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Wine Reviews

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Parallèle 45 Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018

This wine is a blend of grenache blanc, viognier, marsanne and bourboulenc. So a couple of less frequently seen grape varieties in an Australian context (grenache blanc and bourboulenc). The distinctive feature of this wine is its very full bodied, viscous palate. The viognier seemingly tries to break out of the wine and go it…Continue readingPaul Jaboulet Ainé Parallèle 45 Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018

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Wine Reviews

Rusty Mutt Viognier 2019

Rusty Mutt Viognier 2019 Wine ReviewContinue readingRusty Mutt Viognier 2019

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Wine Reviews

Arundel Sunbury Viognier 2014

I quite like southern Rhône white styles. Viognier is a particular grape variety, typically full bodied and early drinking. This viognier from Arundel Farm Estate in the Sunbury region west of Melbourne has aromas of pear and ginger and presents correctly. The palate is full bodied, soft and ready to drink. A good value and…Continue readingArundel Sunbury Viognier 2014

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Wine Reviews

d’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier McLaren Vale 2013

They’ve nailed this one.  A d’Arenberg staple, this is a potentially outstanding release of The Laughing Magpie shiraz viognier and may well be the best wine yet I have tasted under this label.  A deeply coloured shiraz in the glass, it has attractive and brooding aromas of licorice, black fruits, cedar and leather.  The palate…Continue readingd’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier McLaren Vale 2013

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Wine Reviews

Yalumba Y Series Whites 2017

I recently tasted through Yalumba’s new 2017 vintage of “Y Series” whites. All the wines are $15 and all five wines from different single varieties. As a group, these wines evidence the new modern Australian style – lower alcohol, more medium than full bodied and no discernible oak influence. The sauvignon blanc for example weighs…Continue readingYalumba Y Series Whites 2017

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Wine Reviews

Some good new release McLaren Vale grenache from d’Arenberg

Here are six new release wines from d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale that are between $15 and $29.  All of the wines were tasted blind, and the two grenache based wines stood out for their quality.  This tasting confirmed my view that the best grenache departs from the primary fruit/jube/high alcohol renditions of this grape variety,…Continue readingSome good new release McLaren Vale grenache from d’Arenberg

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Wine Reviews

Pinot noir and viognier grapes pre véraison

Pre-veraison it’s fairly hard to tell even very different grape varieties apart. Here are a couple of photos from the Yarra Valley of pinot noir and viognier grapes taken in December 2017. Which is which is not particularly obvious.Continue readingPinot noir and viognier grapes pre véraison

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The Rutherglen renaissance

Rutherglen vines in the morning mist. Rutherglen as a tourist destination provides a vision of a rural idyll surrounded by Victorian buildings, vineyards, sheep and intertwined family history.  To borrow a concept from Bernard Salt, at around 300 kilometres from Melbourne and further still from Sydney, it is comfortably out of the orbit of the…Continue readingThe Rutherglen renaissance

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Wine Reviews

d’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2012

d’Arenberg’s Laughing Magpie shiraz viognier from the 2012 vintage is a good release.  This year it’s 93% shiraz and 7% viognier (down from 10% in 2011).   Its aromatics are brooding; all cassis and baked fruits.  Its palate is full bodied, balanced and even in impression.  Will please.  (Alc: 14.4%, Region: McLaren Vale, Rating: Good,…Continue readingd’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2012

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Wine Reviews

d’Arenberg dessert wine 4 ways

d’Arenberg produce four different dessert wines and it was very interesting to taste them together.  Well, not literally together of course, but sequentially.  They are each $20 and from the 2015 vintage, and made respectively from riesling, chardonnay/semillon/viognier, semillon/sauvignon blanc and viognier/arneis.  As appears customary for d’Arenberg, the naming pushes boundaries and here I will…Continue readingd’Arenberg dessert wine 4 ways

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Wine Reviews

A few Australian white Rhône style wines

I have grown quite partial to white Rhône blends, and happily, a few local versions have arrived on the doorstep over the past week or so providing quite impressive quality/value propositions.  The grape varieties involved are marsanne, roussanne and viognier in varying styles and proportions, with each satisfying in their own way. But first a…Continue readingA few Australian white Rhône style wines