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.

Arundel Sunbury Viognier 2014

I quite like southern Rhône white styles. Viognier is a particular grape variety, typically full bodied and early drinking. This viognier from Arundel Farm Estate in the Sunbury region west of Melbourne has aromas of pear and ginger and presents correctly. The palate is full bodied, soft and ready to drink. A good value and well made viognier. Rating: Good. Price: $20. Abv: 14.5%. Website: http://arundelfarmestate.com.au/. Source: Sample.

Arundel Sunbury Shiraz 2017

Arundel Farm Estate is not a winery I have previously come across. Located in Keilor in the west of Melbourne, it is within the Sunbury geographic indication which is larger than the town of Sunbury. Craiglee, the region’s most well known producer, is 22km away.

In the glass, the 2017 shiraz is a pleasant wine and a medium bodied, cooler climate syrah style. Its aroma reminds of struck match, cracked pepper and bacon. The palate has notes of green pepper and herbs and good length. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $25. Website: http://arundelfarmestate.com.au/. Source: Sample.

Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Pinot Noir 2018

This is another good 10X pinot noir release from Ten Minutes by Tractor on the Mornington Peninsula. This leading producer always offers a wealth of useful regional vintage information. Specifically, the 2018 vintage saw a late budburst (20 September – two weeks later than 2016), a warm spring, perfect conditions at flowering (24 November compared with 11 November in 2016 and 5 December in 2017) and consequent good yields coupled with an early harvest (17 March, compared with 1 April in 2016). Overall, it was 10X Tractor’s shortest ever hang time of 179 days from budburst to harvest.

In the glass, the 2018 10X pinot noir is a vivid red in colour, and has a smokey, minerally aroma. The palate is quite fruity, with good length, and displays a balanced expression of cherries and spice. It gained complexity with time in the glass – a good sign. Overall, this is a good release that can be approached now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $34. Website: www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au. Source: Sample.