Yalumba ‘The Y Series Viognier’ 2016

yalumba-Y-viognierThis is always a cleverly crafted dry, white wine and you get a whole lot of value in your glass. Yalumba have established themselves as the Australian champions of this grape and this is just one version amongst a storybook full of viognier expressions from the Hill-Smith family. This expertise is apparent at all levels from this wine to The Virgilius.

The ‘Y Series’ Viognier has all the classic hallmarks of the variety along with some wild ferment characters. Ripe apricot tart with some spiced pastry crust is served up with some grapefruit, ginger and white flowers aromas. It has a richly perfumed nose, attractive and evocative. Read More

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Getting to know Gruner Veltliner! An Austrian and a few Aussies …..

Even five years ago, Australian Gruner Veltliner was unheard of outside the circle of the wine trade. Yes, that is correct, Australian …. not a typo at all.


paracombe-GVWhile there is the rare kangaroo on the loose in Austrian paddocks, the same can no longer be said about Gruner Veltliner, a grape traditionally at home in Austrian vineyards, being grown on Australian soil. It can be said that since posting ‘A Tale of 3 Gruners…..’ back in 2015, Australian wine drinkers are getting spoiled for choice.

Canberran pioneers of this grape, the Carpenter family released the first vintage of their Lark Hill Winery Gruner Veltliner in 2009 when their vines were just 7 years old. Each new vintage that I have tasted of this biodynamic wine, I am impressed by its polished nature and the faceted floral fruit that sits happily amongst the more savoury elements. The current vintage is 2017 (AUD49).

Hahndorf Hill Winery from Adelaide Hills released the first vintage of GRU in 2010. Recently, lovers of this wine will have noticed a new addition to the Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner story. Fermented in stainless steel, Hahndorf Hill Winery White Mischief (AUD24) is all about pure fruit expression; zesty citrus and stonefruit. A fruity, fleshy dry wine that quickly makes friends. Read More

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Oliver’s Taranga Fiano 2015

olivers taranga fianoCorrina Wright is not only well respected and loved for her contribution to the Australian Wine Industry but also for her role in keeping the innovative spirit alive at Oliver’s Taranga. She does all this whilst paying homage to the rich McLaren Vale history of the family’s wine heritage.

Sitting amongst the more traditional McLaren Vale fare of Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet, you see her expert hand in the development of the winery’s Italian varietal wines such as this Fiano joined by vineyard companions, Vermentino and Sagrantino. Oliver’s Taranga also offer a couple of stylish Spaniards too with an elegant Tempranillo and more recently, they released a Mencia rose having planted the first Mencia vines in Australia. Read More

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Billy Button The Mysterious Malvasia 2015

billybuttonmalvasiaBilly Buttons happen to be among some of my favourite yellow flowers so I was immediately intrigued when I saw this label and this feeling of anticipation was only increased when I saw the grape variety. Malvasia Istriana is still relatively rare as Australian white wine, being a common grape variety in Meditteranean countries, particularly Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. According to the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, 2016 just four wine producers have owned up to using the variety in a wine. It is a new addition to Jo Marsh’s Billy Button label and I think it has to be a keeper.

The redolent stonefruit, melon and floral fruit hangs along a fine citrus backbone and pulls at the senses. That ripe fruit adds weight in the mouth and leaves you in no doubt about this wine’s fragrant personality. A spicy cream flows from the mid palate and finishes off with long crisp honeysuckle and ginger freshness. A wine to enjoy now, not just on a warm afternoon, but any season, any time.

Date:  29/02/2016   Price:  $    Value: $$   Drink: Now – 2 years

Note: Pronounce this as Mahl- vah-ZEE-a


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For the SB lovers!



Shaw Vineyard Estate 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($22) – This qualifies as a dry white blend simply made to enjoy. With its long length, it is certain to leave a soft, juicy lasting impression of sweetly ripe fruit that indicates an all-rounder that does not require food to shine. While bone dry, the spicy floral overtones sweetly perfume the lemon/orange citrus and tropical fruit. The whole zesty package is well judged and even tempered. Read More

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