The baker’s dozen
Feel lucky if you get 12 of these wines and unlucky if you get the 13th.
Taltarni Fume Blanc 2015: I can’t recall how many years I have been drinking Taltarni Fume Blanc. It’s a wine I buy as well as review. It has what I like: crisp sauvignon but not green, and the most gentle use of oak, which seasons the wine rather than kills it. 94 points and well worth $24.
The Paper Nautilus, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015: Very light gold colour and an NZ nose, but not as aggressive as most from the land of the long white cloud. This has the NZ charisma, but again is not as aggressive as most. Perhaps its extra year is a contributing factor. 94 points and $35 is high but this is a classy wine and worth it.
Santa & D’Sas ‘Valentino’ King Valley Fiano 2016: Clean nose that I couldn’t pin but it gave an instant impression in the mouth that was almost sherbet like in its effect. It settles as it travels and starts to show depth and interesting flavours. 94 points and pricy at $40 but for those into interesting wine it’s worth it.
Pertaringa Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2016: The high acidity of youth is the barrier to full enjoyment, but that will pass, and then this will fill out and give the flavours one expects from GV. So a mean 91 now but I think at least another couple to come. Worth the $30 for its scarcity in Australia.
Dub Style No 1 McLaren Vale Chenin Blanc 2016: The strangest of noses: not death but something approaching. On the palate it’s sour apples and as aggressive as barbed wire. Let’s be kind and say it’s either an experiment that failed or a wanky wine that wanky sommeliers can sell to unsuspecting punters at $15 a glass and say it’s interesting. 84 points and $25 is about $26 too expensive.
Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Verdelho 2016: Rather forward for such a young wine, but all is in balance. Nice, crisp edge, a good finish, 92 points and value at $16 from Dan Murphy’s.
Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Grenache 2013: Juicy is not a description that conveys much but it was the word that came to mind on first taste. It than slowly unfolds and spreads across the palate, releasing delightful drops of flavour on its journey, with acid, tannin and fruit all in harmony. 94 points and worth its $30.
d’Arenberg ‘The Custodian’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2013: Slightly spicy and wonderfully fruity McLaren Vale grenache is one of the great wine styles of the world. The Osbornes have been masters of the grape for many decades and this entry level to their range of grenache wines sets the bar very high. 94 points and very good value at $18.
Oliver’s ‘Taranga Vineyards’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2014: Generous in fruit flavour, a pure starburst that hits all the palate on the first sip. Yes, it settles, but it’s a joyful wine, though not a flippant wine: it has plenty of strong character as back-up. 94 points and worth $30.
Thistledown ‘The Vagabond’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2015: Raspberries and other red berries come to mind on the nose and it’s pure velvet across the palate. More interesting flavours and perfume show themselves on the return journey. A very fine wine indeed. 95 points and worth $40.
Thistledown ‘Thorny Devil’ Barossa Valley Grenache 2015: A plumper wine than the McLaren Vale grenache, it’s rounder on the journey with flavours not as defined. But I am nit-picking. The better review is from the post-tasting glass with snack: I enjoyed that very much and it accompanied a simple supermarket pâté very well. 93 points and good value at $25.
Dub Style McLaren Vale Grenache 2014: Chewy, juicy, wonderfully flavoured Grenache. Can’t really ask for more. 95 points and worth $35.
Allegiance Wines ‘Local Legend’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2012: Very attractive, slightly stinky, feral nose. Starts light but builds in intensity as it travels. By the middle of the palate it’s firing flavours faster than I can count. It continues like this to the end, where it has a long, satisfying finish. 95 points and value at $25.