Wine of the Week

Each week James Halliday selects a standout wine from his recent tastings.

2014 DOWIE DOOLE C.T McLaren Vale Shiraz

Rating: 94

From blocks in Blewitt Springs and Tatachilla, open-fermented separately for 10 days, pressed direct to used French (70%) and American (30%) barrels for 24 months maturation. Good depth and hue; a rich yet supple and smooth shiraz that stays well within the line in the sand for alcohol issues; the flavours of purple (plum) and black (blackberry) fruits sit well together, and the overall balance of fruit and oak is impeccable. A prosperous future awaits.

14.2% alc. / RRP $35 / 2034 / DOWIE DOOLE

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2014 Moorooduc Estate Garden Vineyard Pinot Noir

Rating: 94

Hand-picked MV6 clone, 100% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured for 16 months in French oak (20-25% new). Deeply coloured, and equally deeply fruited on its bouquet and palate alike reflecting the small berries of the vintage. The plum and dark cherry fruit flavours roll around the mouth seeking to find all the tastebuds, and do so. This is still an infant, and one sure to prosper with more bottle age.

13% alc. / RRP $55 / 2029 / Moorooduc Estate

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2015 Singlefile Single Vineyard Mount Barker Riesling

Rating: 97

From the dry-grown Pearse Vineyard, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, cool-fermented with neutral yeast. Bright, pale straw-green; the wine's pH of 2.95 and 7.47g/l of acidity have no relevant residual sugar (1.47g/l) to provide the inherent balance the wine has, this coming from the vines and vineyard. The result is a flavour intensity that is distinctly Germanic, rich citrus in a pas de deux with crunchy, minerally acidity. A wine of the highest calibre.

11.2% alc. / RRP $30 / 2030 / Singlefile Wines

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2014 Crabtree Watervale Shiraz

Rating: 95

40yo vines, hand-picked and sorted, crushed, destemmed without rollers (for whole berries), open-fermented, 5 days cold soak, cultured yeast, 14 days on skins, matured in French oak (20% new) for 18 months. The first reaction is the texture ex the whole berry/near whole berry fermentation; then you go back to the very good colour and aromas, completing the circle with the excellent spicy/savoury embroidery on the potpourri of black fruit flavours. Well above typical Clare Valley shiraz. 

14% alc. / RRP $30 / 2034 / Crabtree Watervale Wines

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2014 Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz

Rating: 96

It is a masterclass in the use of French oak to amplify, not diminish, the fruit on the medium-bodied palate, with black cherry, plum and blackberry all in step; the tannins are no more than a gauze on the super-elegant finish. 

13.5% alc. / RRP $60 / 2039 / Dalwhinnie

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2014 Brokenwood Kats Block Hunter Valley Shiraz

Rating: 96

A block on the Graveyard Vineyard, replanted in '02 with cuttings from the original vines, this the inaugural vintage. A mix of crushed/destemmed, with some whole berry and some whole bunch fermentation, matured in new and used French oak. If you doubt that earth can smell sweet, have a whiff of this; the full-bodied palate is crammed with black fruits, ripe tannins and some smart French oak, its drink-by date over the horizon. 

14% alc. / RRP $75 / 2054 / Brokenwood

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Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.