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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2015 Grey Sands The Mattock

I decided to research the actual garden tool, the Mattock (thanks again to Google) and I was a bit surprised, and a little confused, as to its history.  I won’t bore you with it all but part of the (Wikipedia) blurb that stuck out to me was, “Mattocks are the most commonly depicted tool in Byzantine manuscripts of Greek poet Hesiod’s Works and Days”.  If you didn’t already know, Bob and Rita Richter also have a white wine named Byzantine.  Now I don’t know if this is pure coincidence or not but I reckon it’s a great connection into their world of wine.

Merlot makes up the majority of this wine coming in at 60%, with Malbec making up 40% and Cabernet Franc providing very good support, even if it is only 10% of the makeup.

It exudes very nice and attractive, fresh dark fruit aromas that gave me a pretty good insight into what I thought I was about to taste.  Black fruits are the mainstays with blackberries and blackcurrants shining through, then ‘hello’ to supportive plum characters on the abundant palate (but not rich if you know what I mean).  Definitely not shy on flavour that’s for sure.  It has a fairly long finish where some earthiness and tannin poke through but did not take anything away from the excellent fruit.

It is a very well made, flavoursome and balanced wine with the structure to age very well.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say, if my memory serves me correctly, this is probably the best Mattock out of the 4 vintages released and I’ve been lucky enough to try them all.

Grey Sands Website

Region: Glengarry, Tasmania     Price: $45     Source: Sample thanks to Grey Sands


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2017 Bailey Wine Co Watervale Riesling

I poured this Riesling for a mate recently and he was impressed.  It prompted him to say that he couldn’t understand why Riesling is among the lowest for sales of white wine in Australia.  I won’t go into what his role is in the industry but he has been a part of it for most, if not all, of his working life so he knows his stuff.  I was a bit surprised but, more so, felt sad hearing that statement.  Just my opinion of course, but it is one of the most versatile varieties in the world and so food friendly.  You really can’t go wrong when buying a bottle of this noble of white grape varieties.

Lovely perfumed citrusy nose to this wine that spoke so proudly of Watervale.  Plenty of flavour for all and sundry for sure.  Now, I could give you the usual descriptors when it comes to Riesling, and most of them are in this wine, but what has to be mentioned is the unmistakable attractiveness and downright deliciousness of the wine.  I can’t speak enough about that.  Add delicate soft acid to the plenty of flavour I mentioned earlier and the persistence on the finish, and you have a ripper Riesling for a ripper price.

Bailey Wine Co Website

Region: Watervale, SA     Price: $25     Source: Online purchase (of sorts)

Bailey Wine Co Rizza

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