.  The most recent episode involved the building of a lovely seaside home made up of a number of separate components that were different sizes and materials.  There was the largest section that was effectively the main component.  Then smaller components of various sizes were brought in and added to the main component.  As much as each component was smaller than the last, each part was integral to the final family residence.  Even the ‘one percenters made a big difference to a very polished and beautifully finished home. The other thing I noticed about the house was, when the builders came in and did their bit, all the components came together seemlessly.  You would not have even noticed the house was made up of bits and pieces.

This wine is similar.  Merlot is clearly the main component making up 75% of the blend.  As much as the other contributors, being Cabernet Franc (17%), Cabernet Sauvignon (7%) and Petit Verdot (1%) are in significantly less percentages than the Merlot, their contribution can not be underestimated or understated.  That’s right, even the smallest contributor, the Petit Verdot  was a valuable inclusion to the final resultant blend of this terrific wine.

It’s an amazing colour, just so dense and beautiful in the glass.  The nose is similarly captivating.  It smells rich and juicy, dark berries as the main player with blueberries, dark chocolate and just a hint of herbs.  This sounds so good I know but the palate is simply incredible.

Lush and complex flavours made up of an abundance of fresh berry fruits.  Blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries, just to name a few, with what I thought was a freshness of raspberries having a little bit of a say.  Yes, there is plenty of fruit, but there is a savoury and spicy edge complemented by a smooth, creamy dark chocolate characteristic (this showed itself with more time in the glass).  As you would expect from a quality premium wine, the oak and tannins don’t miss out on proceedings, but the wine is so beautifully balanced they are but one of the many wonderful facets of this wine.  The finish is rich, long, lingering, persistent, sumptuous, mouth filling, suave and divine.  I could go on.  It is simply a very impressive wine, no question.

Patina Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $65     Source: Sample courtesy of Patina Wines and Define Wine


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2019 Pig in the House Organic Chardonnay

How unpredictable is the weather of late, and I’m talking Australia wide.  From one day to the next we have had incredibly high temperatures, to strong winds, then snow falls in some southern states, to storms and hail in others.  As much as the Bureau of Meteorology do their best to give us some idea what to expect today, tomorrow and next week, they themselves must sometimes wonder if they should ditch the science behind it all and use a dartboard (as some people think they do anyway).

The same can’t be said for this Chardonnay.  I don’t mean you can predict exactly what the wine is going to taste like, not at all.  What I mean is, you know it is going to provide a reliable, easy drinking white wine today, tomorrow, next week and probably next year.

A very charming, varietal nose leads into a pretty good tasting wine.  There’s stone fruits and pears at the forefront of the flavours with a delicate spicy sort of character adding even more interest.  Things keep moving along with a deft touch of acid and some texture into a reasonably good length.   Plenty of value right here, no doubt about that!

Pig in the House Website

Region: Cowra, NSW     Price: $25     Source: Sample courtesy of Pig in the House wines and Define Wine

Pig in the House Chardonnay 2019

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2019 Pig in the House Organic Rosé

Are you familiar with a Chicago (the band) song, “If you leave me now”?  Not far into the start of it you hear one singular ‘ding’ of a triangle (a very under-rated percussion instrument).  You don’t hear it again for the duration of the song but it is a significant part regardless.  Well, this wine, made from Sangiovese grapes, has 0.6% Shiraz in the mix.  Even though it is but a small percentage, the Shiraz still plays its triangle part in this easy to drink Rosé and plays it in a nice subtle rather than significant way.

The aromas of this wine are the perfect prelude to what presents on the palate.  Nice ripe strawberries, raspberries and red cherries.  It has a smooth creamy texture with a bit of extra mid palate feel thanks to that splash of Shiraz I reckon.  It’s dry and a little bit savoury as the flavour continues through on a medium length finish where just a hint of acidity adds crispness if you like.

This has everything going for it and is bound to be a winner.  It’s organic with plenty of flavour, there’s freshness, it’s perfectly food friendly and easy drinkability.  Let’s not forget the attractive price!  Let’s hope this is bottled every year…please!!

Pig in the House Website

Region: Canowindra, NSW     Price: $20     Source: Sample courtesy of Pig in the House wines and Define Wine

Pig in the House Rose(2)


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2018 Gartelmann Sarah Elizabeth Chardonnay

I’ve always been a fan but I am so very pleased about Chardonnay coming back on the radar of wine drinkers.  Well, at least I think it is.  Judging by the comments from a number of friends and work colleagues I’ve spoken to recently, this seems to be true.  Most of them are asking for recommendations and the region or state doesn’t seem to be a consideration.  I like that too.

Excellent aromas of lemons/limes, stone fruits and just a hint of flint/struck match sort of thing.  These characters are also present on the palate which is both lush and lively at the same time.  Very good fruit characters with peaches and citrus fruits (lemons & limes) the main players.  Lovely palate weight thanks to some lees stirring resulting in a creaminess that compliments the aforementioned fruit characters very nicely, and a beautifully balanced, delicate yet flavoursome finish to round it all out perfectly.

This is a mighty fine Chardonnay and it stands to reason why it won the trophy for ‘Best White Wine of Show’ at the 2019 Orange Wine Show.

Gartelmann Website

Region: Orange Region, NSW     Price: $30     Source: Sample courtesy of Gartelmann Wines and Define Wine



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2019 Angullong Sauvignon Blanc

I had to have a little chuckle at myself when I sat down and started writing this review.  In the category section of my blog site, I went looking for ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ as one of the boxes to tick.  There wasn’t one.  You see, when my brother set up this blog site for me, I told him not to include a category for Sauvignon Blanc because, at the time, I simply wasn’t a fan of the variety and figured I wouldn’t be reviewing many if any.  So, in the nearly four years I’ve been doing this, I’ve actually reviewed more than I thought, even if it’s not that many, and there has not been a bad one amongst them.  I feel like I’ve cheated myself and let the SB drinking demographic down!

Very aromatic with passion fruit, fresh from the pod peas and mouthwatering hints of lemon citrus on the nose.  The palate is zesty and fresh with plenty of flavours from those aromatic characters I mentioned.  There is some lovely texture and good palate weight as it peters off to a nice, crisp, medium length dry finish.

NZ Sauvignon Blancs don’t hold a candle to Australian Sauvignon Blancs of this calibre at this price.  It’s a beauty and that means a lot coming from me.  It definitely deserves its gold medal and trophy it was recently awarded, and the little stickers should be proudly placed on the bottle for all to see.

Angullong Wines Website

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

Angullong Sav Blanc

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2019 Angullong Pinot Grigio

I haven’t checked any statistics, however I reckon the leader of the most popular white wine in Australia at the moment would be a very close race.  Pinot Grigio/Gris and Sauvignon Blanc must be the leaders in this category.

When it comes to this variety, there is so much being provided (for want of a better word) to the consumer at very good prices.  Gone are the days of a white wine with up front fruity flavours and not much else (for quite a few of them anyway).  These sorts of wines are popping up on bottleshop shelves on a very regular basis and, I can categorically say, many more are being entered into wine shows.  This one has walked away with two gold medals and a trophy.  I can see why!

Goodness me, I loved the aromas that wafted from the glass from the outset.  As expected, it’s fresh and vibrant and smells like it’s jam packed with flavour.  Speaking of which, pears aplenty, peaches and there’s a sort of hint of sweetness, yet delicate acidity brings it back into balance.  Add a nice touch of musk to that freshness and vibrancy (as expected for such a young white wine) plus lovely length, balance and texture and you have very, very good wine indeed.  I have to say the bottle was almost empty by the time my wife and I talked about it and I made notes.  Say no more!

Angullong Website

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

Angullong Pinot Grigio

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