Striking labels and memorable wine — all the more so if you recognize that this Montepulciano is not (gasp) from Abruzzo but from its tiny expat homeland in Oz. This was sourced from Kim Bolton Vineyards in Langhorne Creek, Fleurieu Peninsula, and is full of fresh cherries, tayberries, mulberries with an active undercurrent of worn leather and soft pepper. Tannins are soft and the mouthfeel is broody, much like the label. Peppery spices build on the finish. For current drinking and I'd take it with grilled veg.
Sweet and ripe red fruit is covered by milk and dark chocolate in this potent McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon. Pipe tobacco and waves of green herbs thread the palate, while overly gritty tannins house the smoothed, full palate to the grippy and tight finish. Drink now with red meats.
Opaquely deep plum red. Medium-intensity bright cherry bouquet, also some black pepper and meaty aromas and oak vanilla. Full-bodied and concentrated, tasting of ripe plums and cherries with good acidity and a spicy finish. Can stand up to Italian-style tomato sauces. Will improve for another year or two.
Deep ruby in colour with a cedary, blackcurrant nose with an oaky note; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted blackcurrant and elderberry flavours carried on fresh acidity to a firm finish of resolved tannins.
Dense purple in colour with a spicy, black fruit and vanilla oak bouquet; full-bodied, dry, firmly structured, chunky mouthfeel with lively acidity and a firm tannic finish.
Clear deep garnet. Medium nose of red berries, rhubarb and smoky oak seasoned with a bit of black pepper and also a hint of barnyard. On the palate the blueberry and cherry fruit are so rich it would taste sweet but for the nicely balancing acidity. A decent everyday Aussie Shiraz at a good price. Ready to drink now.
The Semillon and Viognier, which come off a shared plot of sand over clay at McLaren Vale's Connor’s Farm, were co-fermented and spent 10 days on the skins together before inoculation and fermentation. Not common kin, these two grapes are working on the like-complements-like theory. Semillon's honeyed waxy richness is blended into Viognier's floral lush richness, resulting in a wine that is — well — super rich, waxy and floral. BUT, and it's a big but, this comes with the orange-wine texture that comes from 10 days on the skins. Post ferment, this spent 18 months in oak, 70% neutral. A pierce of tangerine oil strides forward of medicinal orange, lemon pith, quince paste, ample earthy lees, white pepper, heaps of spices. They call this wine "the mullet." You're either all in, or out. With this wine, I've gone back and forth over an evening of tasting; I do not believe in the faux-mullet. This could use a sharper focus in future but is drinking well now with airtime and an evening of tasting ahead.