2017 Matriarch & Rogue M & R Riverland Nero d’Avola

Nero d’Avola in Italian means “Black of Avola”.  Avola is a decent size seaside town in southern Italy.  From some of the photos I’ve seen on the internet, it looks like a beautiful place.  I can’t believe I didn’t check this out before.  Here I was thinking it was just a grape variety, originally from Sicily, that was made into inky coloured, bold, full bodied red wine.

Even to use the word ‘just’ shows my naivety of the variety.  Apparently it is the most important grape variety in Sicily!  I don’t think it’ll be long before a well deserved imprint of the ‘boot’ of Italy will be obvious on my behind.

It’s quite a pretty, deep and youthful darkish purple.  It smells rich with yummy black fruit aromas.  It’s not as dark fruity on the palate though.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty bold and generous but it has more juicy boysenberry, blueberry and plum fruits with an almost a spicy cherry character on the finish.

Now, it’s pretty full on but not full bodied.  Marnie Roberts, the winemaker, has done a mighty fine job with getting the balance right this variety.  It’s bloody delicious and so very easy to drink.  As far as the Peters household is concerned, it has a drinkability factor of 10/10.

Matriarch & Rogue Website

Region: Riverland, SA     Price: $22 (ridiculous value)     Source: Thank you Marnie


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2018 Yalumba Y Series Sangioves Rose

When I walked into the bottle shop to buy this Rosé, the young lady commented about how much Rosé she has been selling of late.  Then she asked me why I picked this one out of all the ones she had in the fridge.  The answer was simple; I’ve heard good things, read good things and it has the ever reliable name ‘Yalumba’ on the label.  There were some other reputable names in the fridge too I might add but today, I was focused on one.

It lived up to the hype that’s for sure.  It’s deliciously delicious and scrumptiously scrumptious.  That about sums it up really.

Okay, more information for those who have come this far.  It has attractive aromas straight up.  It’s a little bit floral with strawberries doing a ‘Rocky’ at the top of the stairs.  There’s plenty of flavour on the palate where more red fruits are dominant (I could almost say concentrated but it’s more tamed than that) and a ‘fruit and vanilla ice cream’ texture finish things off very nicely.

I said this very recently, but I will say it again, Sangiovese is ideal for Rosé and this bargain example consolidates that…in my humble opinion.

Yalumba Website

Region: South Australia     Price: $13 (bargain)    Source: Retail Purchase

Yalumba Y Sangio Rose

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2018 Natural Wine Co. Organic Shiraz

The topic ‘organic’ came up in an overheard conversation at work the other day.  One  view was, “…oh it’s probably only a trendy marketing thing with a lot of stuff so they can up the price.”  Now, I didn’t enter the conversation because, for starters I wasn’t part of it from the beginning, and the person making the comment was actually eating a packet of, get this, dried organic raspberries and drinking something with ‘kombucha’ on the label.  There was much I wanted to say including that when it comes to ‘organic’, it’s not about the cost to the producer.  To them, it’s about the end product.  From my understanding, and I may well be wrong, it is as close as possible to a true representation of what it is you are eating or drinking.

This wine, and the others in the range, are organic, low intervention, vegan friendly, preservative free wines and low in sulphur.  All are made to be enjoyed straight off the bat and they have hit the mark with these wines perfectly.

A brilliant bright yet deep purple colour.

This is going to sound odd, but on the nose it reminded me of the rich dark organically fertilized loam I bought heaps of when I sowed my lawn.  Don’t get me wrong it’s a good ‘aroma’ I reckon but maybe ‘black moist earth’ would be a better descriptor.  It does have some black fruit aromas as well, some aniseedy notes give it nice touch here too.

Stewed blackberries (not sweet or jammy in any way), a juicy plummy character fills out the palate easily and that aniseed note on the nose appears in the flavours also but only like a ‘high-five and low-five’ is exchanged as they cross paths.  Lush and smooth on the finish with little tannin influence, this is a very easy drinking bargain shiraz.

The Natural Wine Co Website

Region: Canowindra, NSW     Price: $18     Source: Sample courtesy of The Natural Wine Co and Define Wine

Natural WC-shiraz-bottle--372x600

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2018 Natural Wine Co. Organic Rosé

Rosé has become increasing popular in our home, even during the winter months.  The grape varieties being used to produce different styles seems to be growing every year, and Rosés are taking up a lot more space on bottle shop shelves and in fridges.  We tend to gravitate towards the dry styles regardless of what variety it has been made from.

This one is made using Sangiovese fruit and I’m beginning to think the variety is perfectly suited to Rosé.  And, when you say Sangiovese Rosé, it seems to roll off the tongue so effortlessly.

Strawberries shine on the nose and it’s a little bit floral too.  Straight up, I’m going to say it’s delicious to drink.  Those strawberry characters present here too, blood orange/citrusy note plays a part and there’s a brighter red fruit influence making it fresh and lively.  There’s the added touch of texture as it slips over the tongue and disappears from your mouth.  A second glass was a no-brainer.

The Natural Wine Co Website

Region: Canowindra, NSW     Price: $18     Source: Sample courtesy of The Natural Wine Co and Define Wine


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2018 Natural Wine Co. Organic Sauvignon Blanc

I was really pleased to see this wine (among a couple of others from these guys) arrive at my home.  I was lucky enough to try the last vintage and, for someone that tends to avoid the variety, I was impressed to the point of saying, “My eyes are now open to Sauvignon Blanc”.  I approached this wine with a positive attitude.

It’s a fruit salad nose with passionfruit and a hint of banana thereabouts.  On the palate it sort of took me back to the good ol’ tub of two fruits.  Peaches and pears in their syrup sort of thing with a delicate herbal influence.  It comes across textural and skinsy and, I want to say grapefruit but I’m doubting myself because it’s not what I’ve come to expect in Sav Blancs.  It has more of a dry finish and the fruit flavours hung about for a bit too.

If you’re drinking Sav Blancs from across the Tasman, leave them on the shelf, find this one and give it a go.  It offers so much more…and it’s Aussie.  😉

The Natural Wine Co Website

Region: Central Ranges, NSW     Price: $18    Source: Sample courtesy of The Natural Wine Co and Define Wine

Natural WC-sav-blanc--408x600

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2018 Yalumba Y Series Whites

I don’t mind confessing to always keeping an eye out for the release of this range every year.  They are reliably varietal, they generally never fail to impress and you can put plenty of them in the fridge without making much of a impact on the bank balance.


Australian Riesling.  God we are lucky aren’t we?!  There is so much good stuff around.  When you can find a bottle for under a tenner (normally $15 which I’d still be happy to pay) that is as good as this one, we don’t have much to complain about now do we.

This is definitely varietal and delicious to boot.  Lemons and limes ring all the citrusy chimes.  There’s some grapefruity zest that adds a thirst for more and there is no sense in fighting it.  This is to be simply enjoyed, and not in a sophisticated way.  And at the price, any day of the week, any time of the year, with food and friends or whenever.  It’s that type of ‘easy’ wine to drink and enjoy.


If there was ever a Chardonnay that is going to get the doubters back into this variety without having to open their wallet too wide, this is it.

It’s dripping with Chardy characteristics and it seem to continually remind you of this.  Juicy fruits of peaches and spicy pears with a dollop of cream sums it up for me but there’s a end note of acid and texture I think, that carries it through on the finish very nicely.

Bargain Chardonnay even at it’s normal RRP.  Stock up for summer.

Pinot Grigio

You can certainly tell this is in the grigio/gris family when you take in the aromas of this wine and I mean that in a good way.  Same on the palate with this too.  There are pears playing the main part as most would expect but add in some pleasant ‘apple skin’ textural appeal and it’s a very neat package for the money…a very neat package all round actually.  It’s bound to be a crowd pleaser.



This is very good.  For around the $15 mark, this is ridiculously good value.  Unmistakably viognier with apricots aplenty with bit parts from other stonefruits and almond characters adding to the overall ‘wholeness’ of the wine.  It’s a little bit skinsy, a little bit textural and a whole lotta flavour.  It finishes so delicate and soft but it just keeps going.  If I had to pick a favourite, this would be it.  Imagine what the Eden Valley & Virgilius will be like! Can’t wait to try those.

Sauvignon Blanc

I won’t go into the reasons but it was suggested I try this wine and I don’t mind admitting to being pleasantly surprised.  Not a lot presented aromatically for me but it makes up for it on tasting.  Capsicum, (subtle) asparagus and dried Italian herbs, there’s a citrus character that gives it freshness and a lift.  It has sweetness to it, as I expected for the variety, but it certainly wasn’t a dominant trait.  No doubt about it, it’s a very easy drinking Sav Blanc.


Yalumba Website

Region: Various     Price: $15 (Can often be found on special)     Source: Retail Purchase


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2018 Hastwell & Lightfoot Fiano

I’ve been to McLaren Vale a number of times so, confession time.  I’ve seen the Hastwell and Lightfoot sign (and if my memory serves me correctly, there was a comment about how it sounded like the names of a couple of Australian bushrangers, Robin Hood types of course).  On more than one occasion someone said “we should call in”, but it never eventuated and I have no idea why.  I’m feeling the disappointment now after tasting this wine.

Plenty going on here.  With a full on nose and palate, fresh juicy lemony aromatics (that reminded me of those sherbet filled lemon drop lollies) and honey notes (picked up by my wife), this wine gets off to a very good start.

A lively bunch of flavours doesn’t let up on the palate.  Peaches, hints of apricot and (slightly more of) lemon, delicate spices and a lovely, crisp, grapefruity acidity on a textural finish that doesn’t let go.  This little beauty certainly has the ‘yum’ factor and check out the price!

Hastwell & Lightfoot Website

Region: McLaren Vale, SA     Price: $25 (bargain)     Source: Sample courtesy of Hastwell & Lightfoot and Define Wine


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