Rockford’s 2015 vintage of the Rod & Spur shiraz cabernet (a 62%/38% blend) will benefit from at least 5 years in the cellar. Tasted now, it is too young, but someone has to do it. There are youthful aromatics of cedar and dark plums. The palate reveals ripe fruit, longish length, some firmer tannins with air and integrated cedar characters. A good release of this label. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.9%. Price: $50+.
This is a premium own label offering from Woolworths/Dan Murphy’s stable. The aroma is ripe and fruity, with some green clove notes. The palate is full bodied, has quite generous fruit, good tannic structure and decent length on the finish. Frankly, this is a well made wine and I think it over delivers for the price. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $20. Source: Sample.
I recently tasted through Yalumba’s new 2017 vintage of “Y Series” whites. All the wines are $15 and all five wines from different single varieties. As a group, these wines evidence the new modern Australian style – lower alcohol, more medium than full bodied and no discernible oak influence. The sauvignon blanc for example weighs in at only 11.5%. The search for restraint in warmer climates can lead to a loss of varietal character, but the viognier and riesling shone through as good examples. The chardonnay and pinot grigio were more neutral and dry whitish. Overall, this is a well made set with an evenness to the wines and provides sound drinking at a modest price.
Yalumba Y Series Sauvignon Blanc South Australia 2017
Mid range aromatics of florals, gooseberry and grass with air. Dry, some raspy sauvignon blanc acidity and fresh style. Rating: Good. Abv: 11.5%. Price: $15.
Yalumba Y Series Riesling Barossa 2017Attractive aromatics of stone and florals, with a slight savoury roundness. A floral, dry, medium bodied palate with not quite fully linear acidity and nice length. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $15.
Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay South Australia 2017Muted aromatics of pear and quince. No discernible oak. Medium bodied, dry and mid range acidity. A little neutral and dry white in expression. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $15.
Yalumba Y Series Viognier South Australia 2017Richly aromatic, all talc, ginger and apricots. The palate is towards full bodied, dry with a phenolic impression and good length. Recommended. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $15.
Yalumba Y Series Pinot Grigio South Australia 2017Muted aromatics of stone. Nectarine and stone characters on the palate with a between medium to full bodied impression. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $15.
I tasted this wine blind, not knowing it was a $10 wine. Actually, it’s not bad and overachieves for the price. Aromas of plum, soy and blackcurrant. There’s some tomato stalk notes around the edges. The palate is balanced with reasonable length. A sound Barossa shiraz. (Region: Barossa, Rating: Acceptable to Good, Drink: now, Tasted: July, 2017, Source: Sample)
Other vintages reviewed:
It’s easier to taste wine than work out who produces it sometimes. Some mild internet sleuthing finds that Grant Burge is owned by Accolade Wines, which owns Hardys among other brands. I was really impressed by this wine. It has plum, spice and raisined aromatics. The palate is super structured and grippy and the tannins ripe and quite pronounced for an Aussie shiraz. The length is long and it’s 14% rather than 15% or more. This wine seems built to last, and I would suggest it has a long future ahead of it. At $30 (we paid more), this is a steal.
Rating: Very Good
Vendors and website: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au
Saltram is one of the many brands in the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio. Only “Barossa” is referred to on the front label of the bottle, it being the wider “zone” that encompasses the “regions” of the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley under Australia’s geographical indication rules. Saltram’s website does not currently provide further details of the vintage or wine that would shed further light. In the glass, it’s a good solid release of Barossan shiraz that will please: an exercise in soft plums and a gentle texture. Good
Abv: 15%, Price: mid $20s, Vendors and website: http://www.saltramwines.com.au, Tasted: 2015
The growers for this Krondorf wine are Anita Bowen and Nick Schulz, and the custodian winemaker is Nick Badrice. I am not entirely sure what custodian in the context of winemaking means, but it may not matter, as I liked this wine in the glass as a typical example of a Barossa shiraz at the $15 to $20 mark. Purple in colour, it has aromatics of spice and dark fruits – mostly impressions of dark plums and blackcurrants. Some black pepper characters too. The palate has a fruit purity to it and its oak is handled well. A salty slice of pepperoni pizza saw its component parts well matched.
Rating: Good, Abv: 14.5%, Price: $18, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.cellarmasters.com.au/, Website: n/a, Tasted: 2015
Tenet Estate appears to be a Coles supermarket brand (see the attached list), but since Grant Burge’s name also appears on the bottle, I am going to rather boldly assume that it is made by Grant Burge. It shows some interest for the price. A bright medium intensity ruby in the glass, its aromatics remind of redcurrant, pomegranate, tobacco, earth, some blackcurrant and a raspberry edge. The palate is dry with medium-high acid, some fine grained tannins, just shy of full body and flavours recalling plums, thyme, soy and red fruits. I tasted this wine blind and reflected that the cooler year and the more entry level nature of this offering (without overt fruit or oak) more closely resembled a Rhône style of shiraz. Just a thought, but if that stylistic outcome is desired, maybe it’s that easy. Good
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
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