The definitive guide to Australian Wines
Each week James Halliday selects a standout wine from his recent tastings.
Harvested at 18˚ baume with a light botrytis infection, the cool fermentation stopped at 10.2% alcohol. A beautifully made and poised wine, the touch of botrytis the final touch, as it were, introducing a note of fresh ginger on the finish and aftertaste. The brilliant straw-green colour is a great start, as is the fresh and lively mid-palate, with cumquat and apricot balanced by acidity. This is always nail-biting stuff to make, here with a near-perfect result. 500ml.
Visit the Box Grove Vineyard winery page
Posted on 18/05/2018
Hand-picked from the 48yo Old Block, named in honour of Herbert John Oliver, Corrina Wright’s grandfather. Crushed and destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, matured in French hogsheads (30% new) for 28 months, 365 dozen made. You can’t blame the winemaking for the sheer depth and concentration of this full-bodied wine – far from it, because there is no cause for blame, especially when the primary ferment was finished in barrel. To deny this resplendently rich wine its due place is to turn your back on dry-grown 70yo vines which replaced the then-100yo shiraz vines – 170 years of history.
Visit the Olivers Taranga Vineyards page
Posted on 11/05/2018
60% Reynell Selection cabernet sauvignon from the Parker Estate Abbey Vineyard in Coonawarra, 40% shiraz from the Eden Valley, fermented separately, matured for 18 months in French oak before blending. Given the grape resources and the vinification, it would be surprising if this wasn’t a top flight wine – and there’s no surprise. It marries intensity with elegance, red and blackcurrant with red and black cherry fruit held in a filmy veil of high quality oak and ripe tannins. Great stuff.
Visit the Hesketh Wine Company page
Posted on 04/05/2018
First tasted Dec ’09, then Sept ’14, and now for the third time. Its colour is still light (and bright, but not yet gleaming); the richness and depth of the palate has increased significantly, with an overt juicy quality akin to riesling. Glorious stuff, unique in the world of wine.
Visit the Pokolbin Estate winery page
Posted on 27/04/2018
The packing (high-shouldered brown glass bottle) with the far extreme of minimalist labelling (the statutory requirements of vintage and alcohol on a detachable neck label) is doubtless calculated to attract discussion. So should the ravishing cabernet made by Yarra Valley winemaker Kate Goodman. It's only medium-bodied, but its intensity is of a scale seldom encountered. The cassis fruit is the ruby set in a necklace of bay leaf and superbly honed tannins. A vineyard bursting into song after 30 years of silence.
Visit the Penley Estate winery page
Posted on 20/04/2018
Several small parcels crushed and destemmed, open-fermented, 12 days on skins, matured in French hogsheads (35% new) for 18 months. The deep, dense colour tells you a full body awaits, and doesn't deceive. Its power is implacable, yet the nigh-on perfect balance of its blackberry, plum fruit, cedary oak and ripe tannins make it eminently possible to drink it tonight, even though it will richly repay 20+ years in bottle.
Visit the Two Hands Wines winery page
Posted on 13/04/2018
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