(2021) Hollick is one of the great names of the Coonawarra region of South Australia, famed mostly for its distinctive 'terra rossa' soils and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular. This is a wine that underwent an almost miraculous transformation with a little air and a little time: on first pouring a tasting sample there was a dustiness and rawness on the nose, some cedar and a suggestion of eucalyptus, but it felt shy on fruit. However, I suggest decanting this wine for a good couple of hours before drinking, as returning to it next day the fruit was much more to the fore, plum and cassis, sweet fruit building on the mid-palate. After initial misgiving, the wine seemed to blossom and become more smooth and fleshy. In the end, a very pleasing bottle. Note the stockist quoted has this on offer at £9.99 at time of review. Watch the video
for more information.
(2021) Well, I loved this rosé in my big tasting of 2021's pinks I must say, made from 100% Gamay and from Beaujolais. Yes, it is fashionably Provence pale, but feels totally un-contrived unlike some. The vineyards are cultivated under the 'Terra Vitis' biological system (close to organic with a few allowances), and the wine opens with great succulence and delicacy: rose-hip, summer blossom and peach down are the notes, leading on to a palate where a zesty lemon acidity ensures a dry finish, but that's after the small redcurrant and peach fruit charms the mid-palate. A really lovely rosé this, great value for money, and one of my favourites of my extensive pink wine tasting. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Around 85% of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here comes from vineyards close to False Bay in Stellenbosch, with the remainder from Robertson. This wine saw full malolactic and 12 to 15 months on the lees, and the dosage is 8.4g/l. It immediately his freshness, a dry citrus and Asian pear clarity, subtle biscuity richness too. The palate is zippy and fresh, a raciness to the mousse and acidity, but there is a fruit sweetness on the mid-palate keeping this crowd-pleasing and very easy to drink.
(2020) This organically-certified Pinot comes from a producer new to me, located between Beaune and Nuits-Saint-Georges, where Jean-Louis is assisted by his sons Frédéric and Laurent. It has quite a deep but not opaque colour, and a charming nose: firm and cherry scented, with briar and a hint of gamy perfume, but there's a ripeness and succulence to the fruit quality too. In the mouth there is good sweetness to the fruit, but it is sappy and lithe, a little spicy, smooth tannins and very nicely balanced juicy acidity, for a lovely glass of Burgundy that will cellar for several years.
(2020) I see from my database that I did taste a Sauvignon/Semillon blend from Hollick way back in 1998, but it was still something of a shock to see this: a Sauvignon Blanc from Coonawara, normally associated with South Australia's premium Bordeaux-style red wines. It's certainly packed to the rafters with character; abundant and pungent herbaceous and elderflower aromas, pea-shoots and tropical fruit, then the palate showing just a little bit of a sweet-sour character for me, the vivid exotic fruit surely a little residual sugar against lemon-jelly acidity.
(2020) There is some Cabernet Franc blended with the Tannat here, in a forward and juicy Madiran from Southwest France. Spices, black plum and some floral highlights aromatically, some oak too giving a little creamy and chocolaty background note. The fruit on the palate is very sweet on first impression: real blackcurrant and blueberry, almost pastille sweetness, quite soft in texture and structure for Madiran, though acidity and a little liquorice or endive bittering quality tightens up the finish.
(2018) Not a million miles away from that other great medium-sweet, gently sparkling wine style, Moscato d'Asti, here Torrontes presents a fragrant bouquet of wild flowers, nettle, orange and peach, before a palate that has plenty of sweetness and a light, gossamer mousse, before bright mandarin orange acidity balances the finish. Very unusual, great for Christmas morning with a mince pie, or with Thai cuisine.
(2016) Labelled as an "Exceptional Parcel Release," this top of the range Clare Valley Cabernet from Wakefield is produced in tiny, hand-numbered quantities (mine was #113) and was aged in a mix of new and used French oak for around eight months. I loved the nose, mixing the eucalyptus and minty cassis ripeness of the Cabernet with something much more savoury and olive-like, some balsamic notes too. In the mouth it is sumptuous and rich, the thick black fruit filling the mid-palate, but again it never loses that savoury freshness, a little meatiness and grainy tannin grip and good acidity extending the finish. It's a substantial wine that must have a decade or more of cellaring potential.
A fresh but fairly easy nose, soft apple fruit and a tang of lemons. The palate has an easy-going character too, with lots of biting, fresh-sliced apple offering fruit and acidity, but there is some Chablis saltiness too. A good wine with some genuine Chablis character.