Coleraine Te Mata Estate from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand is regarded as a leading cabernet blend from this part of the world. The 2007 vintage here fell somewhat short of (high) expectations. Its aroma reminds of tomato bush and dried herbs and its palate is fully mature. It retains a quiet elegance and has a persistent if subtle length which is appealing. This vintage most closely resembles an aged Yarra Valley cabernet in style, which are generally available for far less. Ready to drink now, this bottle has entered a gentle decline. Rating: Good. Abv: Not recorded. Price: $90+. Website: https://www.temata.co.nz.
This is a bright pinot noir from Castle Rock Estate in the Porongurup region in Western Australia. It has a primary fruited aroma of cherries and spice. There is evident CO2 on the palate, which complements its chirpy acidity and gentle cedar influence. Ready to drink now, this is an approachable wine. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price $38. Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au. Source: Sample.
Fiano clearly works in the King Valley in Victoria. This is a correct varietal expression of fiano from De Bortoli with attractive lemon and almond aromatics. The palate is full bodied, savoury and has a subtle but firm acidity. Delicious and ready to drink now, this is a very good release. Rating: Good. Price: $20s. Abv: 12%. Website: https://www.debortoli.com.au.
I was not particularly taken by this wine, a grüner veltliner, from Weingut Bründlmayer in Kamptal, Austria. Its aroma is typical of the variety, reminding of spice and celery. The palate is somewhat “so so” with pleasant enough flavours of lemon, a medium body and a mineral impression. It however lacks the complexity and depth of fruit of the better examples of this variety. Ready to drink now, this wine provides sound but unexceptional drinking. Rating: Acceptable. Price: $20s. Abv: 12.5%. Website: https://www.bruendlmayer.at/en/.
This is a delicious pinot noir from Curly Flat in the Macedon Ranges and the 2017 vintage. It has an attractive aroma of black currant, cherry and bacon. The palate has great length, cedar, considerable balance and a savoury, enjoyable mid palate. It actually reminds of a Côte de Nuits villages wine from a warmer vintage such as 2015. In terms of comparative pricing, it presents as a bargain and will suit drinking over the next 5 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.3%. Price: $52. Website: https://www.curlyflat.com. Source: Sample.
This is a lovely wine from Royal Tokaji in Hungary. Sweet, but with a firm backbone of acidity, it has great length and a clean expression of honey and orange zest. Ready to drink now, I expect this wine will continue to evolve over the next decade and beyond. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 11%. Price: $35 (250ml). Website: http://royal-tokaji.com.
This is a rather delicious Barolo from Mauro Veglio. Aired for at least an hour, it opens to powerful aromatics of licorice and florals. The palate has firm acidity, very firm tannins and great length on the finish. This wine can be approached now, but will be best in a decade or more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $85. Website: http://www.mauroveglio.com.
The Delle Venezie DOC was created in 2017, and I have read market reports of mixed welcome. This article from the Drinks Business summarises its aspirations well enough. In the glass, this particular pinot grigio has aromas of pear and lemon, a crisp medium body and short length on the finish. Pleasant, typical and suitable for uncritical drinking. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 12.5%. Price: <$20. Website: https://kriswine.com.
Deeply coloured in the glass, the 2017 vintage of d’Arenberg’s Footbolt McLaren Vale shiraz has brooding aromas of dark plums and licorice. The palate is full bodied, with approachable tannins, a slightly bitter finish and is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $20. Website: darenberg.com.au. Source: Sample.
This is a delicious grand cru riesling from Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace. Towards gold in colour, its aroma reminds of steel and lemon zest. The palate is firm with a rich body, racy acidity and good length on the finish. You can approach it now, but this wine has years of cellaring ahead of it. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $50. Website: https://www.domaines-schlumberger.com.