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Wine Reviews

Curly Flat Chardonnay 2017

Curly Flat produce a benchmark chardonnay style in the Macedon Ranges in Victoria. This wine opens to a lovely aroma of white nectarines. The acidity on the palate is towards high, but fine boned and attractive. Oak is well integrated and the length is long on the finish. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $46. Website: https://curlyflat.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: February 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Curly Flat Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2017

Credit: Curly Flat. Lyre trellising shown.

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.

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Wine Reviews

Wiliams Crossing by Curly Flat Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2016

Williams Crossing is Curly Flat’s entry level pinot noir offering.  From the 2016 vintage, it’s a lot more restrained than its (2015 vintage) sibling tasted next to it and reviewed here.  The latter is more obviously the star of the show.  Nonetheless, it presents with elegant rhubarb and spice characters that calls to mind a Bourgogne rouge in styling.  This wine will provide enjoyable current drinking that, in some ways, gives a quite insightful glimpse of this cool region.  Rating: Good. Abv: 14.1%. Price: $29. Source: Sample.

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Wine Reviews

Curly Flat Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2015

This is a very good pinot noir from Curly Flat in the Macedon Ranges north west of Melbourne.  In the glass, it is immediately appealing, with cherry, earth and rhubarb aromas.  The palate is balanced with cherry and herb undertones and long length on the finish.  The 100% whole bunch fermentation and new oak are not prominent and well judged in context.  This wine can be approached now, but should improve with a few years in the cellar.  Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.2%. Price: $52. Source: Sample.

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Wine Reviews

Mitchell Harris Sabre Vintage Sparkling 2013

This is a pretty serious sparkling wine from Mitchell Harris.  From the 2013 vintage, it is made “properly” (aka using the traditional method), is a blend of 75/25 chardonnay/pinot noir and spent 40 months on lees.  The fruit is from Macedon and the Pyrenees.  In the glass, the aroma is clean and reminds of lemons.  The palate is very dry in impression with a classic and fresh expression of lemon supplemented by coffee biscuit.  (Alc: 12%, Region: Macedon and Pyrenees, Victoria, Rating: Good to Very Good, Drink: now, Tasted: August, 2017, Source: Sample)

Read more:
mitchellharris.com.au

Other vintages reviewed:
NA

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Wine Reviews

3 excellent Victorian chardonnays: Mount Mary 2005, Gembrook Hill 2005 and Bindi Quartz 2005

This was an impressive showing from three Victorian cool climate chardonnays, all tasted blind and all from the 2005 vintage.  They will appeal to those who enjoy Burgundian styles and perhaps open some eyes to the reality that these wines would be comfortably comparable to their French counterparts.

Bindi Quartz Chardonnay 2005, Macedon
Aromas of honey and bread and a fully mature impression.  On the palate, this is a compelling wine with long length, fresh acidity, a linear character and a honeyed edge.  A compelling wine in its drinking prime.  (Region: Macedon, Victoria, Rating: Outstanding, Drink: now, Tasted: Mar, 2017)

Read more:
www.bindiwines.com.au

Other vintages reviewed:
Nil

Gembrook Hill Chardonnay 2005, Yarra Valley
Lighter in colour than the Bindi Quartz, this wine has Chablis like aromas of green apples, lees and a sour, stoney note.  The palate is also linear and framed by very racy acidity that verges on being a little hard.  Early picked or vintage?  Overall, this is a well made wine that will please.  (Abv: 13%, Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Rating: Good to Very Good, Drink: now, Tasted: Mar, 2017)

Read more:
www.gembrookhill.com.au

Other vintages reviewed:
Nil

Mount Mary Chardonnay 2005, Yarra Valley
A honeyed aroma.  The palate is linear, with stoney characters, racy acidity and towards long length.  A bit muted, but well made and in a nice place.  (Abv: 13.5%, Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Rating: Very Good, Drink: now, Tasted: Mar, 2017)

Read more:
www.mountmary.com.au

Other vintages reviewed:

Vintage Rating Review
2003
Good
2002
Good to Very Good
1999
Good
1996
Very Good


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Wine Reviews

Granite Hills TOR Syrah 2006

My impression was that the appearance en masse of the word “syrah” on Australian wine labels was a relatively recent development, but here’s one from nine years ago.  From the cold Macedon region, this shiraz (whoops, syrah) from Granite Hills has cooler climate aromatics of cedar, tomato stalk, clove and pepper.  Its medium bodied palate is framed by high acidity, and its flavours remind of plums and pepper.  Overall, a pleasant, cool climate syrah style.  Good

Abv: 14.5%, Price: $45, Vendors and website: http://www.granitehills.com.au, Tasted: 2015

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Wine Reviews

Granite Hills Riesling 2013

This riesling is from the Macedon Ranges, one of Australia’s colder wine regions.  James Halliday describes Macedon as “a windswept and at times bitterly cool region (even in summer)” in his 2015 text entitled Varietal Wines; the region is more beautiful than this description evokes, but equally the description is accurate.  So returning to the wine, it is no surprise to find a relatively austere riesling fashioned here.  The 2013 vintage of Granite Hills’ riesling has aromatics that remind of stones and minerals.  I don’t think I’m allowed to say mineral anymore, but minerally this wine is.  The palate has expressions of lemon and lime, and is bound together by high acidity.  Stern, but good.  Good.

Abv: 12.5%, Price: $25, Vendors and website: http://www.granitehills.com.au, Tasted: 2015

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Wine Reviews

Hanging Rock Cuvée XII Brut NV

This sparkling wine from Hanging Rock proved to be an outstanding bottle.  Disgorged in September 2009 after 6 years on lees, it is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay with fruit sourced from vintages from 2001 back to 1987 in the cool Macedon Ranges.  It has a very complex aroma, reminding of honey, yeast, biscuit and lemon.  The palate is equally complex, with fine and persistent bubbles, a delicate mousse and biscuit, yeast, brioche and lemon flavours to the fore, framed elegantly by high acidity.  It’s the sort of wine that puts Australian sparkling wine on the map.

Rating: Outstanding, Abv: 12%, Price: $40s, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.hangingrock.com.au/, Tasted: 2014

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Wine Reviews

Domaine Epis Chardonnay 2004

Domaine Epis is a small producer in the Macedon Ranges, and the 2004 vintage of Epis’ chardonnay was made by Stuart Anderson of Balgownie Estate fame. The Epis is a good wine and remarkably still presents quite youthfully.  A little cloudy in the glass, it has a pale intensity lemon colour.  Its aromatics are initially of sulphides, tinned apple, pear and herbs.  The sulphide aromatic took quite some time to resolve itself.  The palate is dry, the acidity high and the flavours remind of lemon, bread, pear and cedar.  The finish is towards long.  This is good to very good release from Domaine Epis due to its long length and the complexity of flavours evident.  I would have liked the sulphide aromatics to blow off a little sooner, but I am aware that some appear to have different sensitivities to such aromas, and it did resolve to a lovely wine.  Good to Very Good

Abv: 12.9%
Price: na
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.domaineepis.com.au
Tasted: 2013
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