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Wine Reviews

Gartelmann Cabernet Merlot 2016

From Mudgee in New South Wales and a vineyard at 630 metres, this is a very good cabernet sauvignon merlot blend from Gartelmann.  It has attractive leather, leaf and licorice aromas, and a brooding expression.  The palate is full bodied with soft tannins, piquant acidity, and a leaf/eucalyuptus character on its long finish.  The alcohol is 14.7 and does not overwhelm.  This wine is ready to drink now, but can be approached over the next 8 years or more.  Rating: Very Good.  Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au; wine-searcher.com.  Source: Sample.  Reviewed: August 2020.

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Gartelmann Petit Verdot 2016

Petit verdot suits a warmer climate and does not normally appear as a single variety in its native Bordeaux. In the glass, the aroma of this petit verdot from Mudgee is immediately rich, reminding of leather and raisins. The palate is sweet fruited with red berry flavours, medium tannins and good length. This very intense wine can be approached now and will stand up to very heavy foods. Rating: Good. Abv: 15.2. Price: $35. Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: April 2020.

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Robert Stein Reserve Shiraz 2014

This is a very good example of aged Mudgee shiraz. It has attractive black fruit and oak vanilla characters. The palate is black fruited, with spice and quite good length on the finish. This wine is ready to drink, but will have a decade long drinking window. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $50. Website: https://www.robertstein.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: February 2020.

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Huntington Estate Mudgee Shiraz 2014

This is a typically robust rendition of Mudgee shiraz. It opens to aromas of oak, vanilla and ripe black fruits. The palate is full bodied with soft and approachable black fruits that build tannin with time in the glass. Ready to drink now or it can be cellared for at least 5 years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.8%. Source: Sample. Reviewed: December 2019.

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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.

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Tim Stevens Signature Mudgee Shiraz 2016

While not cheap at $100, this is Mudgee shiraz at its most refined.  There are gentle aromatics of spice, plums, menthol and some earthiness.  In terms of winemaking, after a 3 day cold soak, the wine spent only 5 days fermenting on skins before being pressed off to continue fermentation in barrels (60% new).  The palate is full bodied, the tannins supple as might be expected, the finish is long and the balance elegant and poised.  Ready to drink now, this wine can be approached over a decade or more.  Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.8%. Price: $100. Website: huntingtonestate.com.au. Source: Sample.

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Wine Reviews

Gartelmann Jesse Mudgee Shiraz 2014

The 2014 vintage of Gartelmann’s Mudgee shiraz has rich aromas of plums, oak, vanilla and cedar.  The palate is full bodied, with oak and spiced plums on the finish.  Approachable if somewhat oaky at this point, this wine may improve with at least five years in the cellar.  Rating: Good. Abv: 14.8%. Price: $30. Website: www.gartelmann.com.au. Source: Sample.  Tasted: November 2018.

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Huntington Estate Basket Dried Shiraz Mudgee 2015

I wasn’t able to track down the winemaking of this wine, but an Amarone style is presumed with a contribution from dried shiraz grapes.  The results are very good indeed, and I think this wine from Huntington Estate has considerable appeal.  In terms of aroma, it is quite port and raisin like.  The palate is dry with a very attractive texture of raisins and plums that is coupled with long length.  This is an outstanding wine, with oak seamlessly integrated and just a touch of alcohol heat on the finish that is consistent with this style of wine.  Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 15%. Price: $75. Source: Sample.

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Huntington Estate Mudgee Shiraz 2013

This is a classically Australian expression of warm climate shiraz.  The wine is deeply coloured, with rich aromas of chocolate, dark plum and soy.  The palate is fruity with cedar, mid weight tannins, plenty of stuffing and quite long length on the finish.  This a style that has broad appeal and would be terrifically easy to put on the table.  Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $26. Source: Sample.

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Robert Stein Semillon Riesling Gewürtztraminer Mudgee 2017

This is a somewhat unusual white blend that finds semillon, riesling and gewürtztraminer together.  In the glass, it’s a pale yellow in colour, and has aromas that remind of grass and apple skins, perhaps explicable by the 7 day ferment on skins.  The palate is fresh and the acidity apple like.  Some CO2 and a light body complete the picture, whilst the abv is only 10%.  Suitable for current drinking.  Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 10%. Price: $18. Source: Sample.