Bernhard Huber Malterdinger Spätburgunder 2015

This is a very good pinot noir from Bernard Huber in Baden, Germany.  Stylistically, it is much closer to Burgundy than new world pinot noir.  Its aroma has herbal and cherry notes, and is both savoury and restrained.  The palate has resolutely firm acidity and good length.  Ready to drink now, this moreish pinot noir/spätburgunder may improve with with short cellaring.  Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $65. Website: na.

Craiglee Shiraz 2013

I’ve had some very good Craiglee shiraz over the years.  The 2013 however appears to be a lesser vintage.  Its aroma reminds of red fruits and plums, but there is little of the typical pepper of this estate.  The palate is pleasant enough, although the finish is a little short and, at times, warming.  Ready to drink now, this Craiglee may need more time to develop.  Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $60. Website: www.craigleevineyard.com

Shaw Wines Vineyard Estate Merlot Canberra District 2014

This is a very good merlot from Shaw Wines and the Canberra district.  The aroma reminds of cedar, black fruits, dusty plums and soy.  The palate continues the cedar character, but is balanced by ripe fruit and medium-long length on the finish.  Approachable now, it should improve with a further five years in the cellar.  Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $28. Website: shawwines.com.au. Source: Sample.

La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc 2000

From the very good 2000 vintage in Bordeaux, La Demoiselle is the second wine of Sociando-Mallet.    The wine is initially shy in bearing with aromas of coffee grinds and old cedar. A restrained expression of blackcurrants emerges with aeration.  The palate is savoury and earthy, with resolved tannins and smoke and coffee characters prominent.  These latter characters affect the balance of the wine and overwhelm the fruit, a slightly disappointing outcome given the good vintage.  I would suggest this wine is ready to drink now, and has nudged past its best drinking window.  Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: +$50. Website: NA.

Gartelmann Rylstone Mudgee Petit Verdot 2015

Petit verdot is more traditionally seen in blends rather than on its own, but it can work well in warm to hot climates and this is a very good expression of it.  From Gartelmann in Mudgee, the wine has aromas of intense black fruits, prunes, licorice and dusty cedar.  The palate is full bodied, with an intense and powerful expression of black fruits and good length on the finish.  This is a very high quality petit verdot that is ready to drink now, but may well cellar for some years.  Rating: Very Good. Abv: 15.2%. Price: $35. Website: www.gartelmann.com.au. Source: Sample.

Pig in the House Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

The 2015 vintage of the “Pig in the House” organic cabernet sauvignon has an Australian bearing, with aromas of mint, eucalyptus, very ripe sweet plums and cedar.  The palate is sweet fruited and viscous and somewhat warming.  Ready to drink now, this wine will suit current drinking.  Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 14.8%. Price: $25. Website: www.piginthehouse.com.au. Source: Sample.