(2015) Partner to the Verdelho also reviewed, this pours a medium to pale, earthy red and has autumnal, rhubarby aromas that are authentically Pinot. In the mouth it is light and spicy, though perhaps a little thin, a little lacking in fruit weight and texture. A reasonable rendition of Pinot, but not a great one. 83/00,
(2010) 14.0%, Screwcap. Smoky, spicy nose, with a slightly too developed character, but some black fruit is in there. On the palate this has soft fruit and more spice, and offers quite a decent mouthful of wine at the price, with a bit of length too. Don't hang around to drink it though.
(2008) For me, easily the best of the small range I sampled, and one I could recommend for the barbie or parties this summer. It is a moderately large wine with 13.5% alcohol (though it may well have started life with more - Australia's larger producers are increasingly lowering alcohol during winemaking using a variety of high-tech methods), that has a deep crimson colour and buoyant, bright nose of crunchy red and black berries with a little floral lift. On the palate there is noticeable sweetness here, giving a rather jammy, confected character, with plenty of blackcurrant and cherry jam flavour. Some spice and a little bit of liquoricy grip adds some tension, and there is just about enough acidity to stop this being cloying.
(2008) Yellow Tail's Merlot pours a moderately deep crimson colour with spiced plum compote fruit that has an edge of kirsch-like, jammy brightness. On the palate the sweetness in this wine is much more apparent than in a the Shiraz, for example, and a certain lack of mid-palate depth or weight means the wine finishes quite lean and short.
(2008) Fermented 'in contact with oak', so I'd guess inner staves in steel tanks, a portion of this Cabernet was also matured for six months in hogsheads. It has quite a dark crimson/purple colour, and a jammy, varietally correct nose of blackcurrant and a bit of plum pie. In the mouth there's a wash of very sweet blackcurrant pastille fruit, with a lot residual sugar evident, giving a slightly grainy feel I find, and the lack of real body or any structure in the mid-palate causing the wine to fall away quickly with a touch of wateriness. There is plenty of spice and a bit of tannic grip in the finish, but it's a wine that doesn't have the easy charm of the Shiraz for me, and like several of the wines in this range, there's a disjointed hollowness caused by the sweetness and lack of concentration.
(2008) Yellow Tail's Pinot comes from 'Selected vineyards' in Southeast Australia and the grapes were fermented on skins, in contact with French oak staves before maturation in French oak for a further six months. The result is a wine that pours a moderately deep crimson colour, with subdued, gently charry aromas with soft red fruits. On the palate there's a lot of sweetness here, with some definite Pinot character coming through, with strawberry and earthy tones, but I also find something very astringent, or more of a disjointedness, between the sweetness of the fruit and residual sugar, and fairly harsh lemon-drop adjusted acidity. This is nearly a decent, gluggable 'beginners Pinot', but just doesn't convince in the finish.
(1998) Deep crimson colour. Attractive, open and fruity nose of blackcurrant, nutmeg and vanilla. Good, very ripe fruit that's not at all jammy, with good depth, a creamy edge and a lingering, spicy finish. Good extraction but balanced. Nice stuff.
(1998) Warm ruby colour. Nice, juicy blackcurrant fruit on the nose rounded out with vanilla oak. Warm berry flavours on the palate with a nice smoky edge and a chewy texture. Maybe a little bit dried-out on the finish, but not enough to spoil its appeal.
(1998) Interestingly, this is the second release of this wine in 1997 and this time the blend is different. I really enjoyed it first time round, but now it contains a proportion of mourvedre instead of the less glamorous ruby cabernet, along with shiraz and grenache. The result is a wine with a bright ruby colour and a nose of dark, briary fruit, earthy and with hints of the barnyard. On the palate it is smooth and flavorsome, with juicy, berry fruit, a coffee richness and a nice spicy finish. Great value.
(1998) From this year's vintage and made by Hardy's. The wine is a pale to medium ruby/pink. It has an earthy nose, with hints of the farmyard, rotting vegetation and animal notes. There is also dark berry fruit. On the palate these very brooding flavours follow through, but plenty of sweet, ripe, strawberry fruit then emerges. Though it is soft and mouth-filling, it lacks concentration and finishes rather weakly. A decent expression of these grapes and a tasty wine nevertheless.