What’s News

13 Jun

May: In The Media

By: Justine Teal Categories: Reviews and Awards, Wines

A month in the media – See what these journalists thought about our wines in May.

NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique

96 pts – Decanter World Wine Awards 2023: Quite classy and carefully composed, showing attractive aromas of peaches, apples, honey and touches of honeysuckle. Delicious on the palate, with a silky mousse.


91 pts – Decanter World Wine Awards 2023: Savoury, with musky, leathery notes, some balsamic and mushroom. Palate has some freshness and a long finish.
90 pts – Decanter World Wine Awards 2023: Cream nose of vanilla with notes of raspberry ice cream, dried apricots and dark chocolate. Juicy and succulent, powdery tannins.
2020 Eisenstone Koonunga SR807
90 pts – Decanter World Wine Awards 2023: Lifted nose with floral nuances and black currant aromas, hints of pepper. Elegant palate with weight and harmony.

92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): A pleasant chardy that slips across the palate without making a fuss – understated stone fruits, a squirt of citrus and a touch of vanila oak.

92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The Hunter Valley is often overlooked as a source of quality Chardonnay, but it can provide rich and full flavoured examples, such as this fine offering. A shimmering pale gold, this is a vibrant style with a fine line of acidity. Lovely lime notes here with cushiony oak, the oak integrating well and the wine should be even better in six to twelve months. Good length too, quite delicious but will be even better in time. Enjoy over the next four to six years. Excellent value.

90 pts – Kasia Sobiesiak (The Winefront): Faint aromas. Flavours sweet-sour. Lemon balm, herbs, grapefruit skin, almonds and just a hint of ginger spice. Very gentle in flavours with delicate vibrancy and dust of spice. Slight chalky grip, it’s pretty and smooth, finishing on an orange oil note. Nice one.


95 pts – Masha Kyrychenko (National Liquor News): Luscious berries with chocolate mousse, freshly cracked pepper, smashed black cherries and char. Touch of pleasant bitterness on the finish.

96 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): What a gorgeous Cabernet! James Kellie’s Cabernets have seductive fruit in abundance, along with a velvety texture. Oak adds fine polish here without intruding. It’s a seamless red showing a lot of finesse.

93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc from a mix of Great Southern sub-regions, Denmark, the Porongurups and Frankland River. Maturation in new and seasoned French oak for a year, whereupon the wine underwent barrel selection and further blending, before another year in French oak. Deep maroon hue. The aromas include blackcurrants, chocolate, spices and some oak, which is still evident though in the process of melding. The wine is still a little closed at the moment, but expect it to blossom over the next few years. There is focus and balance, with mid-weight and decent length fruit supported by reasonably firm tannins. Better in a year and then can be enjoyed for a decade.

93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): French oak supports quality Shiraz fruit from the famed Great Southern region in the West. Fruit from both the Frankland River and Mt Barker sub-regions is included. Fermentation is in small open fermenters with maturation in a mix of new and seasoned French oak for nine months, before blending and a further nine months maturation. The colour is a near opaque magenta. Cherries, leather, truffles and black fruits all weave their way throughout the aromatics. There is some slightly sappy acidity and a sour cherry note on the palate. Good length, a silky texture and solid tannins offer a promising future so it will provide pleasure for at least the next decade. Good value here.

92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Another young red with no lack of grip, and some pristine fruit. Fresh and intense, just needs time.


92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A new Prince of Denmark. Hopefully, it has better luck than the last one. A fine Pinot from the Denmark region, which is worth pursuing. A bright purple/maroon hue. Spices, raspberries, dry herbs, red apples and a hint of mushrooms and animal hides. The fruit balances well with the oak, which is not intrusive showing excellent focus and impressive length, a slippery texture and silky tannins. There is also an enjoyable slight bitter almond note on the finish. Enjoy over the next four to six years.

91 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): I love Pemberton, a gorgeous part of the Great Southern in W.A. The wines from here tend to be delicate, and so it is with this Pinot. It’s kind of a water colour rendition of the style.


94 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The grapes used here hail from the cool climate region of Denmark in the West. Free run juice was fermented in French oak. The colour is a pale yet bright lemony hue. The nose is fragrant with citrus, ginger, florals and river stones plus hints of stonefruit. This is a richly flavoured style of Chardy, impeccably balanced with superb, though transparent oak integration in progress here. Clean with citrussy acidity, impressive length, with real persistence and an appealing texture, this is a really good Chardonnay with a long future. Enjoy over the next six to eight years. Love it!

92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From a single vineyard in the Denmark region of Western Australia, the grapes were fermented in one-tonne parcels with twice daily plunging before ten months in new and seasoned French oak. A crimson/purple colour, the aroma is of fresh strawberries and gentle raspberries, some brambles and animal skins. As attractive as the nose is, the wine really steps up on the palate. A supple, slippery and very slurpable texture, through to silky tannins. There is then good balance, impressive length and a gentle fade to finish. Drink over the next three to five years.

Winsor Dobbin (Ciao Magazine): From the James Keliie and his team at West Australia’s Harewood Estate, this is a delightful lighter-style single-vineyard pinot from the cooler Denmark region of the remote Great Southern. It offers a whole lot of varietal pinot flavours for a very reasonable price given the soaring asking prices for some of its rivals from Tasmania and Victoria. Think dark cherry and wild strawberry flavours, with a touch of spice, savoury notes, and some delightful fresh acid. It has been fermented on skins and is unfined and unfiltered. A hint of wildness then, but plenty of pleasure. Distributed by Single Vineyard Sellers.

92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): From the Dolomites at the foothills of the Alps. This is a serious PG, not the usual lollywater. Crisp and crunchy. more green apples than ripe pears, some minerals and a strong line of acid. Might need more time.

90 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The Trentino region in Italy, at the foot of the Italian Alps, is famous as ground zero for the Pinot Grigio grape and wines. The grapes used for this Reserve bottling hail from vineyards around Zambana. A soft pressing is used and fermentation in a mix of stainless steel and small oak barrels. Deep yellow colour. The nose offers pears and stonefruit, quite pleasing aromatics, with hints of lemon curd. With plenty of fresh acidity here, there is medium length and a tidy finish. Enjoy now and over the next year or two.


93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): An IGT red from the Tuscan region, around 60% Syrah with Merlot and Sangiovese. The colour here is a deep red/garnet. A most alluring nose with strawberries and cherries, warm earth and a touch of truffles. This is a delightfully fresh style, mid-weight, with bright acidity supported by soft and silky tannins. Mid-length, this is quite delicious now and can be enjoyed over the next seven to ten years.

92 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A medium red in colour with good clarity, the wine is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese. The nose has black cherry and plum with fresh earth and carob. A continuation of plum and black cherry is etched with tomato leaf and a touch of fennel; acidity is firm but textured, as are the tannins. A complete wine that will do well with age.

Winsor Dobbin (Ciao Magazine): This was a standout in a recent trade tasting, offering a taste of Tuscany that would grace any dinner party without causing financial stress. It is a blend of shiraz and the local Tuscan grape sangiovese with red fruit and black cherry flavours to the fore. It is fruit driven with impressive balance and is made from fruit that is certified organically grown just outside the lovely city of Lucca. You could pair this with pizza or pasta dishes but it merits being matched with something a little more serious. Try Amato’s in Leichhardt.

91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): From the Adelaide Hills region, which has proved itself to be one of the best on the mainland for Pinot Noir, this wine has a lovely bright crimson/garnet hue. The nose is from the more rustic and fungal end of the spectrum; a bit of the wild child here. Those who enjoy some mushroom, brambles and animal notes in their Pinot will love this. Good complexity is displayed by dry herb notes, spices, leather and cloves, with warm earth and raspberries with better than medium length. Better in two to three years and then will more than hold for the following half dozen.

90 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Good medium-full depth of colour with a trace of purple in the rim and a savoury bouquet of roast meats, forest-floor/leaf-litter, and dried mushrooms. The wine is ample on the palate and has savoury developed flavours, a little light in the centre before tannins ride in on the finish. A very pleasant wine which is beginning to show development.


94 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): 100% Chardonnay, this opens with creamy vanillin hints, stonefruit (peach) and brioche/lees notes. The lees characters are remarkably integrated given the extended time on lees (9 years). This is quite delicious. There is richness to the fruit up front, but this gradually gives way to refreshing acidity and supple textural grip. A serious wine with excellent length and persistence of flavours and lovely texture. Made in an extra-brut style, remarkably, this has less than 2gms/l of dosage. It comes from the Trento DOC in the Trentino region and is made using the Methode Champenoise. 50% of the fruit saw barrel ferment and malolactic fermentation. Disgorged in 2022 and only 3000 bottles produced.
93 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): This is altogether more serious. Here, the tannins and acidity make their presence felt, keeping the fruit somewhat subdued initially. But with air, attractive black cherry and current notes build, supported by gentle spice/minerality and a chewy, textural finish. Excellent value.
91 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): A blend of chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau and pinot noir, made in the Charmat method where the secondary fermentation occurs in large stainless steel pressure containers prior to bottling. Here, the aim is for freshness., with at least four bottlings per year to ensure that the stock is always fresh. As with NV champagne, the aim is to produce a consistent style from batch to batch and year to year. But there is also a fair bit of work done to the base wine in terms of battonage to build texture in the wine to add complexity and differentiate it from Prosecco. The wine is quite neutral, but with gentle floral notes, a little green apple, and a touch of textural grip. This is fresh and lively and, whilst not complicated, is a delightful drink. Nicely judged dosage (only 8gm/l) adds to the balance and mouthfeel and there is decent length, supported by a touch of phenolics.
91 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): Grillo is a very productive variety, so yields need to be managed carefully through shoot management and green harvesting to reduce the number of bunches on each vine. Final cropping was around 12 tonnes/hectare. To preserve freshness, the grapes were harvested at night, and refrigeration is used in the winery. Here, the texture is more apparent than any overt flavours, though there are some stone fruit notes. The texture is supported by well-judged residual sugar and refreshing acidity. The finish feels quite dry and this would be well suited to food.
91 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): Made from Nero D’Avola, the juice for this is bled out of the tank after four hours, which allows the pretty colour to develop. The remaining juice is used for the red wine in the range. Dry, with impressive intensity of fruit that reminded me of floral, rose-like characters. The palate has gentle grip and a savoury feel, while the saline tang adds interest and cries out for some food to accompany it. The saline tang may be due, in part to the fact that this coastal vineyard has a very maritime climate and ranges from only 6 – 60 metres above sea level.


90 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): Almost purple colour. This is unmistakably Southern Italian in the way it combines savoury/earthy notes with ripe fruit. Strawberry and plenty of white pepper is supported by a gentle herbal lift. The palate is unoaked and fairly simple, but ticks all the boxes for a good value, easy drinking red that would be great with a slice of your favourite pizza.


2018 Feudo Arancio Hekate Passito

94 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Cracking example of the Passito style. Hekate was a Greek goddess, guardian of youth and bestower of kindness and wealth. The grapes, from Sicily, are naturally dried, becoming raisin-like which concentrates the sugars, the blend in this case being Chardonnay Viognier and Inzolia. The colour is a bronze/gold. The flavours weave through beeswax, honey, orange rind, treacle, toffee and honey itself. Luscious in style with a lovely supple texture and fine acidity plus very good length. Love this wine, which should have a very long life.


2021 Castel Firmian Lagrein 

90 pts – Barry Weinman (Fine Wine Club): A fascinating wine where the fruit is the main focus. There is excellent acidity and fine tannins which are quite soft, resulting in a wine that is very easy to drink. An excellent introduction to Italian wine for those who like a young, fruity Aussie shiraz. Lagrein gives lots of colour and acidity, but lower tannins, so as a result the winemakers opted for extended maceration on seeds to try and extract tannins, to help stabilise the colour and add texture. Attention to ripening is given in the vineyard to ensure that the tannins are ripe and to ameliorate the acidity somewhat.


2021 Mottura Negroamaro del Salento

92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): A pleasing richly flavoured red from the Negroamaro grape, hailing from southern Italy. A deep magenta hue brings chocolate, dry herbs and tobacco leaf notes, cassis and blackberries, leather and truffles. Some biscuity oak, the palate then displays notes of cherries, mushrooms, soy and beef stock. The structure is dense, but there is balance and length. Enjoyable drinking over the next few years.


2021 Eisenstone Becker Vyd. Koonunga Shiraz SV907 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

98 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Very deep dense, saturated red-purple colour; the bouquet is super-intense and ultra-complex, with melted dark-chocolate, mocha, espresso coffee and blackberry flavours galore. Underneath, there are earthy/ironstone and other savoury nuances, mineral rocky notes continuing throughout the aftertaste. More spicy after airing. The tannis are superfine, long and impossibly smooth. A stonking shiraz.


2021 Eisenstone Hoffmann DV Vyd. Ebenezer Shiraz SV902 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

97 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Very deep, intense, bright red-purple colour with a spicy and earthy nose laced with pepper, the palate intense and focused, taut and driving, with firm but elegantly crafted tannins and lots of earthy/terrestrial flavours overlying a dark-berry core. Gorgeous fruit lurks deep within. Savoury aftertaste with drying tannins and a long carry. A superb shiraz, very bold and concentrated.


2021 Eisenstone McDonald Vyd. Marananga Shiraz SV904 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

96 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep, dense colour with a powerful, concentrated bouquet of blood plum, blackberry and ironstone, hints of chocolate/mocha, the palate likewise concentrated and essency, with density and saturation, and the tannins are pervasive, mouth-coating and gently chewy. Quite a lot of oak, but it finds balance on palate in spite of its massive proportions.


2021 Eisenstone Mattscheoss Vyd. Greenock Shiraz SV901 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

96 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep bright colour and a tinge of sawn-oak among the aromas that include tar, graphite, various nutty and woodsy aromas, complemented by brown spices. The wine is intense and piercing, taut and long, with ample tannins adding a touch of chew. A solid, concentrated wine that will benefit from a little more time in bottle.


2021 Eisenstone Koonunga Shiraz SR807 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

96 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep red-purple colour with a graphite, ironstone and char-oak bouquet, traces of dark chocolate, the palate concentrated and driving, powerful and very long with great line and length. Tannins are fleshy and dense , making a significanty impact together with a high extract mouth-feel. Impressive balance: a serious and delicious shiraz.


2021 Eisenstone Ebenezer Shiraz SR802 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

95 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep, saturated red-purple colour; preserved plum, char-oak and dark chocolate aromas laced with earthy/ironstone savoury notes and lurking blackberry. It’s very intense, focused and piercing in the palate; full-bodied and powerful, with deliciously chocolaty tannins and stony mineral undertones. A superb shiraz.


2021 Eisenstone Marananga Shiraz SR804 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

95 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep and saturated red-purple colour; strong dark chocolate aroma with vanilla and black fruit flavours, earth, ironstone and graphite notes, the palate full-bodied and gritty with stony tannins and a firm, vise-like grip but not astringent. A stern and sturdy shiraz.


2021 Eisenstone Greenock Shiraz SR801 (Due for August 2023, please contact your sales representative to request your allocation)

93 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Deep, bright red-purple colour; the bouquet likewise bright and fresh, initially with a high-note of freshly-sawn oak, which dissipated somewhat with time in the glass. The palate is bright, intense and elegantly weighted, just making the full-bodied weight category. It’s quite oaky but has good approachability, medium-long carry, and the tannins are ample and very supple.


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