Sunday, 5 July 2015

Domaine Bernard Defaix 1er Cru Côte de Lechét 2013

Apologies in advance, I suspect you may end up reading here a few more Chablis reviews than in the past.  Happily this region is really rather well priced in Australia, and the quality mostly high.  As time passes, I think the styles I prefer are simply the classic styles well-made, from the Barossa to Bordeaux, right through to Chablis.

This is a particularly good example of the Côte de Lechét, which is a premier cru vineyard on the left-bank of the Serein River that is south east facing.  It has aromatics of stone and a touch of nectarine.  It has medium length on the palate, good purity of flavour, lovely balance, with reminders of stones, nectarine and a touch of honey.  G-VG

Abv: 13%, Price: ~$40, Vendors:, Website:, Tasted: 2015

Quinson La Domal Mercurey 2012

From the Côte Chalonnaise, this is a typical, if plain, expression of a village Mercurey.  Cherry, earth and raspberry aromatics.  The palate has medium length and a similar profile.  A-G

Abv: not noted, Price: $22, Vendors:, Website: not obvious, Tasted: 2015

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Topper's Mountain Pinotage Viognier 2012

This unusual blend proved to me that the team at Topper's Mountain in the New England wine region (of Australia) is rather talented, producing a wine that would be good if you enjoy pinotage.  As South Africa's unique contribution to the wine world, pinotage is a grape variety (a crossing of pinot noir and cinsaut) that can be polarising in its aromatic and flavour profile.  I'll be frank, I don't prefer it and was a little surprised to see it in production in Australia, but then again, credit must go out to those pushing the boundaries to see what is possible in Australia's many wine regions.  In the glass, this wine has aromatics that remind of stone fruit (the viognier) and paint (the pinotage).  The palate has quite good depth of flavour, perhaps a little bitter on the finish, and notes of apricot kernels and gamey dark fruits.  Technically sound, it will delight some with its depth of flavour and otherness.  For me, it loses marks for enjoyment.

Rating: Acceptable, Abv: 13.5%, Price: $32, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015

Ten Minutes by Tractor Estate Chardonnay 2012

This is another good release from this estate.  Perhaps more golden in colour than expected in the glass, the 2012 Estate Chardonnay has aromatics of earth, green mango and a hint of exotic spice.  The palate is balanced, the length medium, the acid towards high and its flavours remind of earth and nuts.  Good chardonnay.

Rating: Good, Abv: 13.5%, Price: $42, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015

Lowe Nullo Mountain Pinot Noir 2013

Before you turn the page seeing a pinot noir from Mudgee, this one's from a vineyard that fascinates in being located at a not insubstantial 1,100 metres of altitude.  It works too.  In the glass, it has typical pinot noir aromatics of cherry and stones.  The palate has medium length, its characters are delicate and balanced with a mid weight impression and the alcohol is right.  This piqued my interest.

Rating: Good (with a plus), Abv: 13%, Price: $30, Source: sample, Vendors and website:, Tasted: 2015