A month in the media – See what these journalists thought about our wines in December and January:
Double Gold – Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge
Gold – Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge
2018 Little Gem Shiraz
94 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): Produced from the riverbank vineyard, the wine gives a nose of plum and blackberry with top notes of new leather fresh earth and brown spice. There is wonderful texture and drive to the wine with firm but fine tannins and vibrant acidity contrasted by concentrated plum and just ripe raspberry. The earthen impact to finish is countered by a veneer of spice and dark chocolate. Excellent length.
92 pts – Gabrielle Poy (The Real Review): Mulberries, fresh earth and spiced plums suggest the wine has a few years of age. The core is up-front and ripe, funnelled through the palate with supporting tannins. A lick of acidity on the finish ensures it ends with freshness. This is aging nicely and is quite demure in its delivery
90 pts – Stuart Knox (The Real Review): Medium ruby-red colour from core to rim. Crushed raspberries, dry earth and curry spices on the nose. The palate carries a full rich fruit with layers of sweet spices as well. Definitely full-bodied but has a hint of brightening acidity, tannins are fine and it rolls into a warm earthy finish.
92 pts – Stuart Robinson (The Vinsomniac): Chalky citrus, saline whiff – like warm sun on sea kissed rocks. Citrus, pithy, minerally edge – with an orange twist coursing through the finish. A summery delight. Give it a crack with some oysters, or fried whitebait.
91 pts – Kasia Sobiesiak (The Wine Front): Pear drop and banana skin to start. It blows off a bit and changes into lemon balm and waxy quality. Floral perfume. It has aromas of pears and peaches too. Beautiful texture, cushy, silky and salty, with gentle cinnamon spice and sour edge. Lemon verbena. Lingering. I like the texture of this wine more than its bouquet. But it doesn’t make it less tasty.
90 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): My daughter gave me a glass of white wine on the weekend, and I told her it tasted like a Sauvignon Blanc, but I didn’t think it was. It turned out to be a Vermentino. Madeline at the Wine folly says: If you love Sauvignon Blanc, then Vermentino is your friend. Most plantings of this variety are found in Sardinia, and I’m not sure the Hunter Valley is ideal for this variety. A short spell in French oak adds some interest, but the wine didn’t have enough crunchy acidity for my taste. It’s an easy-drinking wine, well-made wine though.
92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Sangiovese is the grape of Tuscany that is used to make Chianti Classico and the great Brunello di Montalchino. The fruit can be tart like sour cherries, with roast tomatoes and peppers in the background, but the dominant characters are savoury ones such as leather, tobacco, licorice, bay leaves and road dust. The serious reds made from Sangiovese tend to be high in both acid and tannin – these are food wines built for long lives. This edition from the Hunter is a soft affair, but show the savoury notes with the volume turned down. The acid and tannin profile is soft, and the wine is ripe and smooth and ready to drink. We had it with Italian meatballs, and it was a good match. Again I’m not convinced that the Hunter is the most suitable place for this variety, but the winemaking is pretty smart. Suzanne Little made the top wines for Rosemount before she and her husband Ian (also a winemaker, and a brewer) set up the LWC in 2000.
90 pts – Stuart Robinson (The Vinsomniac): Cracking Sangio from the Hunter here. It’s a fruity vibe with just enough of a savoury pitch for interest. Soft and supple on entry, a barely there throw of tannin gains a modest amount of presence to coat the mouth and leave a lasting presence.Lingering acidity for freshness and to clean up the palate and whatever you choose to pair with it. Cliched as it may seem, Pizzas worked well at Chateau Vinsomniac.