Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Toolangi Chardonnay 2013

Toolangi's 2013 chardonnay is another good release from Toolangi in the Yarra Valley.  Performing above its price point, the wine has clean and crisp aromatics of lemon, white peach and cashew.  The palate is similar with characters of nectarine bolstering the noted aromatics.  Somewhere between medium and long length on the palate and just right acidity (less elegantly, I wrote "neither fat nor dieting"), this balanced chardonnay release is recommended.

Rating: Good to Very Good, Abv: 13.8%, Price: $26, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

St Mary's Carillon 2013

St Mary's is a winery that exhibits - to taste - all the hallmarks of Coonwarra's classic terra rossa soils, yet for reasons which appear more overthought than sensible, it finds itself sitting in the lesser known Limestone Coast region.  Upon learning of the Coonawarra boundary dispute - which St Mary's fell on the other side of - my initial thought was how hard can it be to draw a geographical indication (GI) boundary?  Quite hard it turns out!  This well written article outlines in exquisite detail exactly why.

My thoughts?  Coonawarra is a unique region in Australian wine, one of the few with a true goût de terroir.  Adopting a purposive approach to wine region zoning, if it's got the same type of terra rossa soil, the wines taste typical of Coonawarra and the vineyards are near Penola, then all things being equal, my view is that it probably should be included in the region.  If the soils and wines typically are different, then all things being equal, including such wines in the region are probably in fairness not doing the region any favours.  Too simple perhaps.

Anyway, what of the wine here?  The 2013 vintage of the Carillon is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, cabernet franc and malbec.  It has aromatics that remind of tobacco, cedar, plum and raisin. The palate shows similar characters with medium length and balance.  This is an enjoyable and balanced wine.

Rating: Good, Abv: 14%, Price: $40, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015

Friday, 22 May 2015

Poggerino Chianti Classico 2005

Poggerino's Chianti Classico is a label I have largely forgotten about for no particular reason.  This  example drawn straight from the cellar wears its ten years of age with seemingly little effort.  Still developing rather than mature, its aromatics remind of licorice, earth and crunchy blackberries.  The palate, initially stern, warms to food and relaxes with air and heat.  It reveals similar flavours to its aromatics, an exercise in blackberry and earth.  The bottle disappeared quickly with each glass more compelling than the prior.  Decanting and warming to room temperature suggested.

Rating: Good to Very Good, Abv: 14%, Price: Not noted, Vendors:, Website:, Tasted: 2015

Monday, 18 May 2015

Lowe Organic Shiraz Block 8 Mudgee 2012

Like the 2011 vintage, I found the 2012 release of Lowe's Block 8 organic shiraz to be serious in intent.  The 2012 vintage has aromatics of ground black pepper, green peppercorns and plums, and reminded more than once of Craiglee's benchmark peppery shiraz style.  The palate is sufficiently complex to warrant interest.  It is medium bodied in impression with peppercorns and plum featuring as well as good length on the finish.

Rating: Good (with upside), Abv: not noted, Price: $35, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ten Minutes by Tractor Wallis Chardonnay 2012

This is another very good release by Ten Minutes by Tractor.  From P58 chardonnay vines planted in 1992 (20 years old at vintage), the vineyard here is situated on a gentle north easterly slope at 142 metres of altitude in the Main Ridge (unofficial) sub region of the Mornington Peninsula.  In terms of style, the wine itself is fermented in 22% new oak barriques, has a natural malolactic ferment and is matured for 10 months in new French oak (also 22%).  Here's a picture showing where the Wallis vineyard sits: relatively southerly for the region.


Pedigree established, how is the wine?  Happily, it performs strongly.  A lemon/gold colour , it has aromatics of cashew, lemon rind, spice, lemon and peach.  The length is initially reluctant, but long upon examination, providing clean and crystalline flavours of cashew and nuts.  This is a serious chardonnay that merits your interest.

Rating: Very Good, Abv: 13.5%, Price: $, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015