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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2017 Gartelmann Wines Wilhelm Shiraz

I don’t watch much telly.  I enjoy listening to music more so, especially the old favourites; one of which is Genesis (and later Phil Collins when he went out on his own).  One song that came up today was, “Invisible Touch” by Genesis.  I think some lines in the song relate to this wine perfectly.  Let me explain (but you will need to know the song).

Beautiful colour to get things started like the drum intro to the song.  You just know it is going to have impact.  The aromas are invisible and they seem to reach in and grab right hold of your olfactory senses flooding them with red cherries and plums and bits of herbs and spices.

When you taste it, it crawls under your skin and you’re never quite the same.  You can only blame the lush and fruit-full yet medium bodied palate. Ripe red berries with a slim layer of smooth, dark fruit richness, aniseedy/licoricey like character too and those spices that showed themselves at the ‘aroma’ stage make another appearance at the ‘flavour’ profile stage.  Everything is in tune very nicely at the finish where fine tannins add to the elegance and persistent length.

It seems to have a built in ability to take everything it sees and it seems I’ve fallen, fallen for it.  This is indeed a lovely wine and very good value too.

Gartelmann Wines Website

Region: Hunter Valley, NSW     Price: $28     Source: Sample thanks to Gartelmann Wines and Define Wine


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2017 Yelland & Papps Devote Greenock Shiraz

Everyone would be familiar with the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  While this particular phrase originated in 1913, it is based on a proverb dating back to 1866 that went, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”  Now, I’m pretty sure eating an apple a day won’t stop you needing to see your GP from time to time but there are health benefits that are very, very similar to that of red wine! Okay, so not red wine specifically but resveratrol, a compound found in red wine grape skins.

Apples and Resveratrol both seem to have benefits to the human body (and, let’s not forget when it comes to wine, some not so beneficial).  One thing I noticed resveratrol does that apples don’t do is, activate the SIRT1 gene which protects the body against aging and obesity!!  Now, I don’t know how much of this is ‘scientifically proven’ but I’m willing to see if it’s true.  Maybe the saying should be changed to, “an apple and a glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away.”  I may not be a doctor but I would prescribe this shiraz to be taken on a daily basis due to its heart pumping deliciousness.

Generous and inviting aromas upon introduction.  I breathed in big and exhaled slowly while grinning from ear to ear.  I knew what I was in for and it delivered those expectations easily.  It is terrific on tasting.  Rich, flavoursome, black fruits, lovely plummy mid palate fullness, better than medium bodied with some elegance about it, beautifully balanced and great length.  Look out is all I can say.  If it doesn’t get you on the first taste, it’ll definitely get you on the second.  It got me on the first smell and sip! A lovely wine.

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


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2018 Schwarz Wine Co Grenache Shiraz Mataro

I’m going to take you back to your school days and ask, do you remember what a scalene triangle is?  I don’t expect that you could be bothered googling it so I’ll remind you. It is a triangle with three unequal sides.  Everyone knows what a triangle looks like but it doesn’t matter how ‘unequal’ the three sides are, they still form the shape of a triangle.  It’s no different when it comes to a GSM blend.  It doesn’t matter what the percentages of the varieties are, they still form a GSM blend.  In case you’re interested, this very attractive ‘scalene triangle’ of a GSM is made up of 59% Grenache, 31% Shiraz and 10% Mataro.  Most of it saw time in old French oak allowing the fruit to really show its best.

Looks damn good in the glass.  It’s almost glistening! Smells fresh, fruity and quite moreish…dangerously so, in a good way of course.  I mentioned how it seems to glisten in the glass, well, it really shines when drinking it.  Plenty of flavour thanks to characters of ripe red berries, some dark fruit influence, anise and a delicate spicy note.  The tannins have a little bit to say but the fruit is so good you hardly notice them.  The 14.5% alcohol is barely noticeable among this medium bodied and beautifully balanced blend.  The silky smooth finish and good length add to the (previously mentioned) moreishness of this wine.  This is a winner!

Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $30     Source: Wine swap

Schwarz Wine Co Website


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2017 Yelland & Papps Vin de Soif

Two’s company, three’s a crowd. As it turns out, this phrase has been around for hundreds of years. Thankfully, it doesn’t relate to wine because, the number three in this ‘crowd’, if you like, is about 5% Carignan which perfectly complements the Grenache/Mataro couple that make up the bulk of this blend.  As a trio, they seem, I don’t know, personable and friendly, a greet-you-with-open-arms type of wine.  And it’s easy to want to spend more time getting to know the wine too…in a glass of course…drinking it…with company…even if there is a crowd of three!

Bright and fresh aromas of red cherries and berries kick things off very nicely indeed.  It’s also a little savoury but one thing that is unmistakable is how inviting it is. The palate is where you realise winemaker Michael Papps has hit a bullseye with the fruit combo.  Flavour, flavour and more flavour!  Gorgeous and juicy dark cherries with a lovely red fruit freshness (probably thanks to the grenache).  Some spice introduces itself to the mix as it lingers nicely on the palate for a good length of time.  Serve it up to your friends and you would struggle to drag them away from it. My advice, make sure you have more than one bottle at hand.

Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $30     Source: Sample thanks to Yelland & Papps (Website)

Y & P Vin De Soif 2017


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2019 Robert Stein Half Dry Riesling

I have been known to store a lot of photos on my phone.  I’m probably not alone on that point but there is always a reason for me not deleting a photo.  Well, I’m glad I chose to keep a photo of this wine.  It reminded me of the fact I had forgotten to post a review.  I’m also pleased I always make notes when tasting wines.

This gold medal and trophy winning half dry Riesling, also made by the talented Jacob Stein, was tasted at the same time as the 2019 Dry Riesling.  I honestly thought I had finished the review and published it.  I know they say ‘the older you get the more forgetful you get’, well, I don’t consider myself that old, and I can be forgetful at times, but not when it comes to doing something I enjoy.  Oh well, thankfully it hasn’t happened since.  Huge apology to Jacob Stein and Dave Cumming of Define Wine Marketing.  So, to the wine in question.

An intense and aromatic nose of lemons and limes with a slight sweetness coming through.  The impact of the terrific fruit flavours on the palate are quite something.  Again, there’s lemon and lime characters that are perfectly balanced by a touch of sweetness.  Add in texture and lovely acidity on the finish and you get a delicate yet rich, impeccably balanced and beautiful wine.  Served blind, I challenge anyone to pick the 15 grams residual sugar.

Robert Stein Website

Region: Mudgee, NSW     Price: $40     Source: Sample courtesy of Robert Stein and Define Wine

Robert Stein Half Dry 2019

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2018 Serere Beechworth Chardonnay

I find it both interesting and funny the perceptions of Chardonnay.  Over the last couple of weeks I have had three people provide different views about the variety, all of which were fair but, dare I say, closed.  They were, “all chardonnay is the same isn’t it?”, “there are no better chardys than those made in Margaret River or Yarra Valley” and, the piece de resistance, “I don’t like Chardonnay because it’s so common.”  I have to say, I had quite the discussion with each of these friends, yes friends, about their views.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact everyone is entitled to their opinion but, goodness me, people don’t need to wear blinkers when it comes to wine anymore.  It’s a totally different wine world these days and there is no better example than this Chardonnay.

It has quite a lovely nose.  Aromas of cashews and hazelnuts and fruit salad like, but mainly pears but not dominating, if that makes sense.  The palate is so interesting and intriguing and complex and moreish.  Plenty of flavour for sure.  Juicy peaches and pears, it’s smooth and creamy texture is very nicely complemented by some delicate and fine acidity while finishing long and persistent.  This wine sits between the ‘I want people to try this wine’ and ‘I don’t want to share this wine with anyone’.  I compromised and shared it with my wife.  A delicious wine indeed!

Serere Wines Website

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

Serere Chardonnay 2018

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Hastwell & Lightfoot ‘Fat and Skinny’ Range Releases

I don’t know who else will be able to relate to this but, when I read the name of these wines, and saw the picture on the label, I immediately thought of Laurel & Hardy, the comedy duo from the early-ish to mid 1900’s.  Now, I’m not that old, but I do remember my parents watching their movies and I thought they (not my parents) were pretty funny.  If my memory serves me correctly, their movies appeared to be ‘budget’ types in the scheme of things, well promoted and were popular with many…very much like these wines.  Just to clarify things, the ‘fat’ refers to big man Mark Hastwell while the ‘skinny’ is Martin Lightfoot.  Mmm, I wonder if there is any similarities between Laurel & Hardy and Hastwell & Lightfoot?

2018 Pinot Grigio

Quite aromatic with it being citrus and pear like.  Palate is Grigio for sure with those expected dominant pear characters.  There’s a little bit of a spicy note there as well and the finish brings with it a touch of acid.  It goes alright and will tick the ‘easy drinking’ box for a lot of punters.

Region: Fleurieu, SA     Price: $22

Fat n Skinny Pinot Grigio

2017 Picker’s Choice

Very good nose of black and red fruits.  There’s a slight floral note and vanilla like aroma as well.  The better-than medium-bodied palate is where it really shines for me.  Lovely rich-ish dark berry fruits, I thought licorice was in there too and it has very good length to boot.  The oak influence has been well managed culminating in an excellent value wine and my pick of the two reds.

Region: McLaren Vale, SA     Price: $22

Fat n Skinny Pickers Choice

2018 The Red Fury

A surprisingly clear bottle houses this juicy blend of Tempranillo and Grenache.  It starts off providing red fruits galore on the nose.  It shows fruity and juicy red fruits on the palate also with some dark cherry influence in there too.  It’s just medium bodied with slightly drying tannins on the finish but there is a good amount of fruit in support.  An easy drinking, easy going wine that has been built for the now.  I enjoyed it and it’ll be a winner with punters for sure.

Region: McLaren Vale, SA     Price: $22

Fat n Skinny The Red Fury 2018

Samples courtesy of Hastwell and Lightfoot and Define Wine

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