Thirst of February


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Thirst of February

Rob Geddes MW

Winery  – Region  – Vintage  – Variety  – Score  – Price  – When to drink

Gewurtz is a ‘thing’ as they say now and an increasing range of winemakers are looking at the old(ish) vines with renewed efforts, following suit of a few leaders such as Toppers Mountain and Moorilla Estate.

Huntington Estate  Mudgee 2015 Gewurztraminer                              89  $22.00 2017


Rose petal without the overt powerful flowers so fashionable at the moment, aromas of savoury sausage meat.  The musky rose petal palate has balance and the fruit is fresh and round with appealing length. Serve with quiche and tarte l’onion. Medium full-bodied, bold flavours with complexity.

Centennial Vineyards  House Block 2015 Gewurztraminer      90  $25.00 2018


Smelling like a granita with lychee syrup, mint and mango.  The restraint follows on the palate with enough creamy weight to be varietal.  Freshness to the rose and lychee fruits shows the varietal path and a lithe clean fruit middle palate with a fresh finish. Light bodied delicate and fragrant.

I am including Pinot Gris because so many dinner parties are decorated by it.


Baillieu Vineyard  Mornington Peninsula 2015 Pinot Gris       92   $30.00 2017


Aromas are cool grown pears, lime leaf and gooseberry. In the mouth happy sipping, this wine has generous flavour a fresh cut pear fruits up front and the acids add engaging citrusy details making the wine lively and bright.

ArtWine  Clare Valley Prego 2015 Pinot Grigio                         90  $20.00 2016


Pear skins, honeysuckle floral confectionary aromas. The palate is on the money, not a flavoursome fruit bomb.  It is pinot gris, creamy texture, middle palate generous fruit, with fresh pear and honey flavours and a slight dry finish that suits food.

La Prova  Adelaide Hills 2015 Pinot Grigio                               92  $25.00 2016

Care and attention in the winemaking shows with gentle pear aromas, pear drop and straw aromas that sit well together. The palate is light bodied round but not fat and frumpy with a subtle dryness to the finish lingers fresh cut pears. Really grigio.

Taylors Estate Clare Valley 2015 Riesling                                  89  $17.00   DN

The thermo sensor on the back said I had it too warm – love the idea. Pineapple, passion fruit and lime aromas. The palate drives well with ripe fruit and rich flavours in the pineapple lime spectrum. Quite big and quite Clare. Good length at the price and with the temperature gauge to help the settings I see success on the horizon

Jim Barry Wines Lodge Hill 2015 Riesling                                91  $20.00 2020

The Barry’s are blazing another path for Clare Riesling with wild yeast ferment driving the style. It is more complex than most and there is touch of green herb personality. The aromas smell delicious stone fruit, rose floral, spice ginger, green herbs and really interesting with great winemaking. Great line on the palate with fruit flavour evenness and lovely racy acidity tucked into the subtle lemon edged lime and rose flavours on the finish.

Moorilla Estate Praxis Series Musqué 2015 Chardonnay          94  $28.00 2018


The best unoaked chardonnay of 2014/2015. Musqué (Clone 76) is a recognised chardonnay variant with a muscat aroma and very helpful in unwooded chardonnay. Very pale colour leads to a sweet fruit aroma, lychee, white nectarine and muscat aromas. This is a fresh high quality early drinking chardonnay style with well-balanced subtle nectarine and elderflower flavour textural wine with lovely length. Drink well chilled and as young as possible.


Moorilla Estate Muse St Mathias Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay 96  $45.00 2026


Very well put together complexity with many well-synchronised working pieces. The white nectarine fruits have subtle cashew riffs of white chocolate oak provide the backdrop. The palate is complex classy precise and generous it flows silky, gentle oak middle palate full of long white and pith flavours, great balance and lingering complexity thanks to the fine acidity drawing the flavours out.


Yelland & Papps Barossa Valley Devote 2015 Roussanne                 92  $35.00 2017


Yellow nectarine and white peach fruits, wild ferment, spice and subtle oak appealing complexity of aromas. Drinks well long and round medium bodied with a long core of yellow fruits turns spicy then oak builds the layers on the finish. Will be better late 2016. This wine was bottled unfiltered and has tannin texture that allows it to served like a red.


Rose is another surprise growth area. After 40 years of the wine industry trying many and varied styles (remember the fluoro pink wines from SA) the pale dry category is now getting appeal. One major buyer commented. “It seems in late 2015 that all the dads who always drank big reds in summer have stopped punishing themselves and found the textural lightness of rose a better way to go. I can’t keep up with demand.” The Gamay from the De Bortoli gang is pure Steve Webber drinkability


Angove Family Winemakers Rose Nine Vines 2015 Grenache 92  $16.00 2016


Red fruits, crushed dried herbs, and tarragon like aromas herald the increasingly complex on going evolution of this wine. Drinks like a charm, fleshy fruits, and silky flavours of red fruits, raspberry, and red currant middle palate. Appealing texture gives weight to the fresh ripe fruits and the flicker of tannin gives a firm finish to the lingering red fruits.

La Prova  Adelaide Hills 2015 Aglianico Rosato                         89  $25.00 2016


Fresh and fruity enough for the Sunday BBQ set showing blood orange and watermelon aromas with fleshy citrus orange, pomegranate and raspberry fruits in the deep middle palate, don’t serve too cold.

De Bortoli Vinoque Yarra Valley Roundstone Vineyard 2015 Gamay Noir         

                                                                                                   92  $25.00 2016


Looking good with the varietal juicy raspberries, cherry and stalks “frightening drinkable” as the label says is a fact here with the flavours running berry fruits, soft tannins, light medium bodied, subtle stemmy and easy going amiable flavours and everything an early drinking red should be.


Mr Mick Novo Clare Valley 2015 Sangiovese                                      90 $17.00 2016

Red cherry ripe raspberry vitality wine gums and jubes. Summer drinking style with main course tannins ripe fruits, juicy fleshy middle palate, leafy edge with soft tannins. Half way between a rose and Beaujolais é

Medium and fuller bodied reds.

Alkoomi Wines Frankland River 2013 Cabernet Merlot            90 $15.00 2016

Fresh black currant fruits with a subtle leafy edge to the aromas. Displays middle palate fruits with a ripe black currant edge, drinks well with a slight grainy fruit integrity to the regional flavours. It’s a value buy.

Pinot Noir

De Bortoli GS Yarra Valley 2014 Pinot Noir                              96  $17.00 2017

Dan Murphy Exclusive

Got to be the best $17.00 pinot, seriously good and embarrassing for some $40.00 wines. Rich enough to be a draw card for the variety. Aromas are an exceptional cascade with rose petal, berry and beetroot. The palate is awash in mid weight silky tannins, riding a wave of fruit and structure with the earthy elements tip toe-ing around the mouth. The pretty and light red fruits lift off the back palate

Eldridge Estate Mornington Peninsula Single MV 6 Clone 2014 Pinot Noir

                                                                                                        94 $68.00 2022


MV6 is among the latest ripening clones in the Mornington so some years are initially shy in aromas and flavour.  Initially old oak mint and dried herbs citrus, with very youthful tight red fruits. The palate is refined almost lean, well balanced fine acids add length to the frame of the palate and the spices are from raspberry red cherry into clove. The clonal blend is more tannic and the MV6 more spare.

Ashton Hills Vineyard Adelaide Hills Reserve 2012 Pinot Noir     95 $66.00 2026

This is a delicious wine with red cherry and raspberry aromas. In the mouth, generous depth with impressive sweet fruit up front even structured length, silky tannins, middle palate depth of red fruit flavours and firm acid finish gives a controlled juicy wine with excellent varietal definition.

 Bindi Wines Macedon Ranges Block 5 2014 Pinot Noir            94  $110.00 2022

This is a youthful complex wine. Red cherry, mineral with spices and subliminal toasty new oak notes. The palate is balanced, long and acidic in youth, and hints at its potential. The muscularity is in the length of flavours, the weave of fine acid structure and tannin. Time will unpack the lean line into a velvet glove.




Paracombe  Adelaide Hills 2011 Shiraz Viognier                        95  $23.00 2018

A lovely finesse to this wine, there are many fruit spice and earthy aromas yet you are left intrigued and drawn into the palate. Raspberry into black berry with white pepper smoked meats and charcuterie. In the mouth a black berry plum liquorice length smoothly flowing tannins and spicy complexity.

At a different price and style these two are great quaffs for mid week pleasure. My brother calls them “Indian wines” as in get them into you. Clean and fresh but also rich you know you are drinking them.

Morambro Creek Wines  Mt Monster Limestone Coast 2014 Shiraz 

                                                                                                       87  $16.95 2017

It’s a real monster, fruit like a black forest cake in glass black cherry, black berry and a dark chocolate lick. The palates very similar to Jip Jip rocks with the same dark fruits less silky tannins, same dark chocolaty flavour and dark berry with vanilla tannins dry and firm.


Morambro Creek Wines  Jip Jip Rocks Limestone Coast 2014 Shiraz

                                                                                                       87 $20.95 2018

Stewed, black cherry ripeness, fruit sweet ripe black berry and cherry fill the middle mouth and lingers. A zinger, very impressive first mouthful, ripe fleshy stewed dark fruits all up front flavour, generous, juicy and simple.


A trio of older vine wines from Clare were stars

Paulett Wines  Polish Hill River 2012 Andreas Shiraz                   95  $50.00 2035


The fruit has excellent old vine attributes with a savoury tapenade decorating the berry fruit complexity. Add in aromas of violets and blueberry and a subtle oak level. In the mouth the palate has great line, the tannins and fruit line up along the tongue with a linear regularity, straight from front to back. Will age for years as the elements are all there and time will soften the tannins.

Tim Adams The Aberfeldy Clare Valley 2012 Shiraz                95  $65.00 2039


A very elegant wine. The polished seamless aromas show mocha, dark berry fruits, blackberry, and dark chocolate with polish and poise. The palate has the requisite fruit sweetness, dark fruit flavours and oak complexity, balance and fine tannins. The style is earnest and understated, and the polished texture less dependent on ripe swagger than many in the neighbourhood. The innate understanding shows in the refinement across aromas, palate, finish and age-ability. Better after 2018.


Jim Barry Wines  The Armagh Clare Valley 2013 Shiraz           93  $240.00 2034


Solid aromas, the fruit quality is immediate complex with depth black berry, raspberry plum, cooked plum, charcuterie, soya sauce adds complexity. The soft tannins are of the highest quality with bridging with seamless length from front to back palate and the youthful flavours are tucked away in the fruit and oak tannin length. The palate is concentrated without being gross or heavy, the finish keeps its sense of humour and leaves the mouth clean with gentle oak lingering. Keep a decade and drink for another.


Cabernet gets more attention next month…

Howard Park Leston 2014 Cabernet                                           94 $46.00 2024

Cabernet ripe black currant and briar with a touch of the menthol mint spectrum aromas adding a freshening edge to the rich complexity. The palate has cassis cabernet and briar minerality adding to the drive giving a good length of medium bodied elegant fruit and silky fine tannins that will coat the mouth with oak, vanilla, and caramel to the finish.

And after a visit by Adam Castagna I was reminded of the quality across the board of this family enterprise

Castagna Beechworth   La Chiave 2013 Sangiovese                  94  $75.00 2025


Appealing complexity, violets, dark cherry fruits, briar, liquorice, minerality and sausage meat savoury. The palate has very good line and length with dark fruits and fine tannins, minerality, sausage savoury completes the fine tannin food friendly finish.


Thirst of February by Rob Geddes MW

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