This is quite a youthful and restrained Chianti Classico from Castellare di Castellina and the 2017 vintage. It has aromas of redcurrants, red fruits and firm tannins. This wine will suit another 3-5 years in bottle before approaching it or a long decant. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Website: www.castellare.it. Reviewed: January 2020.
This is an excellent wine from Covert Farms in the Okanagan Valley in Canada. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot and from the 2016 vintage, its style is reminiscent of a left bank cru bourgeois Bordeaux from a ripe vintage. In the glass, there are earthy, blackcurrant aromatics. The palate has very fine tannin that builds with time. Approachable now, it will suit cellaring for 5 years or more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.3%. Price: $45. Website: covertfarms.ca. Reviewed: January 2020.
Very pale in colour, this pinot noir from the Mornington Peninsula has aromatics of strawberries and red fruits. The palate is fresh with ripe red fruits and a restrained bearing. Ready to drink now, this is a youthful and approachable style of pinot noir. Rating: Good. Abv: NA. Price: $20s. Website: NA. Reviewed: December 2019.
This is a typically robust rendition of Mudgee shiraz. It opens to aromas of oak, vanilla and ripe black fruits. The palate is full bodied with soft and approachable black fruits that build tannin with time in the glass. Ready to drink now or it can be cellared for at least 5 years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.8%. Source: Sample. Reviewed: December 2019.
This is an excellent Valtellina wine from Nino Negri. It has swirling aromatics of florals and roses. The palate has a firm structure and high acidity. This nebbiolo is rather delicious and can be approached now or over the next decade. Rating: Very Good. Abv: NA. Price: mid $50s. Website: NA. Reviewed: January 2020.
There are few Australian merlots I have tasted of this calibre at this price. From Tinhorn Creek in the Okanagan Valley in Canada, this wine opens to aromas of red fruits and evident oak. The palate is savoury, with notes of spice, dried herbs and red fruits. Ready to drink now or over the next 5-8 years, this is a high quality expression of merlot. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14%. Price: mid $30s. Website: tinhorn.com. Reviewed: January 2020.
There is a statement in Jancis Robinson’s encyclopaedic “Wine Grapes” to the effect that there are even plantings of zweigelt in British Columbia in Canada. If this zweigelt is representative, it has been a very successful move indeed. From organic producer Kalala and the 2015 vintage, this wine opens to aromas of dark fruits and boysenberry. The palate is full bodied and the tannins firm with an almost Italianate pleasing rusticity. Ready to drink now, this is a lovely wine. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.6%. Price: mid $20s. Website: kalalawines.ca. Reviewed: January 2020.
From Innocent Bystander in the Yarra Valley, this is a sound arneis from the 2019 vintage. Its aroma is floral and herbal. The palate is somewhat neutral with modest acidity. This will suit current drinking. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: n/a. Price: $25. Website: www.innocentbystander.com.au. Reviewed: January 2020.
This is a very good cabernet sauvignon from Mission Hill in the Okanagan Valley in Canada and the 2017 vintage. It has aromatics of spice and brooding blackcurrants. The palate has ripe and fleshy tannins and good length on the finish. This wine is enjoyable right now, but will also suit cellaring for 5 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.9%. Price: ~$40. Website: www.missionhillwinery.com. Reviewed: January 2020.
This a good release of this classic wine from Dr Loosen. Only 8% in alcohol, it is typical of the Mosel Kabinett riesling style. In the glass, there are restrained aromas of lemon and stones, with hints of tropical fruit. The palate is off to medium dry and the acidity both refreshing and racy, ably balancing the impression of residual sugar. This paradigm Mosel wine can be enjoyed now or cellared. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 8%. Price: $30. Website: https://drloosen.com. Reviewed: January 2020.