Friday, July 30, 2010


I've long been of the belief that those with a distinguished sense of taste are somewhat cursed. Cursed to live a life spending much more money on luxuriant food and drinks than is ever necessary.

To some, the idea of a perfect meal is a well composed Big Mac, crisp fries and an ice cold coke, or perhaps even a chicken parmy with a pint of ale as a chaser. But to someone more like myself, the ideal gastronomic experience might involve something much more expensive; say, 8 courses, covering everything from lobster to foie gras, white truffle to wagyu, to Giaconda to Grange; just to garner the same amount of enjoyment others may find in a chicken parmigiana and beer.

It's ridiculous how many times I've spent over $100 on a meal in my relatively short life (there's another one coming up tonight...), whereas I still associate with people who consider $40 for a meal beyond reason. By the time I've passed, I'd hate to recount how much more money I would've blown on the extravagant side of food and drinks than others. Ah, where all that money could have gone.


To bring the idea of 'ignorance is bliss' into a wine context I'm comparing the opinions of 2 wines across 2 different people, each with differing wine experience.

For the first case I'm comparing the opinions of my close friend Casey and myself, in reference to an $80/doz cleanskin Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir we sampled together recently.

After tasting the cleanskin pinot Casey remarked;
"I like it Plummer. I'm buying two boxes. What do you think?"

Then, in my typical wine-snobberish manner, I responded with;
"Its palate seems unconvincing, forward, short and abrupt, and it's over-ripe."

Casey walked away with two boxes a happy man (still to this day, and he's nearly down to one box). Clearly Casey was analysing the wine in a simpler context to me, as I was probably looking too deep into a $7 pinot to gain any genuine enjoyment. Whatever the case, Casey found much more pleasure in the wine than I did.


For the second case I'm comparing my own review of Curly Flat's 2006 Pinot Noir, with that of one of Australia's most respected, experienced and influential wine writers; Jeremy Oliver.

Of the 206 Curly Flat, a line of my review reads;
'From within its great depth an undercarriage of meaty garden herbs begins to emerge, projecting superb length of fruit onto an already exquisite palate.' 96 points

While in Jeremy Oliver's 2010 Australian Wine Annual, a line of his review reads;
'There is however a thread throughout the wine of a light herbal presence and a hint of raisin, suggesting a slightly uneven ripeness.' 91 points

Amazingly, the extracts here point towards a very similar quality we both found in the Curly Flat, but how Jeremy Oliver perceived this character was completely different to me. In retrospect I can see how my 'meaty garden herbs' might equate to his 'slightly uneven ripeness', but by Jove I still thoroughly enjoyed the wine at the time. Obviously my ignorance, or failure, to detect uneven ripeness in the Curly Flat allowed me to enjoy it much more than Jeremy Oliver did (as evident by the scores), whose experienced wine evaluation skills allowed him to pick out a technical fault in a pinot I simply sat back and marvelled at in amateurish fashion.

Is fine sense of taste a curse?


- Clare Valley, SA
- $16-$26
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

Knappstein were among the lucky ones with their 2008 Shiraz. Having picked their grapes between the 20th and 26th of February, they were fortunate to avoid the 15 straight days of 35+ degree heat endured between the 3rd and 17th of March that season.

With a small addition of malbec (4%), this ripe, jammy shiraz combines aromas of black plums, red cherries and prunes with a faint, earthy spice tone and sweet chocolate/cedar oak. Mirroring the soft, jammy qualities of the nose, its sweetly fruited and oaked palate reveals a medium-bodied expression of simple, ripe berry and plum flavours with a sprinkling of cinnamon, which extend with sweet oak undertones and a finish that shows a little tightness and grip at the very end.

O Although Knappstein's 2008 does condense and tighten its components somewhat with extended aeration, it's still a fairly soft, jammy and simply structured shiraz that reflects its seasons difficulties. Drink to 2014.
87 points

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


- Clare Valley, SA
- $17-$23
- Screwcap
- 11.0%alc

Since their inception, I've aspired to one day meet the team behind Some Young Punks. The words 'young' and 'punks' aren't usually associated with wine types, but perhaps accordingly, they're two words that have often been thrown my way.

Baring a complete name with as many characters as some of Europe's linguistically challenging rieslings (albeit translating to something completely different), this lifted, floral and musky Clare riesling presents an attractively feminine perfume blessed by sweet-edged notes of lychee, rose petal, apple blossom and musk stick. Its happily clean and clear palate announces rich and luscious, sweet musk, lychee and rose oil tones in a sticky, almost moscato-like manner, but then there's a much welcomed, firm influence of Clare's tightening acidity, which prevents excessive cloying whilst accompanying the wine towards a long finish punctuated by citrus tart flavour. Supposedly there's some oak here, but with the obvious residual sweetness I can't really tell.

O From packaging to palate, this is a thoroughly modern riesling with assertive feministic attitude. However, I think it's trying to be a wine that would 'tear down the building, just to pass through the door'*, when really it's more of a 'like ants in a colony it does its share, but there's so many other insects out there.'** I like it though, and I'm sure some young girls will too. Drink to 2015.
88 points

Monday, July 26, 2010


- Victoria
- $13-$25
- Cork
- 13.5%alc

The Original Sparkling Shiraz seems to be as mandatory in Australian wine lists as the words 'moving forward' are in a Julia Gillard speech. Whether you like the Original's style or not, it's undeniable that it's been the benchmark sub-$20 sparkling red for so long now, that it's even become a house fizzer in the exclusive members area at Adelaide Oval Tests.

Vibrantly coloured yet very shy on first sniff, the 2006 Seppelt presents a rather subdued nose scented with cherry cola and dark plums backed by creamy vanilla/mocha oak with a mere suggestion of leathery development. Entering with syrup-like texture, its palate reveals straight forward, bright flavours of small berry and plum fruits with white pepper, framed by a soft drink-like effervescence which is overcome by dry, biting tannins. It's a shade lighter than some of the label's recent releases, and although it isn't terribly deep, rich or complex, it does finish with lingering notes of cherry and enough (well judged) persevering sweetness to see it gain broad appeal.

ü Not a sparkling red to convert doubters of the style, but a typically wise choice for anyone holding onto no more than a 20. Drink with good company. Drink to 2014.
89 points

Saturday, July 24, 2010


- Adelaide Metropolitan, SA
- $80-$120
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

Penfolds' Magill Estate could claim to represent one of the most unique expressions of Australian terroir around. Sourced from a very old, single vineyard in Adelaide's sophisticated eastern suburbs, there isn't really another wine or regional neighbour to compare it against.

Ripe, meaty and rustic, the 2007 Magill Estate shows the tell-tale signs of its difficult season, yet remains evenly balanced throughout. Taking time to open, it slowly unravels a surprisingly bright nose of dark plum, soy, red licorice and white pepper aromas cloaked in a polished presence of nutty mocha/vanilla oak. Medium-full bodied and ably concentrated, its velvety palate packs a dark, rustic core of fleshy black plum and roast meat flavour, which lengthen underneath a grainy extract of dry, mouth-puckering tannins and clean acids. It finishes very long and firm, and although there are savoury elements of clove and cinnamon spice evident, there's also a hint of ultra-ripe, tart fruit.

O Penfolds' resources and experience with the vineyard have courted out a nice 2007 here, but it's still a little difficult to recommend at $100r.r.p. There's more than sufficient structure and balance to suggest it'll develop for some time yet, so I'd just sit and wait. Drink to 2022.
91 points


Penfolds' 5.2 hectare Magill Estate vineyard, complete with the sprawl of Adelaide's suburban housing in the background. This site was once much larger than it is today, but Penfolds controversially sold off a section of the original vineyard in 1982. Interestingly enough, the first modern incarnation of Magill Estate Shiraz came from the 1983 vintage.

Friday, July 23, 2010


- Adelaide Hills, SA
- $33
- Screwcap
- 13.7%alc

Colin Best's flagship wine, his Reserve Pinot Noir, makes for some interesting discussion at $33 a bottle. Depending on your point of view, it could be considered generously priced; or perhaps even loosely titled. Either way, $33 is very cheap for a reserve level Adelaide Hills pinot noir made at one of the region's finest wineries.

Translucent dark red/amber in colour, Leabrook's 2007 Reserve reveals a dark nose beset with savoury scents of stems and charry, raw oak overlying herbal-edged, blackened cherries. Medium-full and long, its firm, rustic palate delivers savoury earth, sawdust and red licorice flavours ensconced in toasty cedar oak, with dry spice and fennel notes emanating throughout a bone-dry finish thoroughly gripped by fine-grained, prickly pinot tannins.

ü+ Like a lot of good pinots, Leabrook Estate's 2007 Reserve is difficult to pin down with adjectives. It's structurally in check, tight, dry and savoury; yet it should soften nicely over ensuing years. It's good value too. Drink 2011-2014.
91 points

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


- McLaren Vale, SA
- $11-$20
- Screwcap
- 14.0%alc

Hardys' Oomoo has been one of my go to labels for cheap Australian shiraz for several years now. However, the recent announcement of Constellation's axing of a further 70 employees from their Reynella HQ has left a faintly bitter taste in my mouth before this bottle's even been opened. Then on top of that came today's news of Hardys offering voluntary redundancies to 20 staff at the Tintara winery, in a move signifying Constellation's intentions of downsizing a McLaren Vale site steeped in history. Tough times...

Initially tighter in its aromatic profile than one might expect, the 2008 Oomoo Shiraz eventually opens to black plum and prune notes underpinned by resonant whiffs of tar/treacle, baked earth and meaty cherries. Notably thick and rich, its palate reveals a meaty expression of over-ripe dark fruit/currant characters, which lack freshness and vitality. It finishes with slightly astringent baked fruit undertones and a simple structure marked by sour-edged acidity, and it should certainly be drunk over the shorter term.

O Unlike some of the label's better wines, the 2008 Oomoo doesn't rise from the pack of cheap South Australian shiraz. Drink to 2013.
87 points

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010


- Adelaide Hills, SA
- $28
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

2008 marks the first release of Hahndorf Hill Chardonnay since the richly flavoured, butterscotch-accented 2004 (92pts). If you speak to the people at Hahndorf Hill, they'll tell you their chardonnay pairs very well with 66% cocoa bitter dark chocolate, and I'd have to agree!

Funky fruit aromas of fig, melon and cumquat rise from the glass of Hahndorf Hill's 2008 Chardonnay, alongside lesser notes of white nectarine, peach fuzz and butter oak. Plush and creamy, its well-rounded, generous palate delivers upfront, brassy fruit flavours with a clean, soft finish defined by nuances of sour cream, nuts and tangerine-like acids.

O Having tasted this wine both with and without bitter dark chocolate, I can say it drinks a lot better with the chocolate. Interestingly, the bitter chocolate seems to add backbone and a dry, savoury quality to the combined experience, which the wine sadly lacks when consumed alone. It's not bad though, but as I've said before, Australian chardonnay is a competitive marketplace these days. Drink to 2013.
89 points

Friday, July 16, 2010


- Adelaide Hills, SA
- $16-$25
- Screwcap
- 14.0%alc

By my last count there's presently 9 different label colours in the Wolf Blass range (red, yellow, green, silver, gold, grey/ex-brown, white, black and platinum). What's next? Pink Label Moscato? Fawn Label Pinot Grigio? Anyway, onto the wine. If you ask me, the Gold Label Chardonnay usually offers some of the best value drinking from within the Wolf Blass technicolour dreamcoat.

Ripe, peachy, punchy and pungent, this 5 year old chardonnay presents creamy aromas of nectarine, melon, grapefruit and wheatmeal with an oak influence that's settled nicely into its fruit over time. Full, round and fat, its rich palate displays an extravagant level of creamy extract, with bold yet soft varietal fruit flavours marked by really gentle acids and a lingering note of burnt, lemon infused creme brulee.

ü Three years on from my last review (May '07-91pts) and this hasn't gained too much in the way of complexity, but it has evolved into an extremely generously proportioned chardonnay with a very soft structure. Drink now.
90 points

Thursday, July 15, 2010


- Coonawarra, SA
- $13-$20
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

In just a few vintages Majella's Musician blend has set a new benchmark for Coonawarra quaffers. Part of its success is due to minimal oak handling in the winery (usually 3-4 months), a practice which allows Majella's expressive regional fruit to shine through in a glorious, radiant manner.

Glowing red/purple, the 2009 Musician literally blows away uplifting aromas of minty blackcurrants, dark plums, chocolate and vanilla, with all the richness and generosity expected of the maker. Soft and gentle on entry, its medium-bodied palate reveals a fluffy expression of vibrantly fruited regional character, before finishing generously long and dry with lingering nuances of warm, sweet fruit and a tight hold of vivid acids complemented by just enough tannins to balance.

ü Although not terribly complex, deep or concentrated, this is brighter than the sun's backside and just perfect for early drinking. Drink to 2014.
89 points

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


- Fleurieu Peninsula, SA
- $25
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

Minko is a small, family based winery whose wine business revolves around a 13 year old, 10 hectare vineyard planted at Mount Compass in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. Its 2008 Pinot Noir (made by McLaren Vale's James Hastwell at Hawker's Gate) certainly impressed popular critic James Halliday, who awarded the $25 wine a lofty 95 points.

Slightly hazy and bright red, its rather withheld nose reveals a prominent note of beetroot backed by more savoury, reserved aromas of cherry, earth and cinnamon with restrained, toasty oak. Appropriately weighted in a medium-light sense, its palate is held in check by a lithe outline of faintly sour, zippy pinot acids and soft yet dry tannins. It's pleasingly composed and elegant, with a balanced finish that announces a rich push of earth and spearmint flavours with gentle spice, yet no rawness or hardness whatsoever.

ü+ Minko's 2008 clearly states the benefit of fastidious, small-scale winemaking for pinot noir. If Tapanappa's 2008 was downright sexy, then this is quite cute. It's also a big win for me on 3 different levels; for its price, for its region and for South Australia. Drink to 2014.
90 points

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


- Lower Hunter Valley, NSW
- $10-$21
- Screwcap
- 10.5%alc

Those who follow Hunter semillon certainly would've noticed the recent release of Mount Pleasant's 2006 Elizabeth precedes that of the 2005. Mount Pleasant's cellar door assures me the 2005 will be released, but because of the show medals it's already amassed its release date has been set back indefinitely.

Already quite evolved, the 2006 Elizabeth presents oodles of kero/toasty development on first sniff, with a mid-straw colour that foretells a dry, savoury fragrance of grilled nuts, lanolin and cooking oil backed by a stagnant citrus tone. Seemingly lacking vitality and true harmony of its components, its rather flat palate reveals forward, developing toast and grapefruit characters marked by mineral/spritz nuances, which end abruptly with a loose formation of zingy acids. As a plus its classically moderate alcohol enables it to flow down the palate with ease.

O Unfortunately, this is the second vintage of screw-capped Elizabeth which hasn't fully met my expectations. It's easy to see why it was brought forward. Now, I'll just sit back and wait to see why the 2005 was pushed back. Drink to 2011.
87 points

Saturday, July 10, 2010


- Clare Valley, SA
- $85
- Cork
- 13.7%alc

Few names excite Australian wine enthusiasts as much as Wendouree; an old fashioned producer whose association with long living reds is practically unmatched in this country. Wendouree's focus is squarely set on grape growing and winemaking, opposing both assertive marketing and self promotion. This point is personified by their traditional bottles, which still display no back label, no contact details and no internet address. How awesome is that?

After 4 hours in the decanter this perfumed and musky young Wendouree opens to powerfully fragrant, multi-faceted aromas of blackberry, plums and rhubarb underscored by more complex accompaniments of earth, game, gumleaf, dried herbs and clove with a polite influence of clean, fresh cedar/vanilla oak. Astoundingly deep, rich and harmonious, its layered, voluminous palate reveals a velvety mouthfeel absolutely packed with moderately juicy, condensed flavours of black bramble berries and malbec derived earth and game coated in polished cedar/vanilla oak. It unfolds down the palate in a savoury, firming and agreeably dry manner, with a surprisingly sensuous, whole mouth coating of silky, fine-grained tannins underpinned by a lingering richness of game, herb and blackberry flavour.

ü+ Like a lot of Wendouree's recent reds the 2006 Cabernet Malbec is much more approachable in its youth than the label's reputation suggests, but it still contains the expected depth and balance of ancient vine material to see it to age effortlessly towards the long term. Drink to 2031.
96 points


There are few more apt terms for the Wendouree vineyard than 'national treasure'. Originally planted in 1892 just 3km south of Clare, this ancient vineyard has produced as many deeply flavoured, powerful and most of all long living expressions of Australian wine as any other. Thank heavens it's still in good hands!

p.s. if you do venture down Wendouree Road towards this extremely significant vineyard, just be sure to keep an eye out for rabbits!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I had the opportunity yesterday to drink 3 glasses of Fleurieu Peninsula pinot noir from the Minko winery, covering vintages 2005, 2006 and 2008 (current release). Minko was a name previously unknown to me, but my encounters with Tapanappa's unique Fleurieu pinot noir instigated enough enthusiasm in my mind to go and check the Minko wines out.

Outside of Tapanappa's wine I actually have very little experience with this relatively new region's pinot noir. Admittedly, Minko's vineyard is some distance from Croser's. Brian Croser's Foggy Hill vineyard lies around Parawa, at the southern end of the Fleurieu, between Victor Harbour and Cape Jervis, while Minko's vineyard is roughly a 20 min drive north-east of that spot at Mount Compass. Mount Compass sits at the southern end of Willunga, which itself sits at the southern end of McLaren Vale, so in thinking, Minko's cool Mount Compass vineyard is as close (if not closer) to McLaren Vale as it is to Tapanappa's Foggy Hill vineyard. Of course, both Tapanappa's and Minko's Pinot Noirs carry the same Fleurieu Peninsula regional tag on the label.

Minko's Pinot Noir retails for $25, roughly half that of Tapanappa's, while its Mount Compass vineyard was planted in 1997. Considering its price I was actually quite impressed by the Minko pinot style, which is noticeably less oaky than Tapanappa's. The better wines showed a good earthiness and richness of flavour (potential regional qualities?), while the 2005 displayed the brand's potential for development. Personally I think for $25 they're about as good as any pinot South Australia dishes up in that price range.

Basically, if Tapanappa's wine pushes the upper echelon of Fleurieu pinot noir in the future, I believe Minko is capable of giving us something tasty to drink at the lower end of the price scale. I will continue to watch Fleurieu pinot noir with growing interest....

Minko Pinot Noir tasting notes are posted below

Minko Pinot Noir 2008 ($25) Shows a strong yet pleasant aroma of beetroot, overlying savoury cherry fruits, earth and clean, restrained oak. Its palate is light-medium bodied yet pleasingly rich and supple, with a lightly spiced, savoury cherry fruit core bound by an understated, dry coverage of lithe tannins and acid. Considerate, intelligent oak usage is a plus at this price point. It's actually quite composed and elegant, with all the elements in place to age until the next World Cup. (full review soon) 91

Minko Pinot Noir 2006 ($25) Bizarre nose. Yes, there's some rhubarb and game, but I also get grapefruit and something that resembles wheat or grain. Quite unusual. Its palate lacks pinot's typical suppleness and fluffiness, as its mouthfeel reflects something more like a lighter dry red. Its ripe fruit resides somewhere in the currant/game spectrum, and although its quite sumptuous through the mid-palate, I'm not entirely convinced of its varietal quality. It is quite drinkable though. 87

Minko Pinot Noir 2005 ($25) Instantly brings me back to varietal correctness, with a more herbal, savoury overlay to cherry, earth and cinnamon aromas. Its good, soft palate is brought to life by a true thrust of lively acids and tannins (a surprise for its age), which leave a good impression through outline. Although soft it's quite luscious, and the fullest and most filled out of the 3 wines. A lingering earthy tone punctuates its finish. Top value and a fine indication of the wine's ability to age, as it could easily sit down for another 2, or maybe even 3 years. Picked up a bottle and I might review it, maybe...92

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


- East Coast Tasmania
- $22-$33
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

From their unique micro-climate on Tasmaina's picturesque east coast, Freycinet consistently produce what I believe to be Tasmania's finest riesling. Recent vintages have proven this to a tee, in particular the juicy, crystal-clear and schisty 2007 (95pts).

Intensely fragrant, with a chalky, mineral, slightly spicy and sharp expression of white flower, pear/apple and paw-paw aromas, the 2009 Freycinet reveals a long, racy palate packed with considerable shape and structure. Its clean announcement of varietal lime juice, rose petal and spicy musk stick flavours are driven along by a viscous undercarriage, which in turn gets offset by a side-splitting extract of powerful, powdery acids and citric freshness. It finishes with exceptional length, tightness and austerity; bearing the lasting impression of true top shelf material.

ü+ Freycinet's 2009 Riesling exudes class and character throughout all of its aspects; aroma, texture, flavour, structure and length. Just fabulous. Drink to 2021.
95 points

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010


- Adelaide Hills, SA
- $30
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

Located between the townships of Hahndorf and Balhannah in the central Adelaide Hills (right near Shaw and Smith), Hahndorf Hill is a boutique winery famous with locals for its proudly modern, visitor-friendly cellar door. Hahndorf Hill's sole red wine (with the exception of a sporadic blaufrankisch) is a shiraz made in the Adelaide Hills' typically rich, spicy style.

Showing great depth and vibrancy of colour, HHW's 2007 Shiraz opens to floral, savoury scents of game meats, violets, dark plum and blackberry backed by cinnamon and white pepper with a modest touch of vanilla/cedar/chocolate oak evident. Held together by a manageable, dry and powdery structure, its medium-full bodied palate bursts with rich, velvety dark plums and berries augmented by savoury, earthy undertones. It finishes positively long, displaying balance, vitality and a mouthfilling richness underlined by lingering notes of choc-raisin, clove and fennel.

ü+ Like their regional neighbours Shaw and Smith, Hahndorf Hill has delivered a winning shiraz from 2007. Although not as exotic or spicy as some recent releases, it's richly flavoured, harmonious and most importantly; delicious. Drink to 2016.
92 points

Sunday, July 4, 2010


- Mornington Peninsula, VIC
- $16-$28
- Screwcap
- 13.6%alc

My ever optimistic view on the state of things in Australia tells me there's been a noted improvement among Australia's $20-$30 pinot class in the last 5 years, but my fear of disappointment generally keeps me away from the $10-$20 class. A $16 (on discount) pinot like this one from Red Hill Estate is just the type of wine I would've been extremely wary of 5 years ago.

Loosely varietal and lean, the 2008 Red Hill Estate's thinly veiled fragrance of roast meats, cherry, sweet cedar oak and airy spice precedes a light-medium bodied, fluffy yet hollow palate marked by metallic edges. A certain degree of suppleness and red berry/cherry flavour benefits the palate, but it's also quite angular and its finish leaves the mouth with a lingering astringency and rawness.

X Although not a complete train wreck (thanks to the presence of some happily valid varietal elements), the 2008 Red Hill Estate does remind me why I usually want at least a twenty in my wallet when buying Australian pinot noir. Drink to 2011.
86 points

Friday, July 2, 2010


- Barossa Valley, SA
- $45-$70
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

Charles Melton's Nine Popes is recognised as Australia's benchmark interpretation of a southern Rhone blend. With heat, drought, a compressed vintage and low yields, 2007 proved a real headache for South Australian growers, but some old-vine grenache styles provided real highlights from both McLaren Vale and the Barossa.

Presenting a deep, dark crimson colour, the 2007 Nine Popes opens to a vividly ripened, rich and somewhat meaty nose of raisins and plum fruits smoothed over by sweet vanilla oak, causing it to appear a bit oaky at this stage and in need of more time to integrate. Incredibly dense and plump, its weighty palate pumps out a smorgasbord of bright fruit flavours, revealing raspberry, rhubarb, plums, currants and game meats with a sprinkling of cinnamon stick character. There's an even coverage of fair tannins, glossy acids and an expansive sweetness emanating from its deeply fruited core, but the sweetness seems to be imparted more from sweet, smoky oak as opposed to confectionery Barossa grenache.

O This very youthful Nine Popes is presently too sweetly fruited and too sweetly oaked to genuinely thrill me. It does possess real weight and depth though, so given the choice I'd sit some aside for a while in the hope of encouraging complex savoury development and integration. Drink 2013-2015.
91 points

Thursday, July 1, 2010


- Central Ranges, NSW
- $12-$20
- Screwcap
- 12.0%alc

The high altitude vineyards of New South Wales' Orange/Central Ranges region have proven well suited to sauvignon blanc, a point which Cumulus amply illustrated with their 2009 Climbing release (91pts).

Cumulus' second label, Rolling, has delivered an uncomplicated SBS from 2009 with light scents of sauvignon blanc derived passionfruit/tinned tropical fruits leading aromas of lemon zest and nettle. Its light-medium bodied, forward palate presents a well timed, juicy hit of clean and fresh fruit flavour in the middle section, before finishing with brassy undertones and hints of apple in a soft, loose fashion without any significant tightness.

O An eye catching label and 4 bronze (!?) medals on the bottle might help this find its niche market, where it should drink okay with seafoods or in a pub atmosphere. Other than that there's not much to excite serious drinkers in this clean yet uninspiring SBS, although it is priced accordingly. Drink now.
87 points