Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Merlot 2016

There are few Australian merlots I have tasted of this calibre at this price. From Tinhorn Creek in the Okanagan Valley in Canada, this wine opens to aromas of red fruits and evident oak. The palate is savoury, with notes of spice, dried herbs and red fruits. Ready to drink now or over the next […]

Aylesbury Estate Waterfall Gully Merlot Ferguson Valley 2018

This merlot is from the Ferguson Valley, north of the Margaret River. It is a ripe and balanced expression of merlot, with aromatics of clove, smoke and eucalytpus. The palate reminds of red fruits and has a fresh tomato character. Ready to drink now, this is pleasant drinking. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.8%. Price: $23. Website: […]

Wills Domain Cuvée d’Elevage Rosé NV

This artistically labelled wine from Wills Domain in the Margaret River is a sparkling rosé made from 100% merlot. Pale in colour, it has aromas of red fruit and toast. The palate is dry and pleasant and has a delicate mousse. A well made wine that is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. […]

d’Arenberg The Galvo Garage McLaren Vale Adelaide Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Merlot 2014

A slight mouthful of name, places and grape varieties, this wine is deep in colour with an inky nose reminding of tar and liquorice. The palate is expressive of dark plums, tannins and leaf and has a bitter finish. This wine is approachable now with decanting, but will benefit from a further 2-3 years cellaring. […]

Institute of Masters of Wine Bordeaux 2014 in bottle Sydney tasting

Last weekend, the annual Institute of Masters of Wine Bordeaux tasting in bottle of the 2014 vintage took place in Sydney. I expected this to be a much more popular event than the previous year’s tasting of the 2013s (you can read my reviews of that tasting here) which was a poor vintage. But in […]

Yarra Valley 2019

With the 2019 harvest underway, I spent the morning in the winery at Helen & Joey in the Yarra Valley.  Here are a few vineyard photographs and observations. Photo above: East-west planted pinot noir, looking to the west. Grafted merlot vines planted on north-south facing rows, and nearing harvest. Phylloxera continues its march through the […]

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. […]

Mission Hill Family Estate Compendium Okanagan Valley 2014

Mission Hill have fashioned an outstanding cabernet blend here from the Okanagan Valley in Canada.  It’s a classic Bordeaux style blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 37% merlot, 16% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.  Perhaps more than any other wine I have tried to date, this wine showcases the region’s considerable potential and puts Canadian […]

OKV Okanagan Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2016

This is a sound wine at less than $10 from the Okanagan Valley.  A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, it has a simple fruity aroma of red berries.  The palate is dry, with some soft tannins, gentle fruit and the finish in balance.  A safe choice at this price.  Rating: Acceptable. Abv: […]

Villa Antinori Rosso Toscana 2015

Villa Antinori’s Toscano Rosso continues to be a great value wine.  The 2015 vintage is quite the blend, featuring sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, syrah and merlot.  Yet it retains a sense of place, and is identifiably Italian in style in the glass.  The 2015 vintage is deeply coloured in the glass, with aromas of […]