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Wine Reviews

Château Capbern Saint-Estèphe 2015

We see so few Bordeaux wines in Australia that are from the left bank appellations of Pauillac, Saint-Estèphe, Margaux and Saint-Julien and are not a cru classé. This is a mistake, as with the improvements and price increases in Bordeaux, there is wonderful value in these villages at below cru classé level. This wine, from the excellent 2015 vintage and Saint Estèphe, has typical cigar box and blackcurrant aromas. The tannins are firm, but ripe, with a certain chewiness and appeal that speaks correctly of the village. Substantial length on the finish completes a favourable impression. Approachable now or over the next decade, this is lovely drinking. Rating: Good to Very Good. Website: wine-searcher.com. Reviewed: September 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard 2016

I rather sensed that this producer and vineyard were headed towards producing a fine wine. This wine has seen considerable attention to detail and is outstanding. A blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 16% shiraz and 16% cabernet franc, it is from the Crayères vineyard in the Wrattonbully region on the South Australian/Victorian border. In terms of the winemaking, it has been aged in mostly new and old oak for 11 months (84% new) and then old oak for a further 17 months. In the glass, the wine has an aroma of dark plums, licorice and blackcurrant. But it is the palate which shines. Its singular feature is its prodigious length on the finish, perhaps more than a minute. Supple medium but very fine tannins and a graceful balance complete the picture. This is an outstanding wine that can be approached now and over the next decade. Rating: Outstanding. Website: https://terreaterre.com.au; wine-searcher.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Yaldara Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Having tasted their shiraz, GSM and now their cabernet sauvignon, the house style at Chateau Yaldara is focused on wines that celebrate ripe fruit supported by new oak (but not overwhelmingly so).  This Barossa Valley cabernet sauvignon is another high quality wine. It has aromas of iron and cedar.  The palate is full bodied with ripe, plush tannins and long length on the finish.  This is a near outstanding wine that can be approached now or over the next decade.  Rating: Very Good.   Website: https://www.1847wines.com; wine-searcher.com.  Source: sample. Reviewed: August 2020.   

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Yaldara Reserve Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2016

This is a first class expression of a GSM blend from Chateau Yaldara and the Barossa Valley.  It has aromas of strawberry, chocolate, pepper and new barrels.  The palate is full bodied and rich with medium tannins and long length on the finish.  Approachable now and drink over the next decade.  Rating: Very Good to Outstanding,  Website: https://www.1847wines.comwine-searcher.com .  Source: sample. Reviewed: August 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Valli Gibston Vineyard Pinot Noir Central Otago 2017

This is a very good Central Otago pinot noir from Valli’s Gibbstone vineyard and the 2017 vintage.  It has restrained blackcurrant, dark cherry and undergrowth aromas, with Burgundian echoes.  The palate has medium tannins, high acid, medium length and a full body, and a dried herb character.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good to Very Good.  Website: https://valliwine.com; wine-searcher.com.  Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Delas Saint-Esprit Côtes du Rhône 2017

From Delas, this is a sound Côtes du Rhône rouge from the 2017 vintage.  It has aromas of berry and spices.  The palate is medium bodied with moderate acidity and chalky tannins.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good.  Website:  http://www.delas.com/en/; wine-searcher.com.  Reviewed: June 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Clyde Park Chardonnay 2018

From Clyde Park and the Geelong region, this is a very good chardonnay.  It has aromas of cedar, mineral, smoke and ripe melon.  The palate is balanced, with a medium-full body and linear acidity.  Medium length on the finish completes the picture.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good.  Website:  https://clydepark.com.au; wine-searcher.com.  Source: Sample.  Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Gartelmann Cabernet Merlot 2016

From Mudgee in New South Wales and a vineyard at 630 metres, this is a very good cabernet sauvignon merlot blend from Gartelmann.  It has attractive leather, leaf and licorice aromas, and a brooding expression.  The palate is full bodied with soft tannins, piquant acidity, and a leaf/eucalyuptus character on its long finish.  The alcohol is 14.7 and does not overwhelm.  This wine is ready to drink now, but can be approached over the next 8 years or more.  Rating: Very Good.  Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au; wine-searcher.com.  Source: Sample.  Reviewed: August 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019

This is an ambitiously good sauvignon blanc from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully near the South Australian/Victorian border.  It has aromas of grass and peach.  The palate is dry, the acidity high and razor sharp and there’s some really well handled old oak that gives texture and balance to the finish.  This is first rate sauvignon blanc and ready to drink now.  Rating: Very Good.  Website:  https://terreaterre.com.au; wine-searcher.com.  Source: Sample.  Reviewed: August 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Saint Sidoine Côtes de Provence Rosé 2018

This is a good, classically styled Côtes de Provence rosé from Saint Sidoine. It is a very pale salmon/copper in colour. It opens to aromas of unripe strawberries and firm red fruits. The palate is medium bodied, the acidity between medium and high, and the finish dry and harmonious. Rating: Good. Website: http://saintsidoine.com; wine-searcher.com. Reviewed: August 2020.