2017 Yelland & Papps Second Take Grenache

Those who know me will wonder if this is a rhetorical question, but here goes.  Is it wrong to drink almost the entire bottle of wine on your own…in one night?  Those same ones will answer, “depends on the wine.”  I have understanding friends.  I have to throw in here that it was for no reason other than it is a bloody good wine.

Now, if you’re not familiar with whole bunch, don’t despair.  It may not be obvious in this wine but you shouldn’t discount it when you see it next time on any bottle that takes your fancy.  Same with “unfined and unfiltered”.  Don’t be scared.  This is that ‘wine friend’ you can trust to help get you past those characters.

It definitely has the grenache personality.  Red fruits shining with a little bit of sweet fruit hanging in there.  For me blue fruits play a part but just so and, of course, spice has to poke its toes in.  It all comes together very well and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ll have to use your pin number for a couple bottles after using pay pass.  That’s if you can find it in a bottle-O.

I’ve been lucky enough to try the last three vintages of this wine and I reckon each one seems to want to try and out do the last.  Almost like sibling rivalry.  They can fight it out, I’ll happily be the referee.

Yelland and Papps Website

Region: Barossa Valley, SA     Price: $40     Source: Sample


Posted in Other Reds | Leave a comment

2015 Grey Sands Malbec


For those who don’t know, the photo above is of a Tasmanian Tiger.  Thylacinus cynocephalus to be precise.  Believed to be extinct, there have been reported sightings of this meat eating marsupial but nothing confirmed of its actual existence.  If you see one of these, don’t tell anyone.  The poor thing deserves to be left alone I reckon.

The photo at the bottom of this page is of another rarity on this island state.  It’s called Malbec.  Yep, Tasmanian Malbec.

The colour was pretty well as expected.  Deep red at the core with a youthful red/purple colour at the rim.

When I poured the wine the rich juicy fruit aromas burst from the glass.  It was quite exciting.  But then it seemed to go into almost like a sleepy stage giving almost nothing.

After another pour, the employment of an aerator (sorry Bob & Rita) and swirl after swirl after swirl this opened up beautifully!  Lovely fresh red and black fruits proudly showed themselvesPatience is the key here.

This is where I could type forever because from here, things just got better with the nose and palate the longer it sat in the glass.  I’ll do my best to keep it short.

On the palate it was a stubborn bugger of a thing too.  Clearly a pup, the dark fruits were as primary as can be.  A hint of menthol and steminess added interest early but they soon melded into the ‘bigger picture’ of this wine.

Gee it got better with time.  This allowed those abundant dark fruits (think blackberries, plums, even cherries) to ‘come on down’ and drag savouriness and some white pepper notes with them.  As is a trait with a young Grey Sands wine, the finish may be nice and rich, fruity and long but the tannins are bit dry at the moment.  Definitely throw some red protein at it because, as with most wines of this ilk, it is made to be enjoyed with food.

My advice is to buy some of this wine before it succumbs to the same fate as the Tasmanian Tiger…extinct.

Grey Sands Website

Region: Glengarry, Tasmania     Price: $40     Source: Cellar Door Purchase

Grey Sands-Malbec_2015

Posted in Other Reds | 1 Comment

2014 Mitchell Grenache Mataro Shiraz

I remember as a kid our neighbour had a tricycle.  You know, one of those bikes that had a large-ish wheel at the front and two slightly smaller ones at the back.  The pedals were on the front wheel being the main driver of the tricycle while the two back wheels gave you a sense of confidence and stability that you wouldn’t get riding a normal bike (except if you tried to go around a corner too fast and it tipped over).

The ‘front wheel’ of this wine is the (40%) Grenache.  It has those delicious red fruit and spicy aromas that make your mouth water while the two back wheels of (31%) Mataro adding a hint of licorice and (29%) Shiraz some dark fruits.

Tasting the wine was a bit of a surprise.  I expected the Grenache to continue to be the main driver on the palate but that was not the case.  Yes, it provided those juicy red fruit and spicy notes here too but the Mataro chimed in with some good plummy mid palate weight, savouriness and firm but fair tannins.  The Shiraz, well, that certainly held up its ‘third wheel’ role with some darker fruit richness and good length.

Grab your helmet, jump on and pedal to your hearts content because this nicely balanced blend will not be tipping over going around any corners soon.


Region: Clare Valley, SA     Price: $26     Source: Sample

Mitchell GMS


Posted in Red Blends | Leave a comment

2016 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Tempranillo

Living in the southern most capital city in Australia, we tend to miss out on a lot of things.  Famous entertainers (sadly), stage shows (take it or leave it), peak hour traffic (a good thing) or more importantly (as far as I’m concerned) quite a few wines from places that are not given space on a bottle shop shelf in these parts.

Thanks to David Cumming of  Define Wine  for this wine I have been introduced to, not only a region but a producer that I would have been none the wiser about.  That would have been a shame because if this one, my first from Angullong, is anything to go by, the bar has been set so high even Australian Commonwealth Games Pole Vaulter, Kym Howe, would struggle to get over it.

It’s a pretty deep colour for a young wine but the purplish rim is the indicator of its youth.  It has a fresh, vibrant berriness about it on the nose that, as I was taking it all in, I imagined throwing some ice cream on it and scooping it up with the biggest spoon I could find.  Mmmm!

So, back to the wine.  Tasting it provides that proof again that this is indeed still making its way through primary stages of its life.  Those aromas have brought with them a hint of spice plus some juicy plum characters that sit nicely on the palate.  Even though it is just below the ‘medium bodied’ spectrum, there is good texture and length.  So much so,  the screw cap was made redundant and the bottom of the bottle was exposed to the elements by the end of entrée.

I can certainly see why it won a Trophy and a gold medal for Best Other Red Variety at the 2017 Orange Wine Show and for the Best Dry Red Table Wine (Spanish & Italian Varieties) at the 2017 NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show.


Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $26     Source: Sample


Posted in Other Reds | Leave a comment

2016 Taylors Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t have to be expensive to be good and there are plenty of examples around in the category of ‘very good’ without being expensive.  And on that note I present to you…this one.

It is a ‘full-of-fruit’ style of wine in every facet and this is what was intended.  Take your pick of some colourful fresh fruits.  It’ll give you blackberries, black cherries, red fruits to a lesser extent adding a juicy lift to the wine, and lush plums all playing a part.  There is some oak in there adding a spicy touch rather than it’s own character and the finish is really smooth, and I mean really smooth.

Now, I have to say, it comes close to being full bodied which, for the price and the fruit forward nature of this wine, is bloody good considering the price.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complex bugger of a Cabernet that is going to set the world on fire but it is, without a doubt, a crowd pleaser and, most importantly, a ‘Tony’ pleaser.

They are out of stock of this vintage on the website so if you see it in any bottle shop, buy one, buy six or buy the lot!  You can’t go wrong.


Region: Clare Valley, SA     Price: $14 (often discounted)     Source: Sample

Promised Land Cab Sav

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon | Leave a comment

2013 Clemens Hill Aurelia Chardonnay

When I found out this wine was named after one of the owners of Clemens Hill, Aurelia D’Ettorre (the other owner is Rob Ware and, lets face it, ‘Rob Chardonnay’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it), it still wasn’t enough for me when it came to the name.  I had to know more about the name ‘Aurelia’.  When the curiosity button is pushed, I do what most people do.  I turn to Google.

Okay so, there is an Aurelia Fashion House (yawn) and a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter (applause) by that name.  However the meaning, or should I say explanation that caught my attention was, “Aurelia is a feminine given name from the Latin family name Aurelius, which was derived from aureus meaning “golden”. The name began from minor early saints but was given as a name due to its meaning, and not from where it originated“.  How about that!

This Chardonnay may not be “golden” in colour just yet but has more like a lovely pale gold hue.  It is aromatic if you give it a chance and of course some air (actually, don’t be afraid to decant this.  I might give that a go next time).  I got citrusy characters on the nose but the main one, and not necessarily dominant one, was a sort of steely note.  I was almost going to say minerally and others may see that but it doesn’t quite fit this wine for me.

It’s superb on the palate.  Beautifully weighted, fresh and delicate yet it has abundant rich flavours with those citrus characters showing through.  Any oak used has integrated nicely yet there is still enough acid present, even after five years, to tell me this still has time on its side.  One last thing, don’t chill it too hard…please!


Region: Coal Valley, Tasmania     Price: $55     Source: Cellar Door Purchase


Posted in Chardonnay | Leave a comment

2017 Huntington Estate ‘Special Reserve’ Chardonnay

We are well into Autumn which means the warmer days are behind us, well certainly here in Tassie, so releasing a white wine now seems to me to be a tad risky.  For this reason, when this and another Huntington Estate Chardonnay arrived at my home recently, I thought it strange.  But after tasting this those thoughts disappeared and a feeling of gratitude took over.

I took the extra step of placing this in an appropriate glass and when I poured it, I could tell it did the wine justice.  Tropical fruits aplenty provided a nice aromatic introduction for me.  Those fruits weren’t so obvious when drinking it.  They were still there but I found they had been tamed somewhat by peaches and cream, and some pear characteristics adding plenty of flavour, weight and mouth-filling texture.  There was a nice touch of acid on the finish, when it eventually got there, telling me this has a good future.

This deserves the ‘Special Reserve’ tag.  Up a notch, upper class and elegant Chardonnay right here.  My information tells me there was only 1000 litres made which means only 1,333.333′ bottles, minus this one leaves 1,332.333′ left.  So, if you want some, get in quick.


Region: Mudgee, NSW     Price: $30     Source: Sample courtesy of Huntington Estate and Define Wine



Posted in Chardonnay | Leave a comment