Category: Wine Reviews

Terre à Terre Cabernet Franc 2016

This is the most serious and high quality expression of Australian cabernet franc that I have tasted. The wine is from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully, near Coonawarra and the border between South Australia and Victoria. The soil here is terra rossa limestone and the vineyard is known as the Crayères. This is a region to watch for cabernet franc on this tasting. Saint-Emilion rather than Chinon in style, in the glass, the wine has typical cabernet franc aromas of tobacco, red fruits and spices. The palate has prodigious length, well judged cedar and firm tannins. Built to last this wine can be approached now or over the next decade. A bargain at $40. Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 14.2%. Website: http://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.

Wills Domain Mystic Spring Shiraz 2018

This is a very approachable and attractive expression of Margaret River shiraz. Its overt aromas of spice and blueberry are complemented by a full bodied palate with good length on the finish. Ready to drink now and over the next 4 to 5 years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14%. Price: NA. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.

Wills Domain Mystic Spring Rosé 2019

Very pale in colour, this rosé from Wills Domain in the Margaret River is a blend of 85% shiraz and 15% sauvignon blanc. In the glass, it has a fruity aroma of ripe red strawberries. The palate has a soft body but firm acidity. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.6%. Price: NA. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.

Wills Domain Cuvée d’Elevage Blanc de Blanc NV

This is a good sparkling wine from Wills Domain. However perhaps its most surprising feature is that it is made from 100% scheurebe. Scheurebe is an early twentieth century German cross of riesling and “bukettrebe”, and well regarded as such, but finds its home mostly in Germany and Austria. Apparently some has found its way to the Margaret River. In the glass, this sparkling wine has aromas of apples, lemon and a touch of bread. The palate is fresh with good acidity and balance. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 12.6%. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019

Wills Domain Cuvée d’Elevage Rosé NV

This artistically labelled wine from Wills Domain in the Margaret River is a sparkling rosé made from 100% merlot. Pale in colour, it has aromas of red fruit and toast. The palate is dry and pleasant and has a delicate mousse. A well made wine that is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $39. Website: http://willsdomain.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2019.

Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Riesling 2018

This is classically styled riesling from Castle Rock Estate in Porongurup, a sub region of Great Southern in Western Australia. Its aroma reminds of lemon and stones, and its palate is dry and has firm, linear acidity. This wine can be approached now or cellared for 5 to 8 years. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $20. Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au. Source: Sample. Review: September 2019.

Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt Malbec 2016

I tasted a series of wines from Queensland’s Granite Belt back in 2013, with some mixed results. Golden Grove had one of the better wines on that tasting and this same producer has fashioned quite a pleasant and stylistically typical malbec here. Dark fruited, chocolatey and full bodied, this is a good example of a malbec and is approachable now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $28. Website: https://www.goldengroveestate.com.au.

Frédéric Mabileau St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil 2016

You don’t see many St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Loire Valley wines in Australia. I spotted this one, a 100% cabernet franc, and it is a sound example of its style. In the glass, it has an aroma of blackcurrant and sour cherries. The palate has firm acidity and is ready to drink now. At $42, it presents as modest value in the local market here, but if you enjoy this style of cabernet franc and favour seeing more of it, as I do in both cases, it’s worth a look. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $42. Website: http://www.fredericmabileau.com.