Wine reviews from England, USA, and domestic

Bury Free Press, 27 August, Neil Courtier

The Australian wine industry has come through a bit of a tough time. Drought conditions and over-production, haven’t helped.


Tim Adams – Riesling 2014 Clare Valley, £9 Tesco – An Australian classic. Citrus aromatics of lime, lemon and grapefruit. The palate is dry and seamless, with moderate viscosity and brisk acidity. A brilliant aperitif, or enjoy with seafood. Riesling’s from Clare Valley are most enjoyable when young and zesty, or left to mature for at least 10 years.

Kangarilla Road – Chardonnay 2015 Adelaide Hills, £11.99 (mix 6 = £9.99) Majestic – A stunning combination of peaches and cream, with citrus-fruits, zesty freshness, finely judged oak – providing a touch of nuttiness and style. Try with chicken and ham pie, veal in a creamy sauce, or baked cod.

The Lane Vineyard – Block 2 – Pinot Gris 2015 Adelaide Hills, £13.95 Corney & Barrow (Newmarket) – Vineyards at 450m above sea level, planted on ancient gravel, limestone and red-clay soils, this is a very smart, distinctive Pinot Gris. Open and aromatic aromas – pear, ripe apple and slightly floral. Nervy and intense in the mouth, with peachy flavours, honeyed tones, underpinned with crisp acidity and minerality. Very good with sushi, mild spiced fish curry, or pork and ginger.

A.C. Byrne & Co – Shiraz 2014 McLaren Vale, £7.49 Aldi – Blackberry, morello cherry and spice on the nose, move on to a medium to full-bodied moth-feel, revealing more dark fruits, a hint of chocolate and peppery spice. Cracking value.

Asda – Extra Special – Pinot Noir 2015 Yarra Valley, £7.98 Asda – From the excellent De Bortoli stable, serve slightly chilled and dive into the juicy, raspberry toned fruit and accessible style that this Pinot Noir reveals.

La La Land – Tempranillo 2015 Murray Darling, £9.99 (mix 6 = £7.99) Majestic – Have a change from Rioja & check-out this funky Tempranillo from down-under, with its ‘New World’ ripeness of fruit, swayed in dark-plum like richness and flavours, liquorice and mocha. Enjoy with barbecued lamb chops, or chicken with Chorizo.

Mad Dog Wines – Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley, £16.95 Corney & Barrow (Newmarket) – A deep, inky ruby red, with damson plums and spice on the nose, full-bodied, with super concentration and structure, blackberries, rich tannins and a really good finish. ‘Proper’ Shiraz, to try with a rib-eye steak with a pepper sauce.

The West Australian, Ray Jordan, 28 August

Visiting international wine communicator and judge Lim Hwee Peng believes the Swan Valley has an identity problem.

Lim Hwee Peng

“The Swan Valley is frequently considered as a hot winemaking region, yet the wines I have assessed in the recent Swan Valley Wine Show were certainly not typical of those from a hot wine region,” Mr Hwee Peng said.

“Many exhibited nuances of Croze Hermitage, Languedoc, chablis, as well as Rioja Joven and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Full article

The St Louis Post Dispatch, 24 August, Gail Appleson

Schild Estate 2012 Shiraz Barossa Valley

Description • Shiraz, Australia’s most widely planted red grape, has been growing in that country since the 1830s. This Schild, which received 90 points from Wine Spectator, is also very complex. Although it’s a tad lighter than the Robert Hall and not quite as lively, this wine still packs quite a punch. Smoky and peppery with a touch of chocolate, this is a juicy wine that’s bursting with intense dark berry and plum flavor.

Naples (USA) Daily News, 26 August, Julie Glenn:

Riesling from Clare Vally in Australia is my blind-tasting nemesis. It crushed my wine ego years ago when it turned up in a blind-tasting at a work seminar.

There I was, eager and puckish, presented with a white wine to identify by sight, smell and taste alone, and I failed. Miserably. I guessed South African chenin blanc, loudly, proudly, with the certainty of a freshman who hadn’t yet experienced the soul-crushing pratfall of being publicly wrong. Full article

Grape Expectations 27 August Max Crus (Simon Hughes)

At some point in the week these reviews and article  will appear in The Daily Examiner (Grafton), Border Mail (Albury), Rotary Down Under (National) and Australian Petroleum Marketer News (National) 

Reviews for

Livewire Jolt (Heathcote) Sangiovese, 2014, $22. You’ll get a jolt from the vibrant nose and uncharacteristically bright sangiovese character of this. Not exactly 240 volt, maybe 12…which is ample. 8.7/10.

Livewire The Blood of Hipsters Tempranillo Shiraz 2016, $25. With their hairy faces, vegan diets and tiny feet, better the blood of hipsters than…oooh, did I get that right…sorry, hamsters. Run hipsters run. No oak or rabbits harmed in the making. 8.6/10.

Byrne Clare Valley Grenache 2013 (Bottle No. 736), $30. Astute readers will know I am drawn to the Clare Valley much as I am to grenache. Combine the two and I am just plain drawn out…or something like that. Luscious and delicious. 8.9/10.

Byrne Clare Valley Sangiovese 2013 (Bottle Number 622), $30. This is so sweet and plush you could carpet your floors with it. Pretty sure I’ve been in a pub that tried. 9.2/10.

Hurley Vineyard Garamond Pinot Noir 2014, $85. Tuesday lunches are a rare thing since Keating banned them, but we got over it. Anyway, only the ‘non-taxed’ with good accountants could afford them, or this gorgeous wine. 9.1/10.

Hurley Vineyard Lodestone Pinot Noir 2014, $70. This pinot is for the ‘taxed’ among us, and only slightly less gorgeous. 8.9/10.



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