91 pts – Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2023: Airy and delicate on the nose, with wisps of citrus peel, vanilla, toasted coconut, mown hay, and wildflowers. The palate is soft and honeyed, with zesty orange and baked walnuts coming forth on a long, elegant finish.
95 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A medium red in colour with black cherry, wild blackberry, undergrowth and understated spice. The palate is beautifully textured and medium to full bodied, black cherry dominates with a faint kirsh character; tannins are structural and in prefect balance with the vibrant fruit and move it to a more earthen and savoury mode. There is certainly concentration and depth, but also the unmistakable drive, energy and balance that comes from the greatest Pinot Noir region in the World.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Village level this might be, but those wanting to enjoy a fine example of a Volnay, one of Burgundy’s famous sites, should get on board. You won’t find many examples at this price. A colour of deep garnet, the nose is a mix of spices, florals, red fruits, cherries, hints of earth and a little leather with a touch of vanilla and cassis. The typical Volnay delicacy and elegance is more evident on the palate thanks to a lingering finish with fine tannins and good focus. Drink now and for the next four to seven years.
2019 Nuiton-Beaunoy Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre Monopole
94 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep-ish red with a tint of purple, the bouquet shows sweet cherry fruit that turns deliciously succulent and fruit-sweet in the mouth, where the fine tannins back up providing good structure and augmenting the length. It tastes rich and very ripe, generous in fruit and there are ample tannins in balance. Alcohol warmth lingers: it’s an extreme style ripeness-wise, but it works. A powerful wine indeed, with quite a few years ahead of it.
93 pts – Gary Walsh (The Wine Front): It has a bloody, steely/ozone thing about it, which I guess is typical Pommard. Cherry, mint and dried herbs, subtle vanilla and spiced oak. It’s medium-bodied, cherry and plum, bright fresh berry acidity, a fine chalky grip to tannin, a ferrous element too, and a bright and juicy finish of good length. Some blood orange in the aftertaste. It’s a good wine. Vivacious and crunchy.
93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A very good example of what Pommard offers lovers of Burgundy. A medium maroon hue, there are firm and rich flavours here in a bolder style of Pinot Noir. The nose offers an attractive smoky note with darker fruits, chocolate and cherry characters, cloves and leather, with a sprinkling of sweet spice notes with a gentle fade on a lengthy palate underscored by fine yet firm tannins. This will drink well over the next six to eight years with lots to like.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From the Côte de Beaune region in Burgundy, this offers good buying for a wine from the illustrious golden slopes. Purple/magenta in hue, the nose is bursting with big bold black cherries. There are also notes of plums, milk chocolate, mulberries, licorice, black fruits and well-integrated oak. Hints of sour cherries emerge on the palate, especially towards the finish, with juicy acidity. Surprisingly long, I like this a lot and it is a joy to drink now and any time over the next three to five years.
92 pts – Gary Walsh (The Wine Front): Lots of juicy stone fruit, peppermint, caramel, a little ginger and biscuit spice (especially cinnamon). It’s rich and glossy, but has pretty tight almost grapefruity acidity, almond and butterscotch, some chalky texture, rich Chardonnay flavour, with cream and salt cracker accents. Good wine.
90 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Basic Burgundy perhaps, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable style. Quite a deep yellow here. The nose is a mix of minerals, cashews, stonefruit, dried apricots and nuts. A minerally texture, which is approachable although rather grippy, leads to a firm finish. An attractive style which should give pleasure for most of the rest of this decade with good drive and attractive buying for those looking for an introduction to the region.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The interest in fine white Burgundy has seen wines such as this Pouilly Fuisse come into their own. The great regions are in massive demand and are now at prices ordinary mortals can only dream of meeting. Up and coming districts are offering fine examples at much more manageable costs. This wine is a deep yellow gold. The nose is restrained, focused and elegant with subtle cashews and stonefruits. Balanced, layered and offering a pleasing texture, there is gentle length here which lingers appealingly with hints of apricot emerging on the palate. Drink now and over the next five years where there is certainly room for further improvement over that period.
92 pts – Gary Walsh (The Wine Front): Cherry, sugared almond, a quiet perfume, and some walnuts too, liquorice and orange peel. It’s medium-bodied, again that almond and cherry thing, slightly chalky open-weave tannin grip, a little earthy and ferrous, some dried herb, and a lively finish of good length. It’s a lovely thing to drink, and speaks of grape variety and region. I really like this.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Lots to like with this Italian version of a Zinfandel, which they know as Primitivo. An attractive garnet hue. Fragrances of red fruits, truffles, florals and raspberries plus red cherry notes and hints of beef stock. Well balanced, fine though reasonably firm tannins, with focus and length, this has the potential to provide a decade of pleasure ahead of it. A really delicious example.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A really good Fiano. The colour here is a shimmering green/gold. We have notes of nuts and biscuits, evidence of the gentle oak treatment, topped with cumquats, dry honey and walnuts. A most appealing texture, firm and yet generous with impressive length and a lingering finish, all part of a refreshing style. This will drink well over the next four to six years. Lots to like here and if anyone wants to see a good example of this grape from its Italian home, this is for you.
91 pts – Gary Walsh (The Wine Front): Glossy, honey and nuts, apple and pear, with a little aniseed. It’s juicy, all the stonefruit and apple, with some chalky grip, viscous, but fresh, almond paste and a quinine crunch on a finish of good length. Smooth. Slippery. Good.
93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From the Apulia region of Italy, Primitivo (Zinfandel) is the signature grape on offer here. A full flavoured style. Deep maroon in colour, this has a powerful nose with notes of warm earth, leather, chocolate, black fruits, black olives and bay leaves. Quite spicy, there is good concentration throughout, while never losing focus over a lingering finish with very fine if slightly grainy tannins. Enjoy now and for the next six to eight years.
91 pts – Gary Walsh (The Wine Front): Walnut, cherry, liquorice, and a slightly earthy character. It’s fleshy, juicy, all walnut and baked cherry, with something of an almond friand sweetness, a handful of dried herb and orange peel, and despite it’s ripeness, it still stays pretty fresh, with fine grainy tannin, and a nutty succulence to close on a finish of good length. A bit cakey, but really nice and good to drink.
92 pts – Gary Walsh (The Wine Front): Soft, composed and good to drink. No harsh edges, rosehip, tangerine and fresh raspberry, gently creamy, fine powdery texture, pulls quite bright and clean on the finish with a little orange and perky red fruits, a slight basil flavour in the aftertaste. Very nice. All just so.
91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Organic Rosé benefiting from the glories of the Mediterranean sun – no wonder it is such a popular style, especially when it also represents such good value. A lovely pale pink hue, very pale. Spices, fresh red fruit notes, hints of strawberries and raspberries. This is a very gentle style of Rosé and one which would be absolutely ideal for chilling for a summer afternoon picnic. Finely balanced and with a lingering finish this is best to enjoy in the short term.
94 pts – Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review): The Harewood Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 is the best Harewood red I’ve had in ages. Historically, the array of single vineyard Riesling from this Great Southern producer float my boat with predictable results, while the reds too often come across as surprisingly inelegant. But here, the planets have aligned, delivering a robust red that is so undeniably persuasive.All Great Southern fruit matured for a huge two years in new and one-year-old oak. Huge is the right word, with a huge minty wall of dark fruit and oak hitting you with a promise of thick red wine. But just when you think this deeply flavoured and oak-fortified red can be too much, the back end takes over with its savour and mint-flecked tannic poise. This is really good. Yes, it’s rich, tending towards warm and threatening to be fruitcakey, but also drying and rather clean/pure to finish off in that slightly minty, impressively long and regal Great Southern way. I like it.
92 pts – Stuart Robinson (The Vinsomniac): Plum and sour cherry vibe here – cool rendition of Pinot Noir from Denmark, in Western Australia’s Great Southern region. Veers towards a dark fruit profile on the palate: tight, dense tannin profile. Delivers an excellent length, but one suggests the enjoyment factor will be enhanced with time, or a bloody good decant.
90 pts – Aaron Brasher (The Real Review): Aromas of white peach, melon skin, white flowers, nuts and nougat. Flavours are in the white stone-fruit range, nectarine and peach along with pithy citrus and creaminess. Long, layered and mouth-filling.
92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From the Denmark sub-region of the Great Southern in Western Australia, this wine is limited to free run juice only, which is fermented in a mix of new and seasoned French oak 500-litre puncheons with nine months oak maturation to follow. Pale lemon hue, we have notes of citrus and some very gentle stonefruit while lemon and lemon curds dominate at this early stage. A hint of vanillin oak with some nutmeg too. Good balance and impressive intensity of flavour runs the full length of the wine supported by fine acidity. There is also focus, drive and persistence. As we move to the palate, we see more stonefruit notes emerge. Enjoyable now and over the next five to six years. Good drinking.
91 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Very bright, youthful, medium to deep purple/red colour, with a dried herb, baked earth and Vegemite bouquet, typical of the style. The wine is medium-bodied and the tannins are quite firm, while the palate has a slight dip in the middle. It’s starting to develop some complexity while the tannins are firm and drying but balanced, contributing to its classic lingering savouriness.
95 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep ruby with a trace of purple in the rim; the bouquet dried bayleaf, meaty, walnutty, smoky/oaky and charcuterie, while the palate is full bodied and savoury, intense mellowing/complex flavours with a drying tannin finish and long carry. Generous use of oak. The tannins are insistent but fine and ripely supple, adding excellent structure and backbone. Quite powerful, and would happily stand up to the heartiest of foods.
2021 Eisenstone Shiraz Becker Vineyard Koonunga SV907 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)
93 pts – Angus Hughson (Vinous): This sleek 2021 Shiraz McDonald Vineyard Marananga SV904 offers up a tight core of aromas: white pepper, cloves, star anise and aged meats in a cooler vintage Barossa frame. Dry, firm and taut, it shows excellent fruit definition. The wine is tightly coiled before delivering an extraordinarily long finish underpinned by chalky tannins. A sleeper for sure.
2021 Eisenstone Shiraz Matcheoss Vineyard Greenock SV901 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)
92 pts – Angus Hughson (Vinous): This single vineyard 2021 Matcheoss Vineyard Greenock SV901 offers the classic Greenock fruit kick, although with some seasonal elegance thrown in: layers of olive tapenade, chocolate and violet aromas wrapped up in a delicate blanket of high-quality oak. Robust dark cherry flavors follow with a seam of chalky tannins and smoky notes emerging over a lingering finish. Good composure here, and it will drink well over the medium term.
2021 Eisenstone Shiraz Koonunga SR807 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)
91 pts – Angus Hughson (Vinous): The 2021 Shiraz Koonunga SR807 is an understated style but delivers impressive complexity. There are reserved cherry compote, woodsmoke and dried spice aromas with an attractive touch of dried sage. Mid-weight and juicy, this wine has a very appealing elegance and brightness. Good composure again underpinned by supple tannins, so this is best enjoyed young.
93 pts – Stuart Knox (The Real Review): Medium intense cherry red colour. Mulberry, black cherry, dry leather and allspice aromas. Full bodied, bone dry, dark fruits, dark minerals, and dark earth all make for a brooding and intense mouthful whilst robust tannins keep it rolling long.
91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): An organic Rosé from France’s Rhône Valley, this is a pale orange shade, with gentle aromas of warm earth, red fruits, wild strawberries and dry herbs. A refreshing style with surprising intensity, this has a pleasing lingering finish. An attractive style to drink now and over the next year or two.
90 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): A Vin Biologique from the Cotes du Rhone, a blend of Grenache and Shiraz, made organically. Typical lazy, hazy, soft Rosie offering roses and Turkish delight. A slightly hard edge appears as the wine flows across the tongue.
92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): From Tentino in the north of Italy. It’s more of a Pinot Gris to my mind, and a pretty luscious one at that. Nothin g wrong with that, and this is rich anytime drinking at a modest price.
90 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A fine Pinot Grigio from the Trentino Alto Adige region in northern Italy and one which is certainly good value. Always nice to see a European wine under screwcap – hopefully this is just the start as it helps ensure maximum freshness and vibrancy for the wine. A pleasing pale yellow hue. The nose is dominated by crisp pears with hints of nuts, minerals and garden herbs. The palate is rounded in shape and the wine offers a soft and pleasing texture. A fine line of acidity helps draw focus to the lingering finish. Definitely worth a look but it should be seen as a drink now style.
Winsor Dobbin (Ciao Magazine): Searching for a white wine to match with fish and chips, or fritto misto? This one will do the trick and is surprisingly affordable. From a producer with 120+ years of experience and made from fruit grown in the cooler north of Italy, it is a classic crisp, dry and refreshing grigio best enjoyed while it is still young and fresh. This is all about refreshment with its fresh apple notes, stony minerality and bright acid on the finish. Imported by Single Vineyard Sellers. Try Amato’s in Leichhardt.It is a bargain, so save a few bottles for spring.
93 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Best Nero I’ve tasted in years. For once, the blurb is spot on: ‘Nero d’Avola is the workhorse red wine of Sicily. This superb, squeaky clean example boasts robust dark plum and cherry fruit flavours with lick of liquorice and spice. Soft and velvety, a must try.’ Great drinking now.
90 pts – Stuart Robinson (The Vinsomniac): Classic Sicilian variety at a very friendly price. Plum and kirsch notes with a herb and savoury edge. The palate is supple, lithe, hints of baked raspberry across the palate. True tannin profile, with a roughish edge that gives grip across the final movement through the palate
91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From the Puglia region in Italy, this is a full flavoured style offering decent value. Dark maroon in colour, the nose is attractively perfumed. Black cherries, cloves, plenty of spicy notes, aniseed, chocolate and soy. Layered with silky tannins and good length, further soy notes, cherries, beef stock and dark berries emerge more on the palate which shows good length. Drink anytime over the rest of this decade.