Hills, vale, valley and peninsula. No real connection between the wines below. It’s just because. So work it out for yourself.
Hungerford Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: Very soft and very seductive, but very well toned muscle at 15 per cent. It’s surprisingly easy to drink, all mulberry and Victoria plum flavours. Good depth and a length that continues long after the wine is swallowed. 94 points. Good wine but there is a lot of quality McLaren Vale shiraz around at lower prices than $45.
Hungerford Hill Tumbarumba Pinot Noir 2015: Clean nose, with hints of red berries, but lacking the feral, damp leaves and earth smell that I look for and enjoy. Soft across the palate but with the odd wild pinot character emerging at points. Enjoyable to drink but not singing the high notes. 92 points and pushing price limits at $35.
Hungerford Hill Hunter Valley Fiano 2015: Intriguing nose. I couldn’t pin it down but I liked it. Great balance all the way and many flavours unfurling on the journey, all combining to a satisfying finish. 94 points and well worth $27.
Pertaringa Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016: Like a jigsaw in which every piece has its place, these pieces are on the board but not yet showing the picture. Their joining is only being prevented by youth, and they are drawing together by the month. I estimate that by March to June 2017 this will be drinking beautifully. 92 now, more to come, and it will be worth $30 a bottle.
Dub Style ‘No1’ McLaren Vale Viognier 2016: I haven’t researched this, but I would bet there are a few reviews of this wine that have the word “funky” in them. And they would be right, though in the name of originality I shall refrain from using it. Nor shall I use “cool”, though it’s that as well. While reading the notes I see the descriptor “bergamot” is used. Drink with care, as excessive consumption of bergamot can be toxic. Enough fooling around. It’s an individual style of viognier, spicy (I found ginger), and full of life. 94 points and well worth $26.
Chandon Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2015: Fragrant, hay/biscuit nose. On the palate very soft, genteel flavours to start, but they build throughout the journey to climax not with an explosion but a very contended sigh. 95 points and worth the $32 asked.
Scotchmans Hill Bellarine Peninsula Chardonnay 2014: Such a gorgeous nose. It’s showing richer and riper characters but in no way overblown. It’s just right. Spot on, in fact. It sits pert at the front of the palate, where if it’s held it entices the drinker to continue the journey, which is pleasure and intriguing all the way, to a wonderful fulfilling finish. 93 points well worth $28.
Scotchmans Hill Bellarine Shiraz 2013: Very damp earth and tree bark nose, which I found really interesting and attractive. Across the palate it’s as grown up as the nose suggests, more savoury than sweet. This is a wonderful wine that worked well at the table. 95 points and worth the $31 asked.
Parous Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012: There are times when tasting that I stop and do not wish to taste any more. The reason being: I want to drift away from analysing the wine and just sink into its beauty, let the wine play on the subconscious, feel the power as it strokes the pleasure points on its journey. I stopped, I sank and I thoroughly enjoyed. 95 points and worth the $40 asked. I note Mr Halliday also gave it 95 points.
St Hugo ‘Private Collection’ Barossa Shiraz 2012: The accompanying notes give greater definition than just Barossa: the grapes are sourced from the Seppeltsfield sub-region. The nose for me is reminiscent of toffee creams that I used to buy as a youngster in the UK. This, of course, may mean nothing to those reading the review, so to keep it simple: excellent on the nose, well balanced across the palate with flavour swirling all around, pleasing finish and great return journey. 96 points and, yep, a $100 wine, cellar door only.