Tag: Clare Valley

Tim Adams Clare Valley Shiraz 2006

The 2006 vintage of Tim Adams’ shiraz, now 11 years on, is a brooding wine.  Its aromatics more or less remind of mulberries.  The palate has length, balance and some warmth on the finish.  Tightly coiled, I think this wine will improve further with a few more years in the cellar or, failing that, a good decant.  (Alc: 14.5%, Region: Clare Valley, Rating: Good to Very Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: now to 2022, Tasted: Mar, 2017)

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Other vintages reviewed:

Vintage Rating Review

A couple of South Australian sangioveses; Hollick Hollaia 2004 and Reillys Sangiovese 2013

Here are a couple of local sangiovese wines tasted recently.  Sangiovese is a variety that I don’t think has yet produced a great wine in Australia.  But these two examples are very good.

Hollick Hollaia Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Wrattonbully
This wine was bottled under screwcap and has matured wonderfully in the cellar.  A blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon from Wrattonbully on the border between South Australia and Victoria, the wine in the glass is claret like in impression.  The palate is medium bodied with long length, and in its prime drinking window.  A slight overlay of mint reminds of its local origins.  This is a serious effort that will impress, and may well be the best Australian interpretation of this blend that I have tasted.  (Region: Wrattonbully, South Australia, Rating: Very Good, Drink: now to 2020, Tasted: Feb, 2017)

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Reillys Sangiovese 2013, Clare Valley
A full bodied interpretation of sangiovese, with notes of chocolate, bitumen and sour cherries.  Nice length and fresh acidity make for well balanced drinking.  A good by the glass choice.  (Region: Clare Valley, South Australia, Rating: Good, Drink: now to 2025, Tasted: Mar, 2017)

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Other vintages reviewed:


New release 2015 reds from Taylors Estate

Taylors’ new release reds – a merlot and shiraz – recently crossed my desk and provide well made wines at a modest price ($19).
The Taylors Estate Merlot 2015 is made from estate grown Clare Valley fruit and presents in a fruity and accessible style. Oak influence is restrained (one to three year old barrels are used). Its aromatics are of boysenberry and mulberry with cedar a supporting act. The palate is medium bodied with soft tannins and reminders of clove and blackcurrant. A gentle bitterness draws together this neat, tidy and elegant expression of merlot. (Alc: 14.6%, Region: Clare Valley, Rating: Good, Drink: now to 2023)
The Taylors Estate Shiraz 2015 is also sourced from estate grown Clare Valley fruit and is arrestingly deep in colour in the glass. The wine is very primary fruited, with pungent aromatics of dark plums, fig and prunes and an esthery note. Full bodied with some mid range length on the palate, this wine will please at this price. (Alc: 14%, Region: Clare Valley, Rating: Good, Drink: now to 2021)
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Source: samples

Taylors Clare Valley Riesling 2016

This is a good Clare Valley riesling release from Taylors.  From the 2016 vintage, it has resounding aromatics of florals, lemon and lime.  The palate is dry, medium bodied and wraps its racy acidity with plenty of Clare typicity of flavour.  I’d buy this.  (Alc: 12.3%, Region: Clare Valley, Rating: Good, Drink: now to 2031

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Source: sample

Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

A multi-regional blend of cabernet sauvignon sourced from Coonawarra and the Clare Valley.  This wine (also tasted in the tropics where it may have been given a light cooking) tasted a little jumpy.   Blackcurrant, ribena and blueberry characters feature.  The palate is towards full bodied and is sweet fruited in impression.  Pleasant enough.  Rating: Acceptable to Good

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Crabtree Watervale Shiraz 2013

Crabtree is not a label I have previously encountered.  The structure and balance of this wine seemed adrift, with my impression being of a spiky nose and rough palate where the alcohol did not taste in balance.  I see it has been rated highly by some writers, including Campbell Mattinson.  Perhaps my bottle (consumed in the tropics) was cooked.  I can however only call it as the wine presented.  Rating: Poor

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A vinous round up

Here is a vinous round up of wine notes that I, for one reason or another, have not been quick enough to type out individual posts on, but nonetheless ought to be commented upon.  There are some very good wines among these.  In re-reading them, it is a bit of vinous Noah’s Ark which, more or less, tracks my own obsession with good wine, no matter where it’s from.

As a brief aside, sometimes I wonder whether short lists such as these are the best way to communicate tasting notes, rather than individual posts per wine.  Feel free to chime in.  They do become harder to search though in this format.


Meerea Park Alexander Munro Semillon 2010, Hunter Valley
Pale intensity, lemon-green in colour.  Floral, lemon aromatics.  Bone dry, high acid with a light to medium body.  Lemon, yellow grapefruit and hints of toast and honey.  A delicious Hunter Valley semillon just starting to edge towards maturity.  I need more semillon in my cellar.  Rating: Very Good

Ten Minutes by Tractor Judd Chardonnay 2013, Mornington Peninsula
Benchmark territory here.  Nectarine, peach, cashew and clove aromatics.  Long length, fullish body, all in exquisite balance with a stone fruit overlay.  Delicious and first rate wine.  Rating: Very Good to Outstanding

Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Chardonnay 2013, Mornington Peninsula
More obvious in style than the Judd.  Still delicious though.  Butter, cashew, vanilla and green mango aromatics.  Palate with between medium and long length and terrifically balanced.  Rating: Very Good


Clos Clare Watervale Riesling 2015, Clare Valley
Lemon-green in colour.  Steely, lemon and lime, very Clare Valley.  Dry, high acid palate.  Lovely riesling.  I’d buy this.  Rating: Good

Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River
A delicious wine, but evident winemaking oak influence.  Lemon in colour.  Quite aromatic expressions of nectarine, organs peel, cedar and smoke.  The palate is dry with prodigiously long length on the finish, coupled with cedar and stone fruit characters.  Rating: Very Good

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Quite a developed wine, with hints only of lemon and cashew.  The palate is quite subtle too and almost a little neutral.  Subtle length and balance.  Seemed to be missing some spark.  Rating: Good

3 Tales Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough
Soundly made Marlborough sauvignon blanc.  Grass, gooseberry, grapefruit.  Pronounced intensity aromatics and high acid palate.  Exactly what you might expect from a Marlborough SB, a style that is what it is.  Rating: Good


Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand
This wine evolved and improved considerably in the glass.  Residual impression of “not convinced”.  Deeply coloured for pinot noir.  Aromatics of caramel, toffee (the first two unusual for pinot), dark cherry and autumn with time.  The palate reminds of cedar, cherry and plum with good length on the finish.  Complex.  Rating: Good

Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Coonawarra
This is a good wine.  Mint, eucalyptus, earth and dark olive aromatics.  Palate with considerable tannin and a full bodied expression of blackcurrant and dark olives.  One for the cellar.  Obvious mint  its only query.  Rating: Good to Very Good.

Chateau Plince Pomerol 2012, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Pleasant wine.  Not ambitiously priced for a Pomerol in Australia.  Cedar, typical merlot characters of plum and fruit cake.  Balanced palate.  Rating: Good

Angullong Crossing Reserve Shiraz 2013, Orange
A lovely wine.  Aromatics of clove,vanilla, plum and wood spice.  Balanced mid weight wine on the palate with good length.  Rating: Good

Marchesi di Barolo Cannubi 2010, Barolo, Italy
2010 is a great vintage in Barolo.  This wine is classic nebbiolo tar and roses although lacking the intensity and structure of some.  Rating: Good


Capella Prosecco NV, Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Italy
Here’s a good Prosecco.  Not all of them are, but this one is.  Apple skins, apple and apricot blossom. Palate somewhere between dry and off dry.  Creamy mousse and pleasant length.  Rating: Good

Torre Blanca Cava NV, Cava, Spain
Lemon and grapefruit aromatics.  Dry palate with a creamy mousse, and minerally after taste.  Fine, but not a style I search for.  Rating: Acceptable

Domaine Pichot Vouvray Brut 2011, Vouvray, France
Golden in colour.  Aromatics of grapefruit, biscuit, almonds and green mango.  Something ever so slightly socky.  Dry, high acid palate.  Delicate.  Rating: Good

Louis Roederer Vintage 2008, Champagne, France
Yeast, biscuit and strawberry aromatics.  High acid palate, racy, resolutely dry and lemon and yellow grapefruited expression.  Second bottle had more charm.  Rating: Good to Very Good

Dessert Wine

Chateau Coutet 2009, Sauternes-Barsac, France
Marmalade, orange peel, long length and pure expression of Sauternes.  Delicious.  Rating: Very Good

Note: some of these wines were samples.

A couple of Granges: Penfolds Grange 2008 and 1990 vintages

I was very fortunate to taste these two wines.  Supply was not limited either.  The first is the legendary 1990 Grange which US wine magazine Wine Spectator awarded wine of the year (in 1995), and I am told set Grange off on its current, as yet unceasing, northward price trajectory.  The second is the 2008 Grange which created a scene of its own by being awarded 100 points in US wine magazine The Wine Advocate.   Both wines were tasted blind.

The 1990 Grange is an unquestionably glorious wine.  A blend of 95% shiraz and 5% cabernet sauvignon, its fruit is sourced from the Kalimna vineyard (Barossa Valley), Clare Valley and Coonawarra.  Its aromatics are mature and remind of ripe black cherries and black fruit compote.  The palate has astoundingly long length with vanilla, black plum, crushed ants (yes), and sweet velvety black fruit overtones.  This wine is delicious and worthy of its benchmark status.

The 2008 Grange is a wine that I have encountered previously, albeit at an enormous trade like consumer tasting back in 2013 (see my notes here).  This time, I had my own glass and as much time as I liked to contemplate it.  Yet my notes are quite similar.  The 2008 Grange is a blend of 98% shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon, with fruit sourced from the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and Magill Estate.  The wine is a little monolithical at this point in its development, reminding of vanilla, licorice, pure fruited plum liqueur and currants.  The palate has long length and primary fruit driven plum characters and is supplemented by generous dollops of vanilla.  In style, it reminded me of a Greenock Creek Barossa shiraz.

Both wines are outstanding.

See www.penfolds.com for more.

Wendouree Shiraz Mataro 2008

I would conservatively suggest that this wine from benchmark producer Wendouree has another decade on it before I would approach it again.  A blend of shiraz and mataro (is mourvèdre only called mataro inside of South Australia?), the 2008 vintage has aromatics of plum, spices, deli meats, licorice and leather.  The palate is full bodied with great length and depth, with flavours of licorice, plums and baking spices.  An outstanding release.

Rating: Outstanding
Abv: 13.8%
Price: $
Source: sample
Vendors and website: none
Tasted: 2016