Mother's Milk Shiraz

I do like the First Drop wines with their creative branding. This Barossa Shiraz, called ‘Mother’s Milk’, is really good. It’s properly Barossa, with ripe fruit it’s key signature, but it’s combined with freshness and definition. The end result is delicious and drinkable, but with a hint of seriousness, even though it is made for [...]

Some amazing fine wines at The Sampler

Latour 1961 in the glass

Each Christmas The Sampler puts some rather special wines on its sampling machines, and this year is no exception. I popped into the South Kensington shop to try them; Islington has a different set of wines on. They aren’t cheap, but for many of these wines it’s a once in [...]

Two lovely, full-on wines from First Drop

I love the packaging of the First Drop wines. The labels seem to resonate with the wines.

And while I’m all for elegance, sometimes it’s great to have full-flavoured Aussie wines from regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, when the bigness is allied to freshness and definition, and appropriate oak use. Big can, of course, [...]

A couple from Ben Glaetzer

I’m a hypocrite. I go on all the time about how I love balance and elegance; I sing the praises of low alcohol, lightweight reds. And then I come across a couple of big, 15% alcohol Barossa reds that I find really delicious. I think it is because Ben Glaetzer can do big but still [...]

Two lovely wines from St Hallett

Impressed with these wines from Barossa producer St Hallett. The Faith Shiraz is riper and quite seductive, but with lovely fruit purity. The more expensive Scholz is deeper coloured, but less intense – it’s an elegant, expressive example of Barossa Shiraz with lots of personality.

St Hallett Faith Shiraz 2009 Barossa, Australia
Very appealing sweet berry fruits [...]

Some tasty wines from First Drop

Really impressed by this latest batch of wines from First Drop, who I reviewed a while back. These wines seem to manage to combine ripe fruit with freshness to great effect. And I love the packaging. Great label designs.

First Drop Half and Half 2009 Barossa, Australia
A blend of Shiraz and Monastrell. 14.5% alcohol. Sweet, ripe [...]

St Hallett Dawkins Vineyard Shiraz

Now this is interesting. It’s a new single-vineyard Shiraz from Barossa producer St Hallett, and it has bags of personality. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s distinctive and potentially ageworthy. Very Australian in style, but quite serious with it.

St Hallett Single Vineyard Release Dawkins Vineyard Shiraz 2009 Eden Valley, Barossa
From a single vineyard [...]

Video: Syrah and Shiraz - northern Rhone and Barossa

Here’s a short film of me tasting two contrasting wines. Both are from the same grape variety, but one is a Syrah (Jean-Luc Columbo Crozes-Hermitage Les Gravieres 2008), the other a Shiraz (St Hallett Dawkins Vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz 2009 Barossa, Australia). Both are very good but in quite distinctively different styles.

Three very interesting Aussies: First Drop

Three wines from innovative Aussie producer First Drop (see their website here). They specialize in alternative varieties, but also do a pretty good job with their more conventional wines. The packaging and marketing is spot on. These wines have just become available in the UK, so RRPs are attached. I’m chasing up where they are [...]

A pair of Mad Dogs - Shiraz and Sangiovese from the Barossa

I first reviewed the Mad Dog wines, made by Barossa grape grower Matthew Munzberg, some time ago. Here I’m taking a look at the latest releases, which are just fantastic.

This is the first ever convincing Barossa interpretation of Sangiovese I’ve encountered, and it was paired with a much improved Shiraz from the 2007 vintage. In [...]