(2022) Nero d'Avola is the signature red wine grape of the Italian island of Sicily, but it has been increasing in popularity world-wide, including in Australia. This is a lovely example from McPherson Wines' Italianate range, Bella Luna, which sees some oak but is very much fruit-forward. It bursts with blackberry and cherry juiciness and aromatics, touches of floral character too, before a flood of fruit on the palate. There is silkiness and depth, but always a nice bright fruit and acid profile along with modest tannins to make for an easy drinking, but classy mouthful of wine. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2022) There's 3% Malbec in the blend too, in a wine from a top vintage for Margaret River, with a long, rain-free autumn allowing for slow, full ripening. The Art Series comes from selected parcels of fruit, the wine spening fully 22 months in barrel before bottling. Dark, saturated and dense in both colour and aroma, there's loads of spice and cedar, and a core of pure blackcurrant. In the mouth the creaminess of the texture impresses first, with a supple flood of black fruit that is ripe, fleshy and sweet. Mocha coffee and dark, roasted spices add a lot of depth and drama, then the finish picks up much more of the grippy, but fine tannin and a rasp of refreshing plum-skin tart acidity. Long and very pure in the finish, with cellaring potential.
(2022) This Shiraz was harvested in the last week of February, at the same time as 2019's Riesling. Fermentation included 20% whole bunches, and the wine was matured in second and third use barrels for a total of 18 months. Vivid crimson in colour, there's a fabulously peppery aromatic, with loads of violet too, and charming blueberry and plum depth of fruit. A really attractive cooler climate style. In the mouth there's abundant sweet black fruit, quite glossy and ripe, but with a cherry skin grip of more tart fruit that gives an edge. The cedary barrel component adds more grip, as does a firm tannin quality and plenty of acid grip. The finishing impression is of freshness in among the more succulent fruit characters.
(2022) From an excellent vintage, the Art Series Chardonnay is fermented in 100% new French oak barriques, with a percentage of whole bunches in the mix. The wine is blended after 11 months in barrel. Despite that significant oak treatment, this has a gentle mealiness and creamy almond quality rather than anything overtly toasty. It seems a tad more precise than the previous vintage. There is a little buttery Brazil nut beneath, but also a certain coolness to the fruit, a hint of tangerine to peach and ripe pear. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and has very good freshness, the acid sparky and streaked with lime, that cuts through more buttery and tropical fruit flavours. Again there's salinity, and that plus the zesty citrus gives this fine definition, with a bit of grip too.
(2022) In a mild year, the Riesling harvest began on February 22nd and was completed within a week. A selection of the best parcels was chosen for this bottling, which saw minimal time on lees after fermentation in steel. Delicately floral and fresh on the nose, there is lime and blossom, but a gentle character from the outset. In the mouth it is a wine of great running mountain stream clarity, all about lemon and sharp apple flavours, a fine salty edge to the acidity in a long finish that ripples with lemon juice zestiness.
(2022) A very nicely done, Fairtrade accredited Chardonnay from Stellenbosch, aged eight months in French oak. It is really nicely pitched, the light custard and almond sheen of oak over creamy golden delicious fruit leads on to a palate that has medium-bodied texture, plenty of juicy orange fruit and citrus acidity, and enough toasty and creamy oak to add polish. There's a well-judged hint of flintiness too. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) Yalumba's Y Series is a supermarket-level brand in their portfolio, and the sort of wines that will regularly be 'on promotion'. This is down to £6 for Clubcard holders at Tesco at time of review, but note that deal finishes on 18th April 2022. Others will be along. Wild fermented from South Australian fruit, I think this sees a bit of oak expsosure, which adds a certain spiciness to the otherwise plummy and ripe fruit flavour, densely packed into this chunky, crowd-pleasing wine. Cherryish acidity and bit of tannic structure add balance. If you are lining up the barbie for this summer, it could be the ideal match for burgers and steaks. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2022) Around 65% Able clone in this vintage, more than in other years, as one block - Block F - suffered in the cool summer and did not produce the quality of fruit required. Aromatic like the A2, more cinammon and clove notes here perhaps, but a similar bowl of exotic spices, flowers and bold and succulent red fruits. There is maybe an extra layer of depth here - not exactly depth but a dark compote character, creamy and almost like a spiced plum pudding. Once again, there is a base of espresso and that hessian quality that is savoury. Very firm fruit on the palate, edged by liquorice and a depth of dark plum skins giving grip that the charming A2 doesn't quite possess. This is a structured Pinot, built for ageing I'd say, with a more rugged overall character, but the balance of taut tannins, acid and that brooding depth of fruit all in place. Price quoted below is per bottle equivalent when buying a case of 6 or 12.
(2022) Whole bunches were upped from 25% to 35% for this vintage, with around 7% or 8% new oak. Beautiful pale and transluscent garnet to crimson in colour, and what a fantastically aromatic wine this is, pomegranate and a whole pot-pourri of spices and wild flowers, touches of rhubarb and beetroot earthiness. A core of succulent red fruit comes through, while the oak adds just a little coffee edge. The palate has weight and succulence to spare, a stripe of lean tannin and dry, pithy grapefruit acidity give this energy and length. Lots of spice, lots of espresso flitting around the edges, a hessian dryness to finish in a delicious and fascinating Pinot with a truly intriguing perfume, possibly enhanced by those whole bunches in the ferment. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2022) Made by Three Choirs in Gloucestershire, it's a mind-bending unoaked blend of 27% madeleine angevine, 20% solaris, 16% orion, 16% seyval blanc, 15% reichensteiner and 4% bacchus. quite lightly aromatic, a little grassiness and a touch of spring flowers, pleasing and unagressive. In the mouth there is a hint of sweetness, but only a hint, as it's the featherlight and summery fruit and adequate pithy grapefruit acidity that makes this rather sippable - and at 12% abv, useful too.