Category: Wine Reviews

Zeni Soave Classico 2016

This is a sound Soave Classico from Zeni, and a blend of garganega and trebbiano. In the glass, there are aromas of peach and cedar which gives a chardonnay like impression. The palate is medium bodied and dry, with some residual sugar. Pleasant enough, this wine will suit current drinking. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $16. Website: https://www.zeni.it/en/. Reviewed: November 2019.

Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2017

This is a good wine at a fair price. Lightly coloured in the glass, the 2017 vintage of Antinori’s Peppoli Chianti Classico has typical sangiovese aromas of sour cherry and licorice. The palate has firm tannins and good length. This wine can be approached now, but will suit a couple of years in the cellar. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $27. Website: https://www.antinori.it/en/. Reviewed: October 2019.

Cave de Tain Première Note Syrah 2016

Cave de Tain is a Rhône Valley cooperative that is well regarded. This syrah is from the IGP appellation of Collines Rhodaniennes indication géographique protegée, north of Valence. It has a restrained aroma of plums and anise. The palate has good balance and expression of sour red fruits. Ready to drink now, this is a good value syrah. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $22. Website: https://www.cavedetain.com/fr/. Reviewed: October 2019.

Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Innocent Bystander are a very good producer in the Yarra Valley in Victoria. This wine is a dry pinot noir based rosé, and has a restrained aroma of strawberries and hay. The palate is dry, medium bodied and refreshing. Ready to drink now, this is rosé is perfectly pleasant. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $18. Website: https://www.innocentbystander.com.au. Reviewed: November 2019.

Laurel Bank Riesling Tasmania 2016

Laurel Bank is a small north facing vineyard near Hobart, along the Derwent river. This proved a first class expression of cool climate dry riesling and has aromas of stones, smoke and lemon. The palate is dry, with crisp acidity and good length. Ready to drink now, this wine should improve over the next decade in the cellar. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.8%. Price: $25. Website: http://www.laurelbankwines.com.au. Source: Sample. Tasted: October 2019.

Gartelmann Wilhelm Hunter Valley Shiraz 2015

This release from Gartelmann Wines is from the difficult 2015 vintage in the Hunter Valley. It has typical Hunter shiraz characters of spice, plum, pepper and cedar. The tannins are soft, the body is between medium and full and the acidity spikey. This is a sound wine suitable for drinking now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.3%. Price: $28. Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.

Pirathon Gold Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017

The “gold” label is the top of Pirathon’s quality hierarchy, trumping its “black” label. This is a near outstanding wine, and I much preferred it to the “black” of the same vintage. In the glass, there are correct shiraz aromas of spices and plums. The palate is tannic with long length and a well judged cedar influence. Ready to drink now, this wine should cellar well over the next decade or more, and is a classic and serious expression of Barossa shiraz. Rating: Very Good. Abv: NA. Price: ~$100. Website: https://www.pirathon.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.

Pirathon Black Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017

The Pirathon “Black” shiraz from the Barossa Valley and the 2017 vintage has brooding aromatics of dark chocolate and spice. The palate is full bodied, ripe, with impressions of blueberry pie, menthol, vanilla and very warming sweet fruit. Ready to drink now, this wine has considerable intensity of flavour. Rating: Good. Abv: 15.3%. Price: ~$50. Website: https://www.pirathon.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.

Terre à Terre Sauvignon Blanc Wrattonbully 2017

This is a lovely sauvignon blanc from Terre à Terre in Wrattonbully. It’s from a closely planted (1.5m x 1.5m spacing) vineyard and fermented in old French oak before ageing in barrel for 8 months. In the glass, there are aromatics of meal, together with gooseberry and lemons. The palate has fresh, racy acidity and presents with a refined balance. Ready to drink now, this is an attractive style. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.9%. Price: $40. Website: http://terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.

G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso 2017

A surprise find under screw cap, this Langhe Rosso from G.D. Vajra and the 2017 vintage presents in a regional style. It’s actually a blend of nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto, with a few others too. There are aromas of cherry and firm, chalky acidity and structure. This wine can be approached now, but it will suit a couple of years in the cellar. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $30. Website: http://www.gdvajra.it/en/homepage. Reviewed: October 2019.