Thirst of May


Winery  Wine Vintage Varietal  Wine Region Sub Region Rating Drink By  RRP  Alcohol

Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard               The Ridge            2014       Semillon              Hunter Valley  

94   2020       $45.00 12.2       

Held back two years prior to release, and not in the very lean style you can see the development into lemon with the developed bottle aged lanolin and waxy aromas. The palate is poised walks between teens and twenties the acidity is youthful racy and vibrant with the ripe fruits wears fashionable clothes showing orange peel, green apricot, waxy lemon flavours. Drinking this suits poetry reading.

Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard               Winemakers Selection 2015       Semillon   Hunter Valley

91   2018       $28.00 11          

The aromas here are a text book array of lemony fruits in all the forms juice with zest and preserved. The palate is a sprinter, light, lithe, racy, well judged regional acidity very pure lemony fruits with lemon wine gums almost confectionary to close. Seafood wine drink young to capture the racy brightness and lovely balance.

Barossa Valley Estate                             2014       Grenache            Shiraz    Mourvedre         Barossa Valley 

96   2019       $26.99 14          

This wine strikes a great balance, ripe while avoiding over-ripe. Aromas are liquorice, raspberry, thyme and savoury smoked meats, iodine seaside scents add a really classy complexity, resulting in reigned in ripeness rather than jam. Nicely chosen grenache, looking very fresh and modern. It is delicious in the mouth and the ripe grenache tannins are silky, sweetly round and generously mouth coating with  fleshy middle palate flavour and equally proportioned tannin weight. A truly complex wine but really a definitive grenache despite the other varieties. The finish is cleaned by fine tannins with the grenache raspberry adding a final lingering perfume.

Bremerton Wines  Racy Rosé             2015       Grenache            Merlot  Tempranillo Langhorne Creek  

89   2016       $17.00 12.5       

Strawberry jam and watermelon fruits into a generous palate with good length and fullness of rich red fruit with lingering tamarillo and watermelon. A great wine, well structured, great energy and flavoured dry to close.

Castagna      Growers Selection          2014       Chardonnay       Beechworth                     

91   2019       $45.00 13          

Balance, intrigue and modernity. The aromas are savoury edged; wholemeal biscuits from oak, mineral from cloudy juice ferment decorate the pear varietal fruits. The palate has a creamy attack underlying firm acid drive, creamy up front and spare framed firm, long structured pear flavour.

Castagna      Genesis               2013       Syrah     Viognier                              Beechworth                      

95   2033       $75.00 13.5       

Quality shiraz with graphite floral, dark berry, dark chocolate panaforte and white pepper glossed by a smidgeon of viognier. The palate is ripe, fleshy fruit, silky and long fine tannins that glide smoothly with excellent length of blue and dark berry and fine white pepper savoury to finish. Very complete, complex, fruit driven and savoury.

Castle Rock Estate   Skywalk               2015       Riesling                                Great Southern               

90   2020       $20.00 12.5       

The delights of a young riesling here, in the varietal groove with freshness poised selection of florals, varietal spice with the vitality of a bouquet of roses and solid flavours of lemon and lime fruit salad served in a room full of freshly picked white roses. Food wine not cocktails.

Centennial Vineyards            Reserve Single Vineyard              2014       Shiraz                    Orange

95   2019       $30.00 14.6       

A bay leaf dark chocolate spice with floral aromas. The palate is medium bodied, red fruited with raspberry and red cherry. Good length, fabulous tannins, freshness and distinctive flavours. A youthful finish.

Chain of Ponds         The Ledge           2013       Shiraz                    Adelaide Hills                  

91   2020       $38.00 13.5       

The essential shiraz ripe berry fruits here in dark cherry, morello form and dark chocolate caramel toffee oak. The soft tannins and plump morello dark cherry fruits are finely structured floating across the tongue with fruit freshness tannin finish and a distinctive savoury smoked meats spice finish.

Cherubino Wines    Nitty Gritty         2015       Pinot Grigio Western Australia Pemberton        

90   2016       $21.00 13

Personality with pleasurable drinking and style. Pear and apple, good mouth feel, touch of funky middle palate weight, fresh and light lingering hot cross bun, cinnamon and burnt sugar spice. Freshness is a feature without coarseness.

Cockfighter’s Ghost          Reserve               2015       Semillon              Hunter Valley  

90   2021       $38.00 10.5       

In traditional style with lemon into sunlight soap in hot water, waxy fragrance. The palate is full and ripe for the style with good weight, appealing middle palate fruit and acid tension with complexity from tip to back carried by a precise acid is with white fruits, into preserved lemon lingering lemon zest. Drinks well on release and avoids the “challenging” acidity of some youngsters from this part of the world.

Coldstream Hills      Reserve               2015       Chardonnay                              Yarra Valley

95   2025       $59.99 13          

The colour is pure with the pear and apple fruit aroma showing restrained and classic funky notes. Minerality in the precision of the aroma showing beautiful barrel ferment aromas.  Delicious refined palate with varietal pear and apple flavours cloaked in complexity and running linear pulled to together by a slight phenolic edge. The acid shepherds the middle palate defining the structure refining the complex white fruits and barrel ferment to define the finish.

Curlewis Winery                      2013       Pinot Noir                                         Geelong             

92   2022       $45.00 13          

‘Dried herbs, meaty and red berry fruits. In the mouth, layered red fruits, fine tannins and good lines of complexity with the fruit and tannins weaving together to build a tense chewy finish.

De Bortoli   Villages                                2015       Pinot Noir                                                           Yarra Valley      

91   2017       $22.00 13          

Very Yarra red cherry in personality, nicely judged balance, even intensity of flavour and structure from subtle stemmy notes of spiced oak and well centred red fruit flavours. Very complete in the middle palate and very good value for the price.

De Bortoli   G.S         2015       Pinot Noir                                                           Yarra Valley                      

87   2017       $16.99 13.5       

Appealing aromas showing Yarra red cherry raspberry fruits with gentle spices and a flicker of smoked meats. In the mouth it is ripe red cherry, medium bodied, a touch minty and astringent. The medium length tannic flavours finish firm. Needs food, offering decent value.

Devil’s Lair                  2013       Cabernet Sauvignon       Western Australia           Margaret River

93   2025       $49.99 14          

There is a fresh sprig of mint that sits well with the cedar, cassis and dark chocolate character of this wine. The muscular tannins hit mid palate and provide structure and finesse. Drink it or keep it – it has the ability for both.

Evans and Tate          Redbrook            2013       Chardonnay                                                       Margaret River

94   2017       $49.00 13.5       

Complex and subtle funky flavours with wine maker skilled use of techniques with cashew, lees and wild ferment. The palate cranks up the Metricup road wine style and offers a creamy, rich, focused and harmonious palate, with the lees adding complexity. The overall effect is long, light footed and lithe with a clean, structured finish.

Ferngrove   King       2013       Malbec       Great Southern                Frankland River               

82   2016       $32.00 14          

Intense and distinctive oak dominates the wines black fruits aromas. In the mouth, solid and a relatively thick textured concentrated wine with blue berry, butterscotch, oak and a warm finish.

Fletcher Wines         The Minion        2014       Nebbiolo                                                             Victoria

94   2019       $35.00 14          

Pyrenees, King Valley and Yarra Valley. Ripe rather than jammy, more about the complexity of different vineyard sources than over ripe fruitiness. Showing red fruits, red licorice, thyme and raspberry aromas. The palate is silky up front, ripe red plum fruits, good middle into black cherry back palate and then the hallmark dry tannin length. A very good wine.

Fox Creek                    2014       Cabernet Sauvignon                                                       McLaren Vale   

90   2017       $20.00 14.5       

Herbal edges, lawn seed, leafy and ripe black fruits with a long smooth black currant wine gum fruit. Good drink now style with the cabernet refinement of length, over boldness typical of shiraz and finishing with a whisper of wine gums and black currant, smoked meats and savoury oak.

Giant Steps                Sexton Vineyard              2014       Merlot                                  Yarra Valley                      

92   2019       $45.00 14          

Very pretty aromas of red fruits and well judged toasty oak adding charcuterie to help lift and season the raspberry fruits. In the mouth, juicy raspberry, silky tannins and a savoury note before the cedar oak builds and sustains the finish. Very good balance and fair complexity.

Grey Sands Byzantine            2013       Chardonnay       Viognier Malvasia Bianca  Tasmania      

90   2017       $40.00

A complex barrel fermented white wine that shows little viognier aromatics. Creamed honey with gentle musk and dried flowers on the nose. Appealing structure, that is morish, fresh, long and medium bodied with complex flavours of honey, dried flowers and white fruits in fresh acidity.

Handpicked               Collection           2013       Shiraz                                                    Heathcote         

94   2020       $69.99 13.6       

The dense fruits show strong regional personality with a liquorice, mineral, cordite core under the raspberry sarsaparilla aromas. In the mouth the linear qualities of great wine, long rimmed with acidity fine grained tannins that bridge the length of the palate with really complex dark fruits, citrus edged black berry fruits and fruit oak tannin.

Heemskerk           Coal River Valley             2014       Chardonnay                       Tasmania            

95   2021       $49.99 12.5       

Aims to be a sophisticated and elegant style with gentle stone fruit and cashew oak weaving complexity to the aromas. The palate has a restrained elegance with intensity, length and Burgundian spectrum flavours with savoury mineral and drying tannin texture that needs time to develop the flavour length.

Hollick Estates                          2014       Shiraz                                                    Wrattonbully                   

89   2018       $25.00 14.5       

Super ripe black fruits wed to mocha oak with purity, freshness and simplicity. In the mouth, ripe perfumed red fruits, maraschino red cherry in the middle with the high alcohol pulling intense oak flavours and tannins to close. Very ripe and “true blue” authentic Australian in style.

Jasper Hill   Georgia’s Paddock          2014       Nebbiolo                             Heathcote

92   2022       $64.00 14          

The oak and tarry red fruit are balanced earthy dark notes with rancio and soya complexity. In the mouth, structure and subtle fruit presence, mineral length and harmony between wine maker and fruit handling, good tannins, ripe red licorice through oregano. The fruits are not over the top with well judged tannins and very long in even flavour and texture.

Jasper Hill   Occam’s Razor   2014       Shiraz                                                    Heathcote                         

92   2022       $46.00 15.5       

From the get go this has fruit presence; generous, ripe red cherry, maraschino and red plum fruit notes with vanilla oak in the back ground. This cuts a swathe through other wines with a very ripe long generous classic Heathcote red fruit flavours with exceptional flavour and tannin length, chalky finish thanks to the licorice tarry grape tannins.

Jasper Hill   Emily’s Paddock               2014       Shiraz    Cabernet Franc                                 Heathcote

95   2027       $99.00 15          

Very composed tight young red here with quality oak, red fruits, dried herbs, shiraz spices and mineral spice. The creamy quality oak notes support the fruit, very fine tannins, ripe fruits front palate,  very drinkable now. This plump minerally ripe long wine has a fair dash of mocha and very fine tannins full of youthful vigour, a “Penfolds-like” tannin, quite bright fruited. Freshest most balanced of the 2014’s and very youthful in 2016.

Karrawatta  Sophie’s Hill      2015       Pinot Grigio                                                       Adelaide Hills  

88   2016       $26.00 12          

Complex white fruit salad layered with gentle older oak aromas creates a wine with noticeable energy and aromatic interest. The palate is chardonnay statuesque, some vanilla to the creamy pears in yoghurt and the finish is slightly grippy. Full, flavoursome, food friendly style.

Katnook       Founder’s Block               2014       Shiraz                                                    Coonawarra      

86   2017       $20.00 13.5       

Mirrepoix, celery and dark berry aromas. The flavours verge on stemmy and the ripe raspberry fruits sit front and middle with barely there tannins adding a parsnip edge to the finish.

Kay Brothers              Basket Pressed 2014       Grenache                                            McLaren Vale   

91   2022       $25.00 14          

Another ripper from this label. Shy red fruits and dried chicken spices are very focused here. In the mouth, very linear and lengthy, the soft tannins with medium intensity fruit possess a lovely minerality and gentle fruit power. Not the ripe powerhouse of 2012, but a charming fine boned savoury style to drink sooner. Finesse in grenache with a minerality.

Kay Brothers              Amery Block 6   2013       Shiraz                                                    McLaren Vale   

93   2028       $75.00 14.5       

Deep, dark colour with plum and black berry into earthy dark fruits. To taste the silky tannins are very regional and frame the dark fruit complexity with savoury meat stock and mineral initially until the carpet unfolds into a very long red berry finish. A wine for contemplation and drinking slowly on a thoughtful day such as Anzac day. Quality McLaren Vale reds have tannins that are part of the flavour as is the case here.

Killerby Wines          Premium Sauvignon Blanc           2015       Sauvignon Blanc  Margaret River

90   2016       $26.00 13          

Green bean, sage and thyme aromas quaffing wine intensity. The palate has ripe semillon, creamy length, slippery texture, drink young style with crunchy acidity. The semillon owning the length, custard, apple and sauvignon blanc tropical nettles on the top notes and close.

La Prova       Aglianico Rosato              2015       Aglianico                             Adelaide Hills                  

89   2016       $25.00 12.5       

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.

Langmeil     Orphan Bank      2013       Shiraz                                                    Barossa                               

93   2020       $50.00 14.5       

For lovers of full bodied reds, a bouncing Barossa wine. Bright red plum fruit, bay leaf back stop; if this were a tennis ball it would bounce higher than any other. Nice oak touch, very thoughtful wine making with lovely balance overall. Ripe, fresh, fine tannin united by well judged oak firmness and lengthened with stewed plum.

Leeuwin Estate         Siblings                2015       Sauvignon Blanc               Semillon              Margaret River

86   2018       $23.00 13.5       

Grapefruit, sausage meats and a touch of smoke leads to a taunt, medium long middle palate, citrus into funky tropical finish.

Leo Buring  Leopold               2015       Riesling                             Tasmania                            

94   2023       $39.99 12.5       

Tasmania is known for delicate riesling styles and this Leopold fits that description well. Ethereally perfumed with elderflower, lemon zest, lemon balm and white peach, there is plenty of pretty fruit. The linear acid leaves a slight firmness on the finish. A bottle of this with a plate of seafood sounds just right.

Lethbridge  Mietta  2012       Pinot Noir                                                           Geelong                             

95   2022       $95.00 13          

A savoury and taunt swirling mix of dark cherry, mineral stemmy herbal elements with an exquisite aromatic balance. The palate has classic pinot sweet fruits appealing glycerol and fruit ripeness wrapped in silky tannins creating a structured even full bodied wine of great length. A lovely mix of ripe fruit, stemmy spice and dark cherry fruits. A well grown,well made and matured wine that is exceptional after decanting for three hours.

Miles from Nowhere                             2014       Shiraz                                                    Margaret River

89   2016       $15.00 14.4       

Spicy edged sulphides give a sweaty, grapefruity edge to the dark fruits and butter malo aromas add dimension to the quality fruit. The tannins are soft, the raspberry middle palate is fresh and generous, medium bodied and lingering red cherry jam fruits. Some sulphuric notes close down the fruit flavours.

Moorilla Estate         Praxis St Matthias Vineyard        2015       Sauvignon Blanc               Tasmania

94   2018       $30.00 13.5       

This is a pristine fresh wine with a white peach minerality and green passion fruit aromas. The palate has appealing qualities of restrained black currant sage flavours, silky textures and a long finish of passion fruit and lingering guava.

Mr Riggs      Cold Chalk          2013       Chardonnay                                                       Adelaide Hills  

90   2017       $30.00 12.5       

The theme of subtle bottle age development is part of the current releases. Lees and honey figs lead to a round, even, medium long middle palate of pears, toffee and nougat on the finish.

Newbridge                 2012       Shiraz                                                    Bendigo                              

90   2018       $25.00 14.5

Black, juicy, soft fleshy fruits with enticing licorice smells. Ripe and spicy up front, mouth filling, minty black berry fruits with tongue coating soft tannins and a generous intensity of fruit power that is followed by pepper and licorice spice.

Paracombe The Reuben       2015       Cabernet Sauvignon       Merlot  Cabernet Franc Malbec, Shiraz  Adelaide Hills          

90   2020       $23.00 14.5       

Dark fruits flowing from fresh raspberry, black currant, rhubarb and sour red cherry aromas. It has mid week drinking tannins with powerful fruit that will hold for a few years hence moderate development potential. In the mouth, juicy ripe black cherry and currants running rhubarb  and green raspberries to finish.

Pepper Tree               Elderslee Road 2014       Cabernet Sauvignon       Wrattonbully                   

91   2029       $42.00 14.2       

Penfolds like Wrattonbully tannins for their house style reds. Here the wine is quietly maturing. Closed aromas with musk stick, grass seed, leafy hay and black fruit. The fruit power is long, ripe and even, dark fruits and the chalky tannins are chewy to close the finish.

PHI Lusatia Park Vineyard    2012       Chardonnay                                                       Yarra Valley      

95   2023       $45.00 12.5       

Subtle salty cashew oak aromas, lead to a silky, subtle long and refined wine with the fine wine conundrum of texture, length and lightness with the presumption of no added acids creating a juicy length. Very stylish and sophisticated.

Pikes Wines               Traditionale       2015       Riesling                                                                Clare Valley      

94   2019       $27.00 12          

The pine lime juicy fruit aromas of great riesling with immediate pleasing flavour fullness. In the mouth, structure and a superior style to many 2015 with a full palate and fine acidity. Most of this is drunk in sea food restaurants and it will sing for your seafood with the fullness that Pikes have delivers reliably for years.

Pooles Rock               Single Vineyard                2014     Semillon                                                     Hunter Valley  

95   2020       $45.00 12          

This is a very different style and is all the better for it, savoury edges into the nose wild ferment then lemon, flinty edged aromas. The palate has fullness and extends itself quickly showing how much room to move the variety has. A full hit, lovely texture, roundness through the middle of your mouth, great weight, a touch of funky earthy savoury flavours fine lemony finish matched to the crisp acid zip.

Richard Hamilton                    2015       Sauvignon Blanc               Adelaide Hills  

90   2017       $20.00 12.5       

Nice balance between the green pea, passion fruit and tropical fruit intensity. The palate is fresh, middle palate is well covered in passion fruit and pineapple fruit salad, finishing with a fresh acidity and a flick of green pea fruit freshness that adds interest.

Richard Hamilton    The Hills              2015       Pinot Gris            Adelaide Hills                  

89   2016       $20.00 12.5

Appealing balanced freshness and focused fruit at a tidy price. Fresh fig, pear and marzipan fruit aromas that is true to the variety with Adelaide Hills freshness. An intriguing palate with upfront flavours of fresh mandarin into orange before the familiar pear fruits fill the middle palate.

Riversdale Estate Wines                      2013       Pinot Gris            Tasmania             Coal River Valley

92   2019       $19.00 13.5       

This is a fresh pear, cooked apple gentle style of fruit aromas with lush complexities. Has cool juicy elegance and fresh pear poached stone fruit flavours in the middle palate with its subtle vibrant sherberty bright acids and a firm food friendly finish and freshness.

Rymill           Maturation Release       2010       Cabernet Sauvignon       Coonawarra                      

95   2020       $45.00 14.5       

Harmony, integration and good bottle development are evident with blue berry dark chocolate, a wine with an Armani suit of bottle age bring the dark and poised fruits with great style. In the mouth a deep fruit filled palate featuring ripe, long and nicely polished tannins with an understated oak tailoring the dark bramble black currant and black berry. A hint of mocha on the finish and the fine grained chalky tannins. Approaching full maturity and a joy to drink.

Sinapius       Pipers Brook      2012       Chardonnay                                                       Tasmania            

94   2023       $38.00 13          

Aromas are very appealing; purity and freshness with lovely lemon pith, grapefruit and lemon zest. An elegant length while in the mouth, with mineral acids and pure citrus fruits up front that gradually build into savoury nutty elements with a youthful complex finish.

Soumah       Wild Savagnin   2015       Savagnin              Yarra Valley      

91   2018       $32.00 13.2       

Very modern style smelling savoury and funky waxy nutty oak while in the mouth the oak tannins add drive and wild ferment adds texture, structure, nice mouth feel with length and the style moves to more main course hipster firmness with medium long.

Stargazer                     2014       Pinot Noir           Tasmania             Derwent Valley               

95   2024       $50.00 13.5

From a year with half the normal crop and tiny berry size comes this flavourful pinot. Fresh varietal strawberry;  cooked and preserved, and dark spiced oak in the background from the larger oak. The flavours are ripe strawberry and taunt raspberry with impeccable balance and deceptive concentration. Chalky finish.

Tapanappa  Whalebone Vineyard    2012       Cabernet Sauvignon       Shiraz    Wrattonbully   

94   2018       $55.00 15.1

This has a regional aroma, choc mint edges before black currant and black berry in the core. In the mouth the fine grained tannins of cabernet, great density of structure, glossy from long oak aging, ripe black berry fruit, grape tannins and dark liqueur fruits with a touch of rancio development in the finish.  Intensity, density and best to drink sooner rather than later.

TarraWarra Estate                   2014       Pinot Noir                                           Yarra Valley      

92   2018       $28.00 13.2       

Delightful ripe fresh fruits; a punnet of summer berries, raspberry and cranberry. The palate is morish with balanced oak contribution for drinking young and a stern line in the back ground from well judged subtle stalk tannin adding length and a subtle green strawberry snap to the finish.

TarraWarra Estate   Reserve               2014       Chardonnay                       Yarra Valley

93   2024       $80.00 12.5

A stylish wine with a complex aroma balancing wine making with early picked fruit. Savoury notes of oak, oat meal, nougat, flint and cool citrus fruits. The palate has creamy weight and textural length, crisp Chablis like acidity and lingering pears and fine grained tannins to close. A keeper.

Tate               Alexanders Vineyard     2014       Chardonnay                       Margaret River

91   2018       $24.00 13          

Modern in the best way, with a fresh drive and line in the mouth the quality is in the harmony and regionality. High noted, complex, toasty wild honey and vanilla brulee notes. The palate is crisply assertive, needs food as a style concentrated complete and interrelated flavours with the aromas repeated.

Tim Adams The Fergus          2013       Grenache            Tempranillo       Malbec                 Clare Valley

93   2020       $24.00 14          

Finetuned oak and fruit balance with a freshness showing a cool edge and minty herbal subtlety over ripe red berry. Ripe, lovely medium weight, complex and long; ideal for our climate as it is plush fruits up front, dusty tannins and dried herbs. Lovely older oak flavours and fine fruit tannins add structure that create a savoury length and tone the finish. Runs fruit past the slight herbal to finish alongside raspberry grenache.

Tomich Hill Rhyme & Reason             2014       Pinot Grigio                       Adelaide Hills                  

88   2016       $20.00 12.5

Varietal spiced pears, banana and blossom with floral lift leads to a middle weight lively acid and fresh fruit palate with pear and zest on the middle and medium long in flavour. Cocktail party wine.

Voyager Estate         Project 95            2012       Chardonnay                       Margaret River

95   2023       $55.00 12.4       

Single vineyard and single clone #95 and 120 dozen made. Flowery citrus sweet fruit and oak in a refined chardonnay style with gentle elegance through the fennel into white mushrooms. The palate has width and length, very middle palate rich with guava and kiwi fruit flavours into feijoa. Not big in weight but silky and flowing. Drink 2017 onwards.

Wolf Blass  Gold Label          2015       Chardonnay       Adelaide Hills  

93   2018       $27.99 13.5       

The focus is on fruit, riper this year than most by a degree, almost tropical, with generous barrel ferment vanilla almost brulee oak. The palate is rich, white fruit complex and long pears and apple, great structure, density and bright acidity defining the length while the finish is subtle, clean and complex.   Offers balance and yet again a reliable go to style for Adelaide Hills

Yellowglen                 Perle Vintage    2012       Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier Chardonnay  Adelaide Hills 

93   2018       $24.99 12          

Classic yeast notes, complex mature fruit aromas with yellow fruit tartin and smoky subtle cracked yeast pinot savoury notes. This is complex, in the mouth long and full bodied style with lime like chalky acidity from chardonnay driving the rich pinot fruit, pastry flavours on the middle to a yeasty toasty conclusion.


Thirst of May

Thirst of May

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