The NSW tour de Wine, Shiraz, Merlot and others

More clearing of the 2016 reviews, sorry about the bombardment but we are almost there. Today’s offering is a selection of NSW wines, a lot of Shiraz a trio of merlot and several interesting others.

Happy drinking



Huntington Estate ‘Special Reserve’ Mudgee Shiraz 2012: Bramble, English hedgerow nose, quite strong flavours to start but settle as they travel, long finish, 94 points and worth the $36 asked

Huntington Estate ‘Basket Dried’ Mudgee Shiraz 2013: A very individual nose, in a way old fashioned or feral if one prefers that term. Deep and intense it’s quite something to linger over and smell the changes. In the mouth, it’s a full on style not big and jammy but more savoury Rhone style. At $65 I wouldn’t say this is for everyone but for those into wine its well worth it 95 points

Gartelmann ‘Jesse’ Mudgee Shiraz 2013: The Silk Road to pleasure, all parts good and all parts in their right place 94 points, well worth $30

Gartelmann ‘Wilhelm’ Hunter Valley Shiraz 2014: My notes, soft on the approach with savoury characters but light for the Hunter, redcurrant fruit also coming into play 93 points and value at $25. After my tasting I took it to the table, my lady Tracey took a sip and said that’s good, it’s an instinctive opinion and worth more than my notes

Moppity ‘Lock & Key’ Hilltops Reserve Shiraz 2014: Subtle mix of spice on the nose which is attractive. It’s also attractive across the palate it pleases never punishes but nor does it entice the taster to delve deeper and look into the darkness, sound well-made wine, 92 points pushing the price ceiling at $30

Windowrie ‘The Mill’ Central Ranges Shiraz 2015: The Central Ranges of NSW are producing some exceptional wines this shiraz amongst them, real spicy edge but not dominating, persistent and enticing flavour all the way 95 points and at $20 fabulous value

Margan Hunter Valley Shiraz 2015: Savoury Hunter in style but with a sweeter edge its gorgeous wine. No more need be said 93 points and a bargain at just $20 from Dan Murphy’s

Windowrie ‘Family Reserve’ Cowra Shiraz 2015: Soft and supple it winds across the palate to great effect 93 points and worth its $25

David O’Dea Organic Central Ranges Shiraz 2016: (no website) Organic and preservative free aside, a 2016 shiraz released in 2016 has a few youth issues. I would have preferred if it was released in a year’s time, non-the less it’s a good wine and will sort itself out, 91 points and an OK price at $25

Pig in the House ‘Organic’ Shiraz 2016: I wonder if the maker Jason O’Dea thinks the word organic is more of a selling point rather than having a region on the label? Maybe he’s right, for such a young wine its showing well, plenty of character all across the palate, acidity and fruit need to merge but that will come within 2017, 90 now but I think another couple to come as the wine develops $30 is high but for those that want fully organic its worth it


Gartelmann ‘Joey’ Orange Region Merlot 2014: Intriguing nose, I couldn’t pin it but was impressed as were the judges at the 2015 Orange Wine Show where it was picked up the Trophy for the best merlot of the show. It also won the ‘people’s choice award for the most popular wine in the show.

All I can say It’s deserved, a very smart wine indeed several threads of flavour well supported with acid and tannin weave and entwine themselves in and amongst each other as it traverses the palate, 94 points and good value at $25

Three Ponds Hunter Valley Merlot 2015: Earthy Hunter smell, it’s a style of merlot I like, simply because it has character also works well at the table 93 points, top price at $30

Margan Hunter Valley Merlot 2015: A rounded soft merlot that will have many fans, it causes no offence in any way but lacks excitement. 91 points and value at $20


First Ridge Mudgee Vermentino 2016: Young when tasted but full of promise, a hint of sage came through closely followed by a mix of fruit flavours, including gooseberry, 93 points and worth $25

First Ridge Mudgee Rose 2016: Light to start but builds as it travels, it comes together in the middle of the palate and cruses to a satisfying finish, made from sangoversie it’s a class rose, 94 points and value at $20

Margan Hunter Valley Shiraz –Mourvedre 2014: Like a jigsaw all the right pieces are there that when they come together will present a beautiful picture, time is all that is needed so a mean 90 now and several more down the track, to drink early 2016 $40 is a lot but if put away for a year or three it will be value

First Ridge ‘Enzo’ Mudgee Blend 2015: A mix of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot, not a lot to say apart from it works and works well, interesting on the nose, smooth across the palate and pleasing on the finish 93 points and value at $25

Gartelmann ‘Philip Alexander’ Mudgee 2013: A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Spice edge on the nose and spice across the palate, I found it OK but there was depth missing and the acid was high, short on the finish, 89 points

First Ridge Mudgee Sangoversie 2014: Red fruits on the nose and also on the palate. The journey is mostly smooth and rather enjoyable, made more so by bursts of flavour at intervals, 93 points and value at $20

First Ridge Mudgee Barbra 2015:  What a busy wine so much going on and all delightful, plum and blackberry on the nose and flavours that include said fruits along with savoury characters, 94 points now but I think another one at least to come and good value at $30

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