90 pts – Erin Larkin (Wine Advocate): The 2020 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon leads with potpourri, rose petals, Ovaltine, oatmeal, tea biscuits and lavender. In the mouth, the wine is all of these things. I think it is the oak that is expounding these flavors in the mouth. The tannins are firm and plush, and the fruit is hard to determine. There are vague notions of cassis and mulberry, with a hint of cherry through the finish. 14% alcohol, sealed under screw cap.
90 pts – Geoff Bollom (National Liquor News): Complex, fruit driven and balanced. This is a great wine for this price point, with dark cherries, vanilla and oak on the nose. Firm tannins and a good amount of acid.
Winsor Dobbin (Ciao Magazine): This is a very affordable taste of Italy made from the nero d’Avola grape, which is a star turn in Sicily. Feudo Arancio (the Orange Farm) has two estates along the southern coast of the island and is known for offering good value wines with plenty of flavour. This is soft and smooth with a nice combination of bright fruit and subtle savoury notes. Think berry and fruit salad notes with just a hint of oak. The ideal choice for pairing with winter pasta and pizza dishes, or some calves’ liver with onions. Imported by Single Vineyard Sellers. Try Vintage Cellars, First Choice or Liquorland stores.
92 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): Grillo – pronounced gri-low – is to Sicily what Grüner Veltliner is to Austria. It’s the local wine, the one you reach for when you want something that can shine by itself with little obvious winemaking accoutrements, a wine that reflects its origins perfectly, succinctly. Feudo Arancio Grillo falls neatly into that category with the bonus of being brilliant value for money. Grabs you from the first sniff of cut apple, pear, soft garden herb scents of thyme, lemon balm. Mixes the savoury – preserved lemon, saffron, quince paste – and the textural with good depth of citrus-led fruit. There’s a lot to like here including the great price.
91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The famous, if rarely seen these days, wine known as Marsala was made from the Grillo variety. In Sicily, Acate in the province of Ragusa, Grillo is made as a fresh and aromatic white, perfect for summer drinking. Harvested at night followed by a controlled fermentation and then ageing for five months in stainless steel tanks, on lees, with regular bâtonnage. A lovely yellow green in colour. There are notes of florals, gooseberries, some tropical touches and citrus. This is a fresh and quite punchy style and decent length is on offer here. A soft texture, with bright acidity, it is attractive drinking now and over the next couple of years.
90 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): One of those rosés that over delivers right across the board, whether it’s on good looks, flavour, style or price. Ticks all the boxes. A picture in attractive salmon pink hues. Raspberry, cherry, musk confection and spicy whiffs. Fills the mouth with flavours loaded in red apple, wild strawberry, cherry, musk and spice against a warm umami creaminess. A real strawberries and cream kind of rosé, juicy and bright in acidity, which makes it’s a good multi-tasker capable of matching a range of foods or going it alone. Either way, it will taste good.
Winsor Dobbin (Wine of the Week): It is hard to past the Feudo Arancio range if you are looking for an authentic taste of Italy at a bargain basement price. I reviewed the Nero d’Avola in Ciao Magazine a couple of weeks ago and this rosato – made from the same native Sicilian grape variety – is equally impressive. It is a lovely crisp, fresh and dry rosé style with red berry fruit flavours to the fore, surprising savoury/minmeral elegance and some brisk acid. We paired with some pan-seared tuna, but it would go equally well a charcuterie plate, or a spring picnic. With a restrained alcohol content of just 12%, this is excellent value at $20. Imported by Single Vineyard Sellers.
90 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From Sicily, specifically Acate in the Ragusa province, we have a wine made from the Inzolia grape, not one familiar to most of us. Harvesting is at night, after which there is a cool and controlled fermentation, followed by a brief maturation. The aim is to retain the freshness and the fragrance, while enhancing its minerality. Gleaming gold hue, there are floral notes here, with spices, mandarins, cumquats, white peaches and a gentle note of almond bitterness on the finish. Clean, fresh and tight, the wine is of mid-length. Lovely now, it should hold for the next three to four years.
93 pts – Stuart Knox (The Real Review): Deep golden colour, bordering on amber. Burnt honey, cardamom and cinnamon spice aromatics. Sweet and unctuous on entry with dried apricots and exotic spices filling the palate. A deep concentration throughout but also acidity and phenolics to frame it very well to the long finish. It will sing with blue cheese.
93 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): Hails from the cool and mountainous north-east of Italy, the Südtirol-Alto Adige region. Offers a lot more than your average pinot grigio with a deep concentration of fruit, acid tension and fine minerality. The regional style helps define a linear and taut version of pinot grigio. Deep scents of yellow apple, honeysuckle, citrus, lemon curd, pear, fennel seed and mountain wild pepper. Layer upon layer of flavour, minerality, graceful bright acidity, deep spice, emerge across the palate. This is a wine of great length and presence, perfectly pitched for a serious food pairing. I’m thinking anything involving pork.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A fine Pinot Grigio from the Sud Tirol region, more specifically Trentino/Alto Adige. Deep straw hue, with the merest hint of green flecks. The nose provides aromas of pears, nuts, hessian and stonefruits, while the palate sees the emergence of orange rind. A supple texture, seamless, and with good intensity, there is good length here, and a lingering finish plus a fine line of acidity. Enjoy it now and over the next two to four years – an excellent introduction to Italian Pinot Grigio.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Chardonnay from the Trentino Alto Adige region in Italy, this is deep yellow in colour. Soft, refined and restrained, there are notes of hazelnuts, stonefruits, peaches and melon. A flick of oak is evident, but all is well integrated. Keenly balanced, there is also good energy here and elegance over a minerally backing with focus, direction and persistence. Like this a lot – enjoy over the next four to six years.
2019 Mt Bera Shiraz ‘Amphitheatre’ Blaufrankisch
90 pts – Helena Edgerton (National Liquour News): Ripe red cherries and strawberries, liquorice, and plush ripe tannins on the palate. Well made wine with balanced, lingering fruit on finish and some complexity.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): This classic Barossa Shiraz from Henty Farm has more than a dollop of Grenache included. Dark maroon hue, there are notes of plums, warm earth, red currants and dark chocolate backed by fine tannins and good acidity. The finish is a lingering one, maintaining intensity. A very attractive Barossa Shiraz, good value, and for enjoying any time over the next five years, though in good cellars, will last two or three times that.