2018 Maclean Bay Pinot Rosé

In the past, Pinot Noir rosé has not been my ‘go to’ rosé.  There you go, I said it.  The reason is, they have generally lacked body, been one dimensional, a little on the sweet side and a bit like the last pinot rosé I tried and what I’m expecting the next pinot rosé to taste like.  Before you give me a hard time about that, I did say, “In the past”.

Having recently been ‘exposed’ to a number of rosés made from this delicate, perfumed and complex variety, I can honestly say, my thoughts have changed for the better.  The credit can lie squarely with examples like this one from Maclean Bay.  What a delightful wine to drink.

After a little bit of teasing it was pleasantly aromatic, which doesn’t sound like a great start, but you’ll know what I mean when you check it out.  Tasting it is where it shows its best.  Lots of flavour; strawberries, cherries and savouriness are the leaders on the palate.  Acidity is present but the wine is not built around this.  It’s the fruit that provides the structure to an obviously very well made rosé.  My advice only of course, but be careful.  Be very careful.  It’s quite delicious and easily drinkable.

Maclean Bay Wines

Region: East Coast, Tasmania     Price: $28     Source: Gift




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2017 Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Mourvèdre

If you’re keen to try a damn good Mataro or a Monastrell, get your mitts around a bottle of this Chapel Hill Mourvèdre.  It may or may not come as a suprise to you, but they are one and the same grape variety.  Mourvèdre is the French take on it while Mataró and Monastrell are the Spanish versions.  I much prefer saying Mourvèdre because it seems so ‘beaujoire’ than the other names, don’t you think?

Big, beautiful aromatics!  Pretty full on, but subtle dark fruits with quite a pretty, perfumey note.

Tasting it; Wow!  Again, it’s pretty full on yet doesn’t quite hit the full bodied barrier. Mind you, it’s brilliantly fruited (if that’s a word) to carry all that ‘weight’ if you like. Blackberries, spicy dark cherries with some blue fruits spreading across the palate.  The fruit tames the tannins very nicely as it saunters it’s way to the back of the palate.  It almost seems like it’s a lazy wine and I mean that in a good way.  It’s like it’s thinking, “This is me, I’m good, I’m nice, now over to you” sort of thing.  It is all of these and very easy to like.  I only wish it was in  a magnum (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Chapel Hill Website

Region: McLaren Vale, SA     Price: $33     Source: Swap


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2018 Angullong Pinot Grigio

This time of year can be quite frustrating.  The days are still nice and warm (when I get the opportunity to leave the office to find out) and it’s still sunny when I get home, but there’s a bit of a cool breeze coming off the Derwent River.  As much as it dampens the desire to sit out on the deck, it doesn’t take away the need for an end-of-the-working-day, satisfyingly de-stressing white wine…and I think I’ve found one that fits the bill easily.

The nose was a little subdued, but with a bit of coercion came pears and slightly floral aromatics.  Juicy pears present on the palate, citrus notes too, texture gives it some good mid palate weight, plenty of flavour on the finish, although it does fall away reasonably quickly.  For me, this sits easily in the ‘go to’ grigio category.  There wouldn’t be many unhappy punters in the crowd if you poured this for them on a warm sunny afternoon.

Angullong Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $20 (good value)     Source: Sample courtesy of Angullong Wines and Define Wine


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2017 Maclean Bay Pinot Noir

Quite often I’ve read about doctors, lawyers, bankers, accountants and others in similar professions buying or establishing a vineyard as an investment and/or tax write off.  I have nothing against them (as a matter of fact I thank them) for doing so because there are some damn good vineyards producing very good wines thanks to these people.  However, considering the old saying of, “if you want to make a million dollars in the wine industry, you have to start with four”, this decision has me scratching my head a little.

Anyway, with Maclean Bay, two mates with the same interests, red wine and the East Coast of Tasmania, decided to get into the wine industry.  Scott Williams and Simon Will leased the north-east facing Diamond Island vineyard, established in 2002, and released their first wine in 2015.  The vineyard is situated 10 minutes north of Bicheno looking over, you guessed it, Maclean Bay.  I know the area and it’s a pretty spectacular part of our island state.

Looks great in the glass.  A good start thanks to a definite pinot nose.  Cherries, a tad savoury with a hint of (toasted?) oak.  It has a very interesting, beguiling palate.  Medium bodied, dark cherries, some blackberry influence, sweet/savoury characters nicely balanced by a little bit of spice.  It fills out the mid palate beautifully for me and finishes nice and smooth with pretty good length.  I have to say, this is a very good pinot noir for the price.

And congratulations are in order as well.  This wine recently picked up a silver medal at the International Cool Climate Wine Show and a bronze medal at the Tasmania Wine Show.

Maclean Bay Wines Website

Region: East Coast, Tasmania     Price: $33 (Great buying)     Source: Purchase


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2017 Matriarch & Rogue ‘Jean’ Malbec

If I asked most of my group of friends which six grape varieties make up a traditional Bordeaux blend, like me, they would probably be able to name four of them.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc (that may stump a few), Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Malbec is the fifth and sort of forgotten one in the scheme of things.  The sixth one, Carménère, is rarely used these days so everyone would be forgiven for not knowing that one.

What you may not know as well is, all of these grape varieties have there own ‘day’ of the year (here’s a calender from the Travelling Corkscrew Website that’ll help you remember those special dates).  To make things a bit easier for you, 17 April is World Malbec Day.  Lock that date in your diary at that very least.

A lovely deep colour, wow!  It smells juicy, fruity and delicious!  I like where this is going.  Dark cherries, mildly spicy plums and blackberries are there when you taste this medium bodied beauty.  Lovely gentle tannins do a great job on the reasonably long finish but it’s the fruit that seems to hang around the longest.

Don’t wait until Word Malbec Day to try this one.  While the weather is still good and families and friends gather on back verandahs for barbeques while taking advantage of daylight saving, get some of this and pour it liberally in glasses (for the adults of course).  And we can’t not mention the Bronze medal it won at the 2018 Clare Valley Wine Show!

Great Aunty Jean, for whom this wine is named, would be mighty proud to have her name on this.

Matriarch & Rogue Website

Region: Clare Valley, SA     Price: $28     Source: Generous gift, thanks Marnie




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2018 Angullong Sauvignon Blanc

When I was a kid, and it’s probably the same with most kids these days, I did not eat many vegetables.  Potatoes, carrots and peas were about it for me.  If I found anything else on my plate there were always attempts to sneakily feed the dog under the table or try and ditch it in the bin when mum left the kitchen.  These days, there’s not much in the way of vegies I don’t eat.  It has been a similar progression with wine for me as well.

Starting out, it was red wine and red wine only.  Barossa shiraz and Coonawarra Cabernet were about it as far as I was concerned.  Couldn’t get enough of it.  I avoided white wine like I avoided broccoli as a kid.  How times have changed.  There aren’t many wine varieties or styles I don’t like.  However, I have always struggled with Sauvignon Blanc.  I’m not going to shout it from the roof tops, but it’s certainly growing on me and I’m not averse to trying it these days.  I’m more than happy to admit to liking quite a few.  This one fits into this category.

Quite aromatic, passionfruit for sure, maybe a tad lemony…I think.  Lively, fresh palate with plenty of flavour.  Passionfruit again,  a hint of, sort of, snow pea character (definitely not an under-ripe character) and some nice gentle acidity.  The surprise for me was, it finishes dry with just a hint of sweetness.  This is pretty good and will certainly have a friend in Thai food.

Angullong Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $20     Source: Sample courtesy of Angullong Wines and Define Wine


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2018 Gartelmann ‘Jessica’ Verdelho

Deh Lo. Ver-deh-eh-eh-lo.  End o’ day come and me wan’ go home for, Deh Lo.  Ver-deh-eh-eh-lo.  End o’ day come and me wan’ go home.  Okay so the Banana Boat song doesn’t quite go like that (it’s stuck in your head now isn’t it) but, the tropical feel of the song is indicative of the fruit that this wine purveys and more!

I don’t see much Verdelho in bottle shops around Hobart let alone get to try it.  That’s fair enough I suppose because it’s not exactly a well known variety in these parts, but mention it and people remember.  A bit like that song I mentioned, it’s rare you’ll here it on the radio but every knows it, and sings along, when they hear it.

Very good fruit salad nose to get things started and it doesn’t ease off at any stage of proceedings.  It has a rich, juicy, textural palate where pineapple, passionfruit and apple seem to be the main ingredients of this fruit assemblage.  I don’t know if it’s because of that generous fruit salad flavour of the wine but I could almost swear there was some creaminess too (on top, just how I like my fruit salad).  I really enjoyed the freshness of this Verdelho as well, which I reckon can be attributed to a nice touch of acid on the finish and it complemented the ample fruit.  Good work!

Gartelmann Website

Region: Hunter Valley, NSW     Price: $22     Source: Sample courtesy of Gartelmann Wines and Define Wine

Gartelmann JessicaVerd

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