It’s roundup time!
These are some of the odds and ends that haven’t quite made it up on to the site so far this month. Wines are listed from higher to lower scores…
10X Mornington Peninsula Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Yet to be convinced about Mornington Sauv, but this is better than some. Airy but neutral grapefruit nose with just a little pineapple. Palate is dry and shows the stamp of oak competing with the quite powerful Sauv fruit. Cool and spicy, sure, but the Sauv varietal characters seem just a little mute. Crisp and textural though, the finish just slightly defined by alcohol. Best drinking: 2016-2019. 17/20, 90/100. 13.5%, $28. Would I buy it? Not quite.
Coates The Chardonnay Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2015
Sourced from Kuitpo on the border between the Hills and McLaren Vale. Wild fermented in barrel (20% new oak) where it spent a further 9 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, it is green straw coloured, with a pineapple nose that looks just-bottled. Bright and quite ripe, it’s going to need time to settle, though the acidity seems refreshing. Come back in 6 months, for it’s all acid and stuff now. Best drinking: 2017-2021. 17/20, 90/100+. 13.5%, $24.99. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass.
Coates The Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Also from Kuitpo. Wild fermented in barrel where it spends a further 7 months. Neutral nose gives away little bar a little vanilla paste. Dry and backward palate shows an appealing herbal edge but otherwise its a subtle, quite simple palate. Nice texture, but doesn’t make a statement either way. An appealing drink, perhaps, but just a bit too subtle for drinking now. Best drinking: 2016-2018. 16.8/20, 89/100. 13%, $24.99. Would I buy it? Not quite.
Irvine Springhill Barossa Merlot 2014
Irvine have slipped off my radar in recent years. Don’t see the wines in the trade as much either – wonder what happened? Anyway, Merlot has always been the star at Irvine and this is a solid wine at a good price. Minty plum and raspberry, it’s very much in the plush and plummy style with a healthy dollop of oak. Hearty, slightly boozy and strong it’s a Barossan red first and then Merlot second. Plenty of punch for $18, though not subtle. Good drinking, rough and ready style. Best drinking: 2017-2022. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $18. Would I buy it? Not quite, but would recommend.
Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Eden Valley Rosato di Sangiovese 2015
Pale salmon coloured, this has clear Sangiovese characters on the nose, the slightly sour palate clearly varietal too, complete with some bitter herbs and olive to match the very dry red berry fruit. Not profound, but a handy, savoury, very dry style Rosato. Best drinking: 2016-2017. 16.5/20, 88/100. 13.5%, $25. Would I buy it? Not really.
Vinea Marson Heathcote Rose 2013
75% Sangiovese, 25% Nebbiolo. Coppery orange pink, the nose carries raspberry and rust, the palate ferrous and firm with a mid palate hit of redcurrant and then a drying finish. Reminds me a little of a Coteaux Champenois style light red, though the finish is light and not astringent. Curious wine, high acidity and yet still carries no hardness. Fruit is fading fast though. Why keep this back so long? Best drinking: 2015. 16/20, 87/100. 13.5%, $24. Would I buy it? No.
Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Tempranillo 2014
Barossa Valley fruit. Dark ruby, this smells varietal but just a little thin, the oak-sweet edges to the palate and lack of depth giving this an awkwardness that doesn’t quite gel, if properly rustic. Young vines? Not there. Best drinking: 2016-2020. 16/20, 87/100. $25, 14%. Would I buy it? No.
d’Arenberg The Feral Fox Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2014
Crushed and open fermented with some whole bunches. Includes some foot treading, then matured for 12 months in older French oak. Mid ruby, the nose is ripe and concentrated with roasted tomato, cranberry and bacon bits, the firm and chunky palate an oversized and raw expression of very ripe Pinot fruit, with a heavy finish. Too ripe and heavy for mine. Best drinking: 2017-2020. 15.5/20, 84/100. 14.4%, $30. Would I buy it? No.
Arrogant Frog Ribet White Sauvignon Blanc 2014
From the sprawling Paul Mas portfolio (which means south of France juice). Green straw coloured, the nose carries an oxidative edge with ripe pineapple juice, the ripe palate clumsy and the edges blunted by oxidative weight before a lumpy finish. Just above cask quality, no more. I wouldn’t bother. Best drinking: 2015. 14.5/20, 80/100. 12.5%, $13. Would I buy it? Not.
(Photo William Clifford)