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Wine Reviews

Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard 2016

I rather sensed that this producer and vineyard were headed towards producing a fine wine. This wine has seen considerable attention to detail and is outstanding. A blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 16% shiraz and 16% cabernet franc, it is from the Crayères vineyard in the Wrattonbully region on the South Australian/Victorian border. In terms of the winemaking, it has been aged in mostly new and old oak for 11 months (84% new) and then old oak for a further 17 months. In the glass, the wine has an aroma of dark plums, licorice and blackcurrant. But it is the palate which shines. Its singular feature is its prodigious length on the finish, perhaps more than a minute. Supple medium but very fine tannins and a graceful balance complete the picture. This is an outstanding wine that can be approached now and over the next decade. Rating: Outstanding. Website: https://terreaterre.com.au; wine-searcher.com. Source: Sample. Reviewed: September 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Yaldara Reserve Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2016

This is a first class expression of a GSM blend from Chateau Yaldara and the Barossa Valley.  It has aromas of strawberry, chocolate, pepper and new barrels.  The palate is full bodied and rich with medium tannins and long length on the finish.  Approachable now and drink over the next decade.  Rating: Very Good to Outstanding,  Website: https://www.1847wines.comwine-searcher.com .  Source: sample. Reviewed: August 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Delas Saint-Esprit Côtes du Rhône 2017

From Delas, this is a sound Côtes du Rhône rouge from the 2017 vintage.  It has aromas of berry and spices.  The palate is medium bodied with moderate acidity and chalky tannins.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good.  Website:  http://www.delas.com/en/; wine-searcher.com.  Reviewed: June 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Best’s Great Western Bin No 1 Shiraz 2005

From the 2005 vintage, Best’s have produced an outstanding shiraz here from the Great Western region in western Victoria. Bests is certainly out of the way, but is worth the visit alone to see its old mixed vineyard with unknown vines. Cellared since purchased at the winery, the wine opens to tertiary aromas of rosemary, pepper, bouquet garnis and earth. The palate is medium bodied and has flavours of spice and plums. It finishes with very long length. This wine is clearly an ageworthy style and is a pinnacle of Australian cooler climate syrah, before that was a thing. Rating: Outstanding. Read more: https://www.bestswines.com; wine-searcher. Reviewed: August 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Chateau Yaldara Reserve Shiraz 2016

This is a very good and classically styled Barossa shiraz from Chateau Yaldara in the Barossa Valley. From the 2016 vintage, the wine has a deep colour, with aromas of mulberry, cedar and that unique Barossa earthy/spicy character. The palate is full bodied, with medium tannins that are soft and ripe in texture and medium to long length on the finish. This excellent wine can be approached now and over the next decade and probably beyond. Rating: Very Good. Read more: https://www.1847wines.com; wine-searcher. Source: Sample. Reviewed: August 2020.

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Wine Reviews

shadowfax One Eye Heathcote Shiraz 2010

This is first rate Heathcote shiraz from shadowfax and the 2010 vintage. In the glass, the wine has an aroma of licorice, spice and plums. On the palate, its key features are its long length, medium tannins (more than usual for Heathcote) and full body. This wine has been delicious over all of its life, and remains so now at a decade of age. Rating: Very Good. Website: https://www.shadowfax.com.au/. Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Wild Duck Creek Estate Springflat Shiraz 2018

Wild Duck Creek produces very ripe styles of Heathcote shiraz. Weighing in at 15.9abv, the 2018 vintage of the Springflat shiraz opens to aroma of ripe plums and spices. It is pure in expression and this is a wine that unequivocally celebrates fruit. The palate is full bodied with no edges and has low to medium soft tannins and long length on the finish. Drink now and over the next 5 to 7 years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Website: https://wildduckcreekestate.com.au. Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2007

The Margaret River, best known for its cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and semillon-sauvignon blanc blends, probably in that order, also produces a ripe shiraz style that ages well. This wine, a 2007 shiraz from Leeuwin Estate (best known for its chardonnay) has an aroma of plums. The palate is rich, full bodied and spicey, with ripe and sweet fruit. This delicious wine is in its drinking prime. Rating: Very Good. Website: https://leeuwinestate.com.au. Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Wendouree Shiraz Malbec 2015

Wendouree in the Clare Valley is legendary in local wine circles for their quixotic mailing list practices and very high quality wines. I sometimes wonder in which order. I opened a bottle of their shiraz malbec here from the 2015 vintage. It immediately identifies as a high quality wine. Its aromas remind of warm spices, red fruits, pepper and earth. “Crushed ants” came to mind, but I think spicey and peppery is better understood. The palate is medium bodied with a pleasing and layered complexity, medium to firm but finely textured tannins and sublimely handled oak. Chocolate characters occupy the background and the finish is towards long. This is an excellent Wendouree that seeks to express itself in multiple dimensions. It is not yet in its drinking window, and will reward medium to long term cellaring for a decade or more. Rating: Very Good. Website: None. Tasted: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Rockford Rod & Spur Shiraz Cabernet 2017

The 2017 release of Rockford’s Rod & Spur shiraz cabernet has aromas of licorice and cassis. The palate is medium bodied and has fine, almost unnoticeable tannins. This is a very balanced wine and is approachable now. In fact, its principal attribute is balance – this is not a blockbuster Barossa style, and intentionally so. It is quite young, so may develop further. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.9. Price: $30s. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au/. Reviewed: June 2020.