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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This reserve chardonnay from Robert Stein in Mudgee is white gold in colour and opens to aromas of fine cedar wood, pineapple and paw paw. The palate is full bodied, with great length and good acidity. The 50% new French oak is eaten by the fruit, and the partial malolactic fermentation has contributed to the retention of acidity. Ready to drink now, this is a good example of the region’s style. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $40. Source: Sample.
A second cabernet sauvignon wine from Mudgee and Huntington Estate. Both are pretty good actually. This wine is the special reserve and has an aroma that reminds of oak and spice, coupled with sweet and ripe fruit. The palate is dry, the acidity high, the tannins quite high and the length on the finish is mid range. Overall, this a well made wine that can be approached now, but will benefit from further cellaring. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14.0%. Price: $36. Source: Sample.
This is a varietal cabernet sauvignon from Huntington Estate. It has a dusty, leafy aroma that is cabernet from central casting. The palate is dry, the tannins firm and grippy, the acidity fresh and there are plenty of dark and red fruits. The length is between medium and long. Overall, this is a well made example of cabernet sauvignon that can be approached now. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14.3%. Price: $26. Source: Sample.
This wine is a barrel fermented chardonnay from Huntington Estate with the fruit sourced from the warmer climate Mudgee region. In the glass, the aromas are fairly neutral – nectarine, perhaps some pineapple and green melon. The palate is decidedly oaky in its youth, with plenty of vanilla and lactic character, and a more or less loose knit structure. Ready to drink now or over the next few years, this provides a pleasant and approachable chardonnay. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $24. Source: Sample.