Wakefield The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon

Wakefield, known in Australia as Taylors, are a leading Clare Valley producer, and they have recently begun making two very high-end wines: The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon. I tasted the 2012 releases. These are very fine, expressive wines, not just relying on power and concentration. They are fermented in upturned barrels, which [...]

Penfolds Bin 707 1993

This is a wine I bought back in the 1990s from a UK supermarket for around £16 (it was on offer). How times have changed! Current releases are super-expensive. This isn’t supposed to be a great year for Bin 707, but it has aged very nicely, shedding the new American oak it was raised in, [...]

A taste of the Barossa, back to 1967

A lovely tasting this afternoon at Philglas & Swiggot in Battersea. It was an interesting set of Barossa wines, presented by James March of the Barossa Wine and Grape Association, spanning the 1960s to the current day.

This tasting reminded me why I fell in love with the Barossa when I first discovered wine in the [...]

Cricket, a five-for and a Vinteloper

Played wine trade cricket today. First game of the season, versus Fullers, at Chiswick Park. It’s such a pretty ground, quintessentially English and fringed with trees. The only problem: retrieving balls that have been dispatched past the boundary. Most significantly, this was veteran Wine Trade and Fullers cricketer Mark Dally’s final game before retirement. A [...]

Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz 1989

My wine trade buddy Greg Sherwood brought this wine around to dinner, and served it blind. It was a real treat. I reckoned it was properly old, and new world, but didn’t spot Australia. It’s back in the era when top Aussie wines had moderate alcohol levels – this was just 12.5%. These day, the [...]

Luke Lambert Nebbiolo, a new Australian classic

This is amazing! Nebbiolo is a difficult traveller – a grape variety that really struggles to perform well away from its Piedmont home. But Luke Lambert has created a new Australian classic here. It’s such a convincing interpretation of Nebbiolo, and it combines structure and beauty. I served it blind to some experienced tasters and [...]

Ruggabellus: remarkable wines from the Barossa

I have a soft spot for the Barossa. It was the first wine region I ever visited. I’ve been there a few times now, and know it a bit. But I have struggled with some of its wines, which have expressed a bit too much ripeness, a little too much added tartaric, and a generous [...]

Penfolds' Bin Series wines

So, some tasting notes of the Bin Series wines from celebrity Australian producer Penfolds. Penfolds is a great wine brand, and lately they’ve been managing it with the focus and skill of a top Champagne house. Normally, it’s just the Champagne guys who get marketing and brand building in the wine world, but Penfolds clearly [...]

New releases from Aussie star Shaw & Smith

I’ve reviewed the wines of Shaw & Smith before, here and here. I got to taste some of the latest releases, and I’m once again pretty impressed. The Sauvignon Blanc pays the bills for the other wines. The Chardonnay is probably the true star in the line up, but everything’s good here.

Shaw & Smith Pinot [...]

Port Philip Estate Chardonnay 2012 Mornington Peninsular

Now this is an impressive Australian Chardonnay, from Sandro Mosele at Port Philip Estate. It’s a single site wine, from a 1.64 hectare vineyard block, and it shows massive potential for future development (on day 2, this wine was significantly better than just after opening), which might make my current score look conservative. It’s wild [...]