2015 Te Mata Coleraine – Hawkes Bay, New Zealand $103

The Te Mata vineyards date back to 1892 with John Buck acquiring the rundown winery and vineyards in 1978 and kick-starting Hawkes Bay’s modern era. Coleraine is Te Mata’s icon and the 2015 is worthy of its pre-eminence. A typical Medoc blend of 54% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 10% cabernet franc, Coleraine is aged in 70% new French oak initially,  as its varietal components with a further year in barrel as the final blend. It exudes violets, perfectly ripe blackcurrants, mocha and cedarwood. The palate is profound with intense dark berry fruits, hints of chocolate, marzipan, roasted coffee. A swathe of fine-grained tannins carry the finish of this classic ’claret’. Drink from 2020 and beyond.

GT WINE Magazine, August/September 2017

2013 Mont Redon Lirac – Rhone Valley, France $38

In 1923 Mont-Redon was a mere 2.5 hectares of vines spread across the newly created Châteauneuf du Pape appellation. Over four generations Henri Plantin and his descendants enlarged the domaine to its current 100 hectares. However, this juicy red comes from the oft overlooked Lirac appellation, nestled in the crook of the Rhone River to the west of Avignon. Grenache leads the way with syrah and cinsault in support with a third of the blend aged in Burgundian barrels, the balance large format vats.  Dark cherry and raspberry pastilles with worn leather and garrigue. The palate is alive with red fruit flavours, modest tannins and a savoury finish.

GT WINE Magazine, August/September 2017

2014 Esquinas de Argento Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina $24

The Argento enterprise was established in 1998 with maestro viticulturist, Alberto Antonini as consultant. Tuscan-based Antonini is regular visitor to Australia assisting the Pizzini family and one of the founders of the Heathcote Greenstone project. The Argento vineyards are in the high altitude sites benefitting from Mendoza’s desert-like climate and the natural irrigation from the Andes’ melting snow. The 2014 Esquinas shows classic malbec aromas of black cherry, liquorice allsorts and baked bricks.  Plump and juicy, the palate is a compote of spicy plum, blackberry and prunes with a suite of grainy tannins to carry the finish.

GT WINE Magazine, August/September 2017

2014 Amato Vino Tempranillo – Margaret River, WA $30

Brad Wehr is an amazingly energetic wineman, his Wine by Brad label morphing into Amato Vino.  Wehr sources fruit from Margaret River and the Riverland, working with Ricca Terra Farms and alterative varieties like vermentino, fiano, nero d’Avola, montepulciano and touriga nacional. Look out for interesting new immigrants – slankamenka bela and teroldego.  The fruit for his 2014 Tempranillo comes a warm vineyard site in Yallingup and shows typical raspberry, kola nut and fresh aniseed aromas. The palate is deeper with red and black fruits, Cherry Ripe flavours and hints of dried herbs. The tannins are well integrated, gliding to a plush finale.

GT WINE Magazine, August/September

2016 Over The Shoulder Pinot Noir – Yarra Valley, VIC $24

David Bicknell is on a roll with his multi-tiered chardonnays and pinots scoring top points for both quality and value. Over The Shoulder (OTS) is the Oakridge entry-point range with this 2016 Pinot Noir offering deliciousness at a more than fair price. Sourced from the Gladysdale, Woori Yallock and Coldstream vineyards, Bicknell takes the same care with OTS as his more illustrious wines. 10% whole bunch fermentation adds a whiff of wood-smoke character to the bright strawberry and red cherry aromas. A basket of red fruits defines the palate with fresh acid and fine tannins in support. Drink regularly and often.

GT WINE Magazine, August/September 2017

2014 Rymill mc2 – Coonawarra, SA $20

Peter Rymill planted grapes in 1974 but it wasn’t until 1990 the first grapes were crushed in his architecturally resplendent winery  –  a century after Rymill’s great-great-grandfather, John Riddoch, founded the Coonawarra Fruit Colony and established the region’s first vineyards. The Rymills recently sold to the family of Chinese businessman, Gang Ye.

French-born winemaker, Sandrine Gimon remains in charge of the fermenters with this ‘old school claret’ a tribute to her talents. Is a three way blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc with cassis, ripe plum and raspberry fresh perfumes, a medium weight but amply flavoured palate and fine, pumice-like tannins aiding the finish. New smart packaging and great value.

 GT WINE Magazine, August/September 2017