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Wine Reviews

Liv Zak Chardonnay 2019

Liv Zak’s Yarra Valley chardonnay from the 2019 vintage is quite different in style to the wine just reviewed.  It has a subtle, creamy lemon aroma.  The palate is full bodied, the acidity high and the length medium.  This is a subtle and sound wine.  The alcohol is listed as a precise (overly?) 13.35%.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good.  Abv: 13.35.  Price: $35.  Website: https://warramundaestate.com.au/.  Source: Sample.  Reviewed: May 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Curly Flat Chardonnay 2018

Curly Flat are a benchmark cool climate southern VIctorian producer.  Their 2018 chardonnay has aromas of stone fruit, ripe nectarine and restrained cedar.  The palate is full bodied, the acidity high and the length pleasingly long.  An excellent Chardonnay that is ready to drink now. Rating: Very Good.  Abv: NA.  Price: $45.  Website: https://curlyflat.com.  Source: Sample.  Reviewed: May 2020. 

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Wine Reviews

Felsina Chianti Classico 2017

This is an orthodox expression of Chianti Classico that would be a good choice for a blinding tasting.  It has a refined aroma of licorice and earth.  The palate has high acidity, medium tannins and medium length.  Perhaps lacking some stuffing, but elegant and pleasant.  Ready to drink now and over the next 5 years.  Rating: Good.  Abv: NA.  Price: $35.  Website: https://www.felsina.it/en/.  Reviewed: May 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Luccarelli Negroamoro 2018

A negroamoro from Puglia in southern Italy, this wine opens to an extravagantly rich nose of spices, garrigue and pepper.  The palate is full bodied and the fruit savoury, with medium tannins.  Raisin and currants emerge with air.  Suitable for current drinking and good value at $15.  Rating: Good.  Abv: NA. Price:  $15 .  Website: NA. Reviewed: May 2020. 

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Wine Reviews

Réserve de la Comtesse Pauillac 2016

This is a delightful Pauillac from Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande’s second label, the Réserve de la Comtesse.  It has an aroma of blackcurrant and refined, unobtrusive cedar.  The palate is medium bodied, with subtle length and a refined bearing.  Ready to drink now or over the next decade. Rating: Very Good.  Abv: 13.0.  Price:  $95. Website:  http://www.pichon-comtesse.com/. Reviewed: May 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Pira Margheria Barolo 2011

This is an excellent Barolo from Pira and the 2011 vintage.  It opens to attractive aromas of licorice and earth,  The palate is full bodied, the tannins very firm and the finish is long with attractive sour cherry characters.  Yes.  Approachable now or over the next decade or more.  Rating: Very Good.  Abv: 14.5.  Price:  $80.  Website:  https://www.piraluigi.it/en/.  Reviewed: May 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Rusty Mutt Original Shiraz 2016

Something of a contrast in style to the Heartland shiraz just reviewed, this shiraz from McLaren Vale and the 2016 vintage has aromas of earth, soil and spice.  The palate has medium to high acidity, soft tannins, a medium to full body and is restrained in style.  This is an enjoyable wine that can be approached now.  Rating: Good.  Abv: 14.5.  Price: $30. Website:  https://www.rustymutt.com.au/. Source: Sample.  Reviewed: May 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2018

From benchmark New Zealand producer Kumeu River, this chardonnay proved a little too sculptured for me, with the hand of the winemaker evident.  It opens to aromas of flint and smoke.  The palate has high acidity, the body is full and the wine finishes on acidity rather than fruit.  It proved somewhat hard work.  Rating: Acceptable.  Abv: 13.0.  Price:  $20. Website:  https://kumeuriver.co.nz/. Reviewed: May 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Glaetzer Heartland Directors’ Cut Shiraz 2015

This is a classically proportioned and less oaky vintage of Glaetzer’s Directors’ Cut Heartland shiraz from Langhorne Creek that is a delight to drink.  In the glass, it has aromas of coconut shavings and plum.  The palate is rich, full bodied with terrific length and an expression of crushed spices.  Ready to drink now or over the next decade, this is a very enjoyable wine that could sell for much more.  Rating: Very Good.  Abv: 14.5.  Price:  $30.  Website:  https://www.heartlandwines.com.au/homepage-international/.  Reviewed: April 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Hamilton Russell South Africa Pinot Noir 2018

Hamilton Russell is the paradigm South African pinot noir producer from the cool climate Walker Bay region in South Africa. This wine opens to brooding aromas of earth, cherry, spice and undergrowth. The palate is between medium and full bodied, the acidity is very fresh, and the finish has firm, pleasing tannins. This wine is obviously a benchmark and can be approached now, but will benefit from 4-5 years in the cellar. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5. Price: $80. Website: https://www.hamiltonrussellvineyards.com. Reviewed: April 2020.