Archive for November, 2013

Spitting: OptionalHolm Oak

Holm Oak Vineyards ‘ilex’ Pinot Noir 2012

Style: Light to mid bodied red

Country: Australia

Region: Tasmania

Overview: Oh noble Pinot Noir! To which all other varieties are weeds by comparison. Or so many a wine wanker shall cry. Their second cry maybe that there is no such thing as a good, cheap Pinot Noir. That you must pay at least $40 for excellence. Most cheap Pinot’s are quite good ‘Dry Red’s’ but lack the typical Pinot Noir characteristics that many pinophiles seek. You may turn up your wine-wanker nose dear pinophile, but here is a reasonably priced wine that displays all of the Pinot Noir hallmarks.          


Tasting note: Lifted strawberry aromas with forest fruit notes (seriously reminds me of a forest fruit muesli bar). These lively fruit characters on the palate are joined by sour cherry and spicy cinnamon. A fresh, vibrant drink that is not overly complex but a cracker of an everyday drinking Pinot Noir

Final Say: Don’t be a tosser, just give it a go. $18-$22 a bottle.


Score: 17.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on

Spitting: OptionalTaylors Riesling

Taylors Estate Riesling 2012

Style: Dry White

Country: Australia

Region: Clare Valley

Overview: Phenolics are a chemical compound found in the skin, pulp and seeds of grape; while sometimes desirable they are generally best avoided in most white wines. Phenolics can be astringent and bitter and what we wine wankers refer to hard or coarse. Basically it is an aggressive mouth feel that can detract from the wine. Phenolics find their way into the wine via contact with the parts of the grape that contain this compound, thus Phenolics are more present in red wines (tannin). This wine would be displaying phenolic grip due to being pressed under pressure to extract juice which also extracts the phenolic compounds. Free run juice, the juice that runs off the grapes when placed in a press and crushed under their own weight, has the least phenolic content because it has had little contact with the pulp. I’m guessing that the free run juice has gone to one of Taylors more premium Rieslings and the pressings has made this wine (pure conjecture, I could be wrong).


Tasting note: A citrus wonderland on the nose and palate, tart lemon and the more floral scents of orange blossom. On the palate a touch of lime shines through with delicate talc and jasmine. It has a nice acidity with some straw. This wine is trying to achieve greatness but doesn’t quite get there due to some hard phenolics. This hardness, bitterness on the palate due to the phenolics is less obvious when consumed with food.

Final Say: A decent commercial style Riesling. Ranges from $15-$20 a bottle.


Score: 15.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on

The Dust Kicker GSMDKGSM

Vintage: 2010

Style: Full-bodied Red

Country: Australia

Region: Barossa Valley, SA

Overview: Most wine drinkers versed in Australian wine would probably associate the Barossa with big, jammy, blow-your-head off, teeth staining Shiraz but this gun-slinging, dust kicking blend melds subtlety and elegance with power. A union of the feminine and masculine if you will (Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more-say no more). It has light perfume and great depth of flavour, quite reminiscent of the Côte du Rhône yet also unmistakably Australian.

Tasting Note: Brooding plums, pepper, musk and just a touch of strawberry on the nose. The palate has some nice brambly fruit with dense plum and cedar. Its juicy and velvety with nice elegant spice on the finish. 

Final Say: Get more than your boots dirty. $20 a bottle.

Score: 16.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on

Purple Hands Wines Pinot Gris 2012Purple Hands

Vintage: 2012

Style: Dry White

Country: Australia

Region: Adelaide Hills

Overview: There is still much confusion surrounding Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio – you’d think we would have worked it out by now. It’s definitely not the consumers’ fault; in Australia we’ve seen Pinot Gris labelled as Pinot Grigio and vice versa. As a result, the muddied water will take some time to clear. The two styles use the same grape but should be made very differently. Pinot Grigio is a simple, fresh and crisp drink. Pinot Grigio is generally fermented in stainless steel with lees stirring (lees= dead yeast; try not to think about it) used to build texture and nuttiness through the mid palate. Pinot Gris is generally picked later to maintain richness. In the winery, to add complexity, the winemaker throws more work at it, such as time in barrel, lees contact and sometimes malolatic fermentation. This wine definitely sits in the Pinot Gris spectrum with 40% of the wine fermented in oak and left on lees for eight months while the remaining 60% spent its time hanging about in stainless steel.

Tasting Note: The nose is typically Pinot Gris – pear, almonds and a little bit cheesy. There are subtle oak notes on the palate, with a lovely richness. The aromas on the nose transform into flavours on the palate with added stone fruit and custard apple notes.

Final Say: This is a wine that has escaped the ever present Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio identity crisis. $16.99 a bottle.

Score: 16 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on

Palandri ‘Vita Novus’ Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Palandri

Style: Dry white

Region: Margaret River/Frankland River, WA

Country: Australia

Tasting note: Toasty oak and vanilla aromas lift from the glass. A rich mouth-feel with subtle characters of citrus, straw and elegant spice.

Final Say: More complex than your typical SBS blend, this will be a better food wine than a sit-on-the-back-veranda-and-quench-your-thirst wine. $16.99

Score: 16 out of 20

Mandala Pinot Noir 2011Mandala

Style: Light-bodied Red.

Region: Yarra Valley

Country: Australia

Tasting note: This wine is from a tough year in Yarra Valley; it was wet and cold, which is why this wine is so light in colour. It has a bright, lifted cherry nose with just a touch of spice. There is more where this came from on the palate with strawberry tones complementing the sour cherry. Simple yet enjoyable.

Final Say: If you’re looking for a great, everyday Pinot Noir then this wine is for you. $19.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20

Matilda’s Shiraz/Cabernet 2009Matilda

Style: Mid- to full-bodied red

Region: Denmark, WA

Country: Australia

Tasting note: All you could ask for in a blend such as this. Plum and blackberry notes on the nose, with just a touch of vanillin oak, are followed by rich, dark fruits on the palate with liquorice, chocolate and some spice.

Final Say: A proper, ocker red. $19.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20