(2024) It may come as a surprise to learn that Germany is now the world's third biggest producer of Pinot Noir, aka Spätburgunder, the variety now accounting for around 12% of Germany's vineyard area. This from the cousins Hanewald-Schwerdt is made from 30-year-old vines grown on their patch of limestone soil. Fermented with natural yeasts in large oak casks, it then spends time in smaller barriques, 20% of which are new. Medium garnet in colour, this has beautiful fragrance, with red berries and a juicy, ripe cherry, also a little floral lift. But there are all sorts of nuances, with some truffle and smokiness, briary, autumnal characters developing. In the mouth quite substantial and meaty, delivering a spicy but still pure, red fruited glass of Pinot of excellent character for its modest price. The finish is smoothed by a little vanilla, ripe tannin and a juicy orange acidity. Watch the video for more information.
(2024) Rogers & Rufus is a partnership between English entrepreneur Rufus Clevely and Australian Rogers Hill-Smith - you may recognise the Hill-Smith name as owners of Yalumba and its associated brands. The wine was designed as a summery, lunch-time sipper with only 11.5% alcohol, and is made from unirrigated bush-vine Grenache in the Barossa Valley. It's an homage to Provence, though the nose has a little more passion fruit and even nuances of lychee than might be found in the south of France, the palate bright and peachy but shimmering with an elegant, stony acidity that leaves it bone-dry in the finish. A successful rendition of this style. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. A few stockists have it a bit cheaper by the six-bottle case.
(2024) A single vineyard wine from very old vines in the Hunter Valley. Lemon, custard and a leafy, dill-like herbal note. There’s a sense of honey and ‘fatness’ to this already, some sesame seed-like nuttiness, which will develop over the next decade. The palate is all zipping lemon and lime at the moment. There’s a lovely sour lemon acidity that puckers the mouth, but there is weight and that honeyed sense of fullness to the mid-palate. Again toast – even hot buttered toast to stretch the analogy (but I think valid) – lingers along with that fat, lemony juiciness of fruit and acid at the core. Potential for a higher score.  
(2024) Bright, solid, sweet wine, more into the rich chocolate and luscious dark berries and Maraschino cherry spectrum. Rich, pure, lovely fruit richness and supple quality. Very polished this, super-fine tannins and elegant acid balance.
(2024) From the Macedon Ranges. More youthful colour than the Levantine Hill. Fragrant, a little more perfumed with a floral and herbal character, crunchy cranberry touching into pomegranate. Lovely palate, the supple, harmonious mid-weight gently filled with red fruit, supported by a little chocolate oak, and balanced beautifully into the finish. Apparently about one-seventh the price of the Levantine Hill, but I really liked this.
(2024) From the Yarra Valley. Quite a developed soft colour for 2017. Quite fragrant, with a little balsamic and fig character, gentle truffle giving more interest. Lots of fruit sweetness on the mid palate, and the acid and tannin framework supports nicely. Long and fairly showy, but impressive.
(2024) Biodynamic certified, 100% barrel-fermented with 20% new oak. Interesting aromas, reminding me of seeds and nuts, a dukkah character, a touch of orange and a light natural yeast hay-like earthiness. There is a sweetness to the mid-palate, beautifully ripe apple and ogen melon fruit, barely touches into a more tropical place. Long and beautifully balanced. This is a bit of a cult wine in Australia, selling for around $90 if you can find it, but sadly not in the UK.
(2024) Wonderfully developed toasty nose, dripping with honey. Fresh churned butter and a streak of fat, juicy lime cutting through the inherent sweetness. Fabulous – I’m a sucker for these aged Hunters. This is a single vineyard wine from Tyrell's.
(2024) From the Upper Yarra. 30% new oak, fine and mealy character, lovely rounded stone fruit, also a fine lime skin grip on the finish, balanced acidity. Not in the UK at time of review.
(2024) Oxford Landing is one of Australia's most familiar brand names, though the 'Sunlight' range is new. Created "with an eye towards healthier, more environmentally conscious wine consumption," this has 40% less alcohol and calories than the original Oxford Landing Chardonnay. Aromatically it is fairly subdued, but there's a little custard apple and pear, hinting at a peachier ripeness. There's a bit of sweetness on the palate and, it has to be said, a rather dilute flavour. That intial sweetness does bump into some limey acidity to leave this dry-ish, quite flavourful, and not bad - if lower alcohol and calories are your priority. Watch the video for more information.