What’s News

04 Oct

September: In The Media

By: SVS Categories: Reviews and Awards, Wines

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

Gold – Mundus Vini 31st Grand International Wine Awards

2021 Anselmi Capitel Croce 

95 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Light bright yellow hue with a smoky reductive bouquet, a rich and full-flavoured dry white that has heaps of personality. Cooked and dried fruit flavours galore. There’s a nice touch of grip on the aftertaste that dries it off beautifully. This would be a great food wine for a hot fish entrée.

92 pts – Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review): This is a tight, coiled white with lots of grip, the palate all firm waxy preserved lemon and a sense of tangy restraint. Ripe fruit, though, which all bodies will for the future, and no questioning that lemon power. It needs a good year to come together and round the tart edges though. Definitely high-quality Soave.
94 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Very light colour with a fragrant spicy and subtly lychee-like bouquet, a trace of nuttiness, the palate full and rich and rounded, a smidgin of sweetness and generous grip adding extra feel and texture to the flavour. Long carry. A powerful wine which has a confronting amount of tannin. Its strength of structure suggests it would work well with many foods, especially poultry.
91 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): Hails from the Veneto with the region’s favourite white grape, Garganega, showing its class, bringing both concentrated fruit flavour and soft texture to the glass. Varietally powerful in aromas of stewed apple, Nashi pear, lemon sorbet and lime with a touch of preserved lemon savouriness. On aromas alone, it is easy to get to know. Comes across a little more developed to taste than the aromas might suggest and brimming with texture. Fills the mouth with citrus-led flavours with a subtle note of tangerine skin and green almond. Just a lick of lime preserve lingers on the tongue to finish. Very more-ish. Under Diam cork.

90 pts – Huon Hooke (The Real Review): Bright, light yellow colour with a fragrant aromatic nose that suggests passionfruit in a sauvignon blanc-ish way. Thiol esteriness. The wine is bright and intense in the mouth, clean and crisp and dry to finish, with length and harmony.

2019 Anselmi Realda

92 pts – Stuart Knox (The Real Review): Deep ruby with a touch of brick at the rim. Blackberry, bramble and smoke on the nose. Bright dark fruits on palate-entry then it morphs into a very savoury beast with smoked meat, blood and graphite characters. Tannins are firm and speak of their Italian heritage but still allow the wine to flow long

90 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): Like a walk through the alpine fields of northern Italy, the Realda Cabernet boasts some bewitching mountain wild herbs together with the more familiar dried oregano, sage, wrapped around plentiful, black-hearted berries. And there’s more – Cabernet-strong leafiness, earth, anise, pipe tobacco and chocolate. Firm, oak-derived tannins rule the middle-palate, well-structured and providing Italian-style cherry pip dryness which, to an Australian palate, might appear quite astringent and drying. Clearly, this is an Italian-style red intended not only for matching with a range of foods, but destined for further ageing. You don’t see a lot of Cabernet grown in the Veneto, so this makes Realda a wine different to the usual red wine pack from this part of the world. Under Diam cork.

95 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Very classy Prosecco. Understated, soft but somehow firm as well. Aromas of honey, pear, stone fruits and citrus. Fine acidity and a mousse with a gentle flow of bubbles. Fine m inerals on the finish.

93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Prosecco is proving more and more popular and this one is what they term ‘Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG’, meaning it is very much top of the tree. Hand-harvested, it is a vibrant aperitif style, which has picked up plenty of wine bling around the world. This is deep straw in colour with an appealing nose of lemon and limes, crisp green apple notes, florals notably jasmine, a hint of glacéd fruit and the slightest touch of a complex hessian note. It is bright and clean, balanced and with decent length. Attractive now, it should drink well over the next few years.

91 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): Established in 1919, Nino Franco is recognised as among the oldest wineries in Valdobbiadene, the heart and soul of Prosecco production in Italy. Rustico captures the joyful essence of the grape, while delivering layered flavours including a degree of complexity typical of the Prosecco Superiore quality level. Plenty of driving bubbly persistence in this wine which was fermented, including a second fermentation (Charmat style with carbonation), in stainless steel tanks. Citrus bright aromas mix with honeysuckle, lemongrass, fresh apples. Citrus notes flow though on the palate, too, with a touch of savouriness bringing added depth. Palate texture is supple and creamy with bright acidity and good length. A little more sophisticated than many of the usual Charmat-style Proseccos.

91 pts – Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review): Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore Brut NV is only the entry-level wine for the range, but it’s a smart wine. White flower purity on the nose, very correct with just a little sherbet and green melon. Lovely purity, I find it just a smidgen simple (this would be even better as an extra brut for mine), but there is this lovely vitality and marzipan sprinkled in a mountain stream lift to the wine that makes it worth a go.
94 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A youthful red to purple in terms of colour, the nose has black cherry and plum fruit with some violets and graphite in the fold. The palate is medium bodied with a continuation of black cherry, tannins take on a black tea like character with just enough fruit derived spice to give a veneer of richness on the mid palate. There is great balance to finish with fruit, acid and oak all meshing well. An incredibly young wine in the context of how well this should age. Hold a year or two before opening your first!

2021 Deep Down Sauvignon Blanc

93 pts – Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review): Certified organic, the fruit sent to old barrel and tank for wild fermentation. There are all the classic top notes – intense passionfruit for starters. It’s the palate where the real appeal lies – excellent intensity, a real compact passionfruit thickness, and it fans out nicely through the tail into chalky, ripe intensity. Top tier Sauv, if based on the palate weight alone, it only needs a final gear of complexity. Best drinking: now.

92 pts – Jeni Port (Wine Pilot): An English wine writer famously once described Marlborough sauvignon blanc as tasting like ‘a bungee jump into a gooseberry bush.’ The evocative mental picture came back to me when I jumped into the 2021 Deep Down Marlborough sauvignon blanc. It immediately recalled the original style that first put Marlborough sauvignon blanc on the winemaking map, one of utter over-the-top, sing-out-loud herbaceousness. It’s all right here: sweet grassy fragrance, asparagus, lemongrass, dill, snow pea and, yes, gooseberry. A well-made, vibrant and super fresh sauvignon. In keeping with the New Zealand taste for a touch of sugar in their white wines, a thread of sweetness runs through the wine, bringing with it a gentle softening of the region’s rather brisk cool climate acidity, not to mention, über-herbaceousness. A good example of the classic style of Marlborough sauvignon.

2022 Harewood Tunney Riesling

94 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The annual collection of West Aussie Rieslings from Harewood always throws up some special wines. And great value drinking. For the Tunney, the grapes come from a single vineyard near the eponymous town which is some 40 kilometres north-east of Frankland River. It is the most northerly of all vineyards in the Great Southern region. Free run juice undergoes a cool ferment in stainless steel tanks. This wine makes a good comparison with the 2021 version, though my preference is for this ‘22, marginally. A very pale lime green colour. This is clean and fresh and with an intense ‘Riesling’ nose. The immediate character is limes and lemons with a little touch of the stonefruits, with a chalky background. There are notes of spices, bath salts and lavender. Slightly edgy in style, this is a gentle lingering example of good Riesling, which can be enjoyed now for the freshness and crisp acidity, or put away for 8 to 10 years to mature. A refreshing and classy wine.

2022 Harewood Mount Barker Riesling – SOLD OUT

96 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Another from the Harewood Riesling collection which steps up on last year’s superb offering. This is seriously good by any standards. As is usual, we are talking about a wine from a single vineyard in the Mt Barker region, made from free run juice with a long, cool ferment in stainless steel. The colour is a very pale watery lemon. The fragrances delicate, almost ethereal – spices, florals, citrus, with a note of river stones. This is balanced and focused, a Riesling of poise, which dances across the palate, and yet there is no lack of power. Finely crafted with excellent length, this really is just exquisite. Drink now or cellar for six to ten years.

95 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The Porongurup sub-region of the Great Southern in Western Australia is a well-known Riesling hotspot and one which has enjoyed some really superb vintages of late – 2022 is no exception. Pale lemon in colour, we have intense aromas of florals, lavender, talc/bath salts and limes, all with a chalky, minerally background. Coiled power is evident, right through to the persistent finish. A fine line of vibrant acidity runs the length. This is built for a very long life, if you prefer your Rieslings with age. Ten to fifteen years should be a doddle.

93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Free run juice which enjoys a long, cool fermentation in stainless steel with minimal filtration prior to bottling provides yet another scintillating Riesling from the Great Southern sub-region of Denmark. The wine, a very dilute pale straw in colour, does exhibit hints of that sea breeze, oystershell note which sometimes appears here, but it is the support from the grapefruit pith notes with the chalk, limes, spices and talc which dominates. A minerally backing and a touch of a bitter almond note tying up the finish. Fine acidity, impeccable balance, and a finish which lingers beautifully, this wine will provide pleasure any time over the next dozen years.

91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): The traditional ‘classic dry white’ blend of the West has rarely been done much better than it is here. A blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Semillon from the Denmark sub-region, made from free run juice which is given a cool ferment in stainless steel and minimal fining. Almost trout stream clear, this is delightfully spicy. Clean, some gentle vegetal hints and a note of blackcurrant leaves with citrus, spices and dry herbs. Good length here and a soft lingering finish after a seductive texture. Nicely balanced for the full journey, with bright acidity running the length. Attractive now but will drink well for at least another two to four years.

93 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Proving that the team at Harewood can do just as well with reds as their famed whites, this classic Aussie blend of Shiraz and Cabernet from the Great Southern region is a cracker. The Shiraz hails from Frankland River and the Cabernet from Porongurup. Individual parcels underwent fermentation in small open fermenters before spending 18 months in French oak barriques to mature. Fining is with egg whites. A deep crimson in colour, this is a beautifully elegant style of red, yet certainly not lacking flavour, intensity or underlying power. Restrained, poised and balanced, we have notes of leather, animal hides, chocolate, blackberries, tobacco leaves, a tiny touch of raspberries and dry herbs. A hint of a vanillin note from the French oak is evident. The wine is beautifully focused, the texture supple, the tannins silky and the finish long. More elegant than is traditional with this blend, but then this isn’t the Barossa and the wine is a very impressive one. Six to eight years, by which time, it will surely deserve a higher score.

92 pts – Mike Bennie (Wine Business Magazine): A curious blend of grape varieties here, perhaps unique to Australia! It results in a juicy blueberry and mulberry fruit-led profile with choc-mint and toasty elements in the mesh of characters. Has that lip smacking, soft and juicy kind of feel with a little lift of cranberry acidity freshening things. Worth the look.
91 pts – Jeni Port (Halliday Wine Companion): A natural amphitheatre-cum-vineyard is home to shiraz and the Austrian superstar, blaufränkisch. On paper, they are a natural fit. In the glass they warm to each other immediately. Black and red cherries, plum, baking spices (cardamon!) and lifted aromatics are alive and enticing. A fresh, juicy wine, medium in body, plush in ripe fruits with a touch of confection sweetness and coffee-mocha oak, this is raring to go now. Why waste such vibrancy with too much extended ageing? I wouldn’t.
92 pts – Mike Bennie (Wine Business Magazine): Not so much groovy (Gruvee?!) but pretty much straight up – cucumber in tonic water, a little kohlrabi, a squeeze of lime. Perfume and palate match in this way and there’s some added depth and softness from the age. It’s a lovely gentle drink with strong varietal character and some added dimension from time in bottle.

2018 Mt Bera ‘Running with the Cows’ Tempranillo

90 pts – Jeni Port (Halliday Wine Companion): A cheeky, fun name for a mighty tasty tempranillo that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Lays the foundations with deep-purple hues and a bouquet of sunny blackberries, cherry, red licorice and vanilla with a kick of spice. It fairly bounces in the mouth, but there is a serious side, too, with a solid concentration of fruit and structure built around well-crafted tannins. More than enough in reserve for some medium-term ageing.

2020 Mt Bera ‘Dream Catcher’ Sauvignon Blanc

90 pts – Jeni Port (Halliday Wine Companion): Scintillating stuff! Get ready for a gentle but uplifting herbaceous attack, combined with the scent of citrus blossom and waves of citrus. Fruit is bright and cheerful, but it is the smooth texture that brings this sauvignon into its own. Subtle but effective.

92 pts – Jeni Port (Halliday Wine Companion): Super-ripe fruit from the 2013 vintage has called for (and received) a generous amount of oak, requiring time in bottle before release. Warm, smoky, cedary oak remains a fixture together with dense blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, licorice and spice against a background of savoury tannins. It verges on the syrupy, such is its alcoholic warmth and richness, but bring out a steak and it will suit the occasion and then some.

93 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): The vintage is a lottery, but the 2021 is very similar in style. The 2022 is a seductive Pinot, so young  but so velvet soft, and it hits all the right notes, from ripe raspberries to gentle forest floor notes. Not complex but high on sex appeal.

92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Granted that this is very young, coming from the 2022 vintage, but it is one of the most enjoyable reds from this West Australian producer that I have yet seen. Utterly delicious and fabulous value. It had seen a short period in oak, but it is the fruit that shines here. The wine is bright crimson in colour. We have notes of strawberries, raspberries, red apples and a hint of a herbal/briary note which takes it beyond a simple fruit bomb and gives it more structure and a touch of early complexity. The red fruit notes move to darker characters such as black cherries, as we proceed. Light to medium weight in structure, with a soft and creamy texture on the palate, there are silky tannins on a finish exhibiting decent length. Drink now and over the next two to three years. It may be young but it really is quite delicious. Love it.

Winsor Dobbin (Wine of the Week Blog): Dark bitter. A great name for a chocolate, perhaps, but not so appealing when used as the name of a grape variety. Dark bitter is the literal translation of negroamaro, an Italian grape variety that is rarely seen in Australia but offers terrific value in this iteration. It proved a superb partner in crime for a Friday night mushroom pizza. Negroamaro is native to southern Italy, particularly in Apulia and the Salento peninsula, from which this wine hails. This is deep in colour with a delightful rusticity/earthiness. A terrific taste of rural Italy, it is imported by Single Vineyard Sellers. Pair with grilled or roasted meats, sharp cheeses – or pizza.

96 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): Honeyed marmalade meets dried apricot and candied brazil nuts on the nose; there is an unctuousness to the palate with plenty of ripe apricot, fig and the faintest thread of ginger. There is great acidity to a wine that has so much residual sugar that ensures things remain fresh and flowing, there is apricot skin like textural contrast to finish with such mouth filling length.

90 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): Lemon zest, dry honey and background notes of lime frame what is such an interesting nose. There is a saline and honeyed note to ripe lemon with a build of grapefruit like bitterness that aligns with the wines texture and flow. The finish is steeped in grapefruit with apple blossom and enough citrus fruits to provide contrast. A really interesting drink.

Winsor Dobbin (Wine of the Week Blog): A delicious taste of Sicily that will not break the bank. Grillo is a local favourite grape that used to be used in the island’s fortified marsala wines. Nowadays it produces fresh, light, and refreshing white wines with tropical aromas and citrus and apple flavours to the fore. Feudo Arancio {the Orange Farm] is a respected and dependable producer that offers excellent value. It also produces an interesting white from another Sicilian grape variety: inzolia. This would be good with grilled prawns or salad dishes and is vegan friendly.

91 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20):  This wine is bursting with so much energy that it almost leaps out of the glass. Crisp apples, green pears and a hint of almond (again) do the running for this refreshing wine, and the price makes it a real bargain.
92 pts -Kim Brebach (BWU20): This wine sports a cork instead of a screwcap, suggesting a more serious wine. It worked on me, since I found it more complex, with more depth of flavour.  Notes of citrus mingle with subdued ripe fruit flavours, with hints of saline and almonds. An intriguing wine.
92 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A punchy nose of worked peach and fig alongside brine and flint. The palate has a fullness of apricot and white peach with some gentle spice washing over the top. There is a faint bitterness to driving apricot fruit to finish that is both textural and gently savoury. A very enjoyable import with plenty going on.

94 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Made from Nero d’Avola, the main red variety of Sicily. Black cherries and prunes, along with earthy tones. Leather, black pepper and a hint of tobacco round out the picture. Nero can be simple but this wine shows off the variety. Perfect with the rustic food of southern Italy.

93 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): Enjoyable aromatics of plum and black cherry that are floral, with a touch of boot leather. Rich, ripe and rounded palate with generous plum and raspberry fruits that are lifted by spice and milk chocolate. Lovely balance to finish with spiced plum lingering.

91 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Refreshing, light and fruity with a touch of sweetness and a clean finish. Serve well-chilled to follow the glacial theme. Nice bubbles, a change from the usual.

90 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Anyone who has spent time in the Dolomites in Italy will know just how chilly it can get and this delightful sparkler, with its nifty name, evokes just that. From a rarely seen combination of varieties – Chardonnay (60%), Pinot Bianco (30%) and Müller Thurgau (10%) – the vineyards are high altitude, between 400 and 800 metres. Reminiscent of a fine Prosecco in many ways, no doubt as it is also produced by the Charmat method. After destemming, crushing and a soft pressing, fermentation is for ten to eleven days at low temperatures, followed by the best part of half a year maturing on lees. The wine is lemon yellow in colour with notes of peaches and other stonefruits, citrus and crisp apples. Florals and even a hint of the tropicals. A fine minerally background. The exuberant fruit bursts forth, along a soft and supple palate with decent length, through to a lifted finish.

93 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Peppe Randazzo, is originally from Sicily, but has also worked in Tuscany, New Zealand and California, making this a truly international wine. Winemaker Peppe Ranmdazzo calls Sicily home, but has worked  around the globe, from California to New Zealand. This bubbly is a dry Prosecco with a lot of flavour, serving up warm bread, stonefruit and a squeeze of lemon. Lovely wine.
95 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): The wine is made from grapes grown in Trentino / Alto Adige, which was part of Austria before the end of WWII, known as Südtirol  (which is mentioned on the label). This is the most impressive Pinot Grigio I’ve tasted in the last year or two, It offers the classic pears and apples, along with citrus notes, backed by the finest acidity. The seamless integration and extraordinary finesse keep you coming back for more.
 92 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): There are top notes of meyer lemon to spiced stone fruits and custard apple on the nose; the wine focuses more on structure than it does exuberant fruit with a gentle build of concentration and texture that is accentuated by enjoyable lines of mineral acidity. Brown pear is lifted by citrus zest to finish, with the wine to drink well now and over the next two years.
92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Trentino Alto Adige is the home of this grape, which people tend to either love or dislike. The colour is impenetrable, the nose offers a riot of smells ranging from cherries and dark berries to leather and dried herbs. The palate continues the story and adds some vanillan oak, fresh acid and ripe tannins. It packs a lot of flavour into a medium-bodied package that really needs a couple more years in a dark place.

94 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Mezzacorona is a large co-op in Trentino-Adige at the foot of the Alps in northern Italy, which features individual wineries that belong to the co-op. Teroldego is a variety indigenous to this area. The name translates to ‘the little sour one.’ The impenetrable colour suggests a massive red, but it’s medium bodied. There are some sour cherries on the nose and on the palate, along with dark berries, black pepper and earthy notes. Intriguing wine that makes a pleasant change.

92 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A vibrant deep red in colour with red cherry,a touch of bramble and richer milk chocolate notes. There is a grainy, earthen baseline of tannins alongside ripe plum and oak that washes across with some enjoyable florals. Excellent lines of acidity with good length and complexity.

2021 Castel Firmian Pinot Grigio

91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): There are plenty of good Pinot Grigios made locally, so why venture so far? Well, perhaps the question should be, why not go with the original version when you can? Castel Firmian is the selection of the top wines from the respected Italian cooperative, Mezzacorona. The grapes for this wine come from the Adige Valley at the foothills of the Dolomites. There is brief skin contact to increase complexity. Lemon/straw in colour, the aromas weave through spice notes, pears, citrus, minerals and a hint of orange rind. The palate is pleasingly soft with a line of acidity running the length. The wine is mid-length but the intensity never flags with good balance. Terrific drinking over the next 2-3 years so if you want to see what an original looks like, this is your chance.

90 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): There are plenty of citrus fruits on the nose that are backed by richer stone fruits and new season pear. The wine has good flow with citrus laced acidity working well with fresh pear. The finish sees a gentle fruit derived spice and citrus with enough textural influence to keep you coming back for another glass.

92 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A light red with aromatics of morello cherry and faint earth. Light to medium bodied with pure red cherry and cranberry fruit, tannins are firm but superfine and give a softly bitter contrast, lovely lines of acidity and vibrant red fruits to finish. A great example of the variety.

91 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Fine-boned Pinot Noir offering delicate red berries in a fresh package, Fine line of acid with good length and clean finish

92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Spumante style made from Chardonnay grapes grown in the hills of Faedo and Pressano, near the River Adige in the middle of the Dolomite mountains. Method Champenois, 3 years on lees in the bottle. It’s quite a complex brew, with notes of citrus, pears, dried honey, apples and almonds, bready yeast and chalky minerals.

91 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A light to golden yellow in colour with lemon zest alongside ripe green apple on the nose. The bead is fine with a mineral backbone of acidity that gives a tautness of lemon and grapefruit with a contrasting stone fruit influence. Well made and well worth the price.

93 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. More complexity here than the white Rotari. Serves up some cool raspberries and cherries, along with some warm bread; a savoury line of marzipan adds a nice touch. Good length and dry, clean finish.

91 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot):  The Rosé from this producer is Pinot dominant – Pinot Nero as it is known in Italy – supported by Chardonnay. The grapes hail from the Trentino region and the wine is made by way of the traditional Metodo Classico, where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. The wine then spends at least  two years on lees. Pale pink in colour, the exuberance we encountered with the 2015 Blanc from this producer is evident here as well, but this sparkler sits on a lovely chalky base. Some gentle strawberry notes here, moving to lively cherry characters. This is a soft and crowd-pleasing style with decent length for drinking over summer.

92 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): From the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy. Delicious fruit salad wine, with flavours ranging from pears and red apples to stone fruits. The acid on the finish keeps it tidy, along with some chalky minerals.

Our friends over at Mezzacorona were featured in National Liquor News this month – read the article here!


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