Calabria 2014 Aglianico: Wine Review

In the interests of full disclosure, I know very little about the variety Aglianico. Having only tasted one from Canada previously.  But given the opportunity to taste something new, these opportunities must be grasped with both hands. There has been an increasing number of producers releasing an Aglianico.  From regions like Adelaide Hills, Barossa and this one from the Riverina region of NSW. Calabria Aglianico

Aglianico traditionally comes from southern Italy, with traces around the regions of Calabria and Puglia.  A distinct Mediterranean climate with dry warm summer months. According to various sources Aglianico in general can show deep colour, with plum chocolate aromas. Fine grained and sometimes assertive tannins, with noticeable acidity.

The 2014 Calabria Aglianico shows subtle red cherries aromas, hints of liquorice and a summery herbal edge. A smokey backdrop and violets add to the complexity.

On the palate the 2014 Calabria Aglianico is a medium bodied wine and more savory than fruit driven. A core of dried cured meats, with white pepper. Lovely freshness and drying but fine tannins. While its definitely a medium bodied wine, the flavours last for some time. Its a wine which invites you to explore and easily a multiple glass type of experience.

The acidity would cut through richer dishes, like roastduck or more smokey style salumi. The Calabria Aglianico is sensational value and you are encouraged to discover something new.

 

Alcohol: 14.0%
Price: $15
Region: Riverina, NSW
Source: Provided by producer

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Calabria 2014 Durif: Wine Review

Known as Petite Syrah in California and South America, this wine is not so petite. So perhaps the name Durif is more appropriate, and far more common in Australia – especially in regions like Rutherglen (VIC) and Riverina (NSW). Dr Durif was responsible for its propagation (from Syrah and Peloursin) in south eastern France in 1880.

This little number from Calabria Family Wines, shows the full depth and intensity of the Durif varietal. The 2014 Calabria Durif has aromas of dark ripe fruit, floral old fashioned roses, and cracked black pepper.  All the aromas leap from the glass with great intensity.  Hints of bitter chocolate and bitumen continue their aromatic invasion.

Calabria Durif
On the palate gentle acid and lots of stewed satsuma plums, supported by charred roasted meat flavours. The tannins are very grippy and drying, and potentially the combination of red meat would tame them a little. The flavours have a lot of intensity up front, but don’t linger around, beckoning you in for another mouthful.

The Calabria 2014 Durif would make an ideal friend for a meal of smoked BBQ meats. Say hello to my little friend.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $25
Region: Riverina, NSW
Source: Provided by producer

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Reilly’s 2015 Watervale Riesling: Wine Review

Riesling is one of the classic varieties which I adore.  Drink them young and fresh or let them develop into something altogether different with 15-20 years of bottle age.Reillys Riesling

This Reilly’s Watervale Riesling is from 2015, so obviously tasted as a young and fresh style. But with the bursting fruit, lots of freshness and a very persistent flavour definitely has me thinking this would be even more sensational in 10-15 years time.

On the nose there are beautiful floral notes, freshly squeezed citrus and a slight spicy edge. On the palate, the Reillys Riesling is packed full of fresh tropical fruit, unripe pineapple and lime juice.  A touch of citrus pith adds a bit of grip. The flavours (and acidity) linger for a longer than I can hold my concentration. At a recommended retail price of $22 its very good value.

Also read our reviews of the Reillys Sangiovese and Reillys Tempranillo.

Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $22
Region: Clare Valley, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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‘Old Tom’ – A Champion Spirit

A traditional gin flavoured with native plants and distilled in the wilds of South Australia’s Kangaroo Island has taken out the Champion’s Trophy in the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards handed out by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria in Melbourne overnight. KIS Old Tom

Old Tom’ – crafted by Kangaroo Island Spirits at its Cygnet River distillery near Kingscote – boasts a distinctly Australian flavor enhanced by the inclusion of foliage from the coastal Daisy bush, native Juniper and locally grown Lemon Myrtle and Aniseed Myrtle leaves.  Its makers then doff their hats to tradition by ageing the unique gin in French oak for a short time in the spirit of early London expressions.

The Champion Gin Trophy is a major accolade for Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) owners Jon and Sarah Lark, who have been pursuing their dream of creating a uniquely Australian, world class gin seven days a week for just over a decade.

“As passionate Australian craft distillers and committed food and wine ambassadors for Brand Kangaroo Island, we are delighted to celebrate this win and our product’s success,” the Larks said.

“We like to think that Old Tom represents the unique attributes of the place it stems from and reflects the personalities of Kangaroo Islanders – wild, fun, sensitive, rural, ecological, old, new, caring, special, true to their history and roots and above all, great value!

“Visitors to Kangaroo Island can experience those characteristics first hand – and those who can’t visit can taste it every time they sip a glass of Old Tom because the flavours and freshness of Kangaroo Island live in every bottle.”

Supplies of Old Tom are limited and only available by phone on 08 8553 9211.  Other Kangaroo Island Spirits products and further information is available by visiting www.kispirits.com.au

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Reillys 2013 Sangiovese: Wine Review

Its always good to see a wine that tastes like the variety is supposed to. Not just some wishy-wash dry red from the South-eastern part of a continent. The Reilly’s Dry Land Sangiovese is true to label.  Reillys Sangiovese

On the nose there ripe dark fruit, but supported by hints of savoury black tea and a herbal sage edge. On the palate lots of acidity, and lovely sour cherries. Again more savoury black tea characters.  Tannins are textural but don’t dominate. While its a medium bodied Sangiovese, it does have a touch 5% of Cabernet Sauvignon to probably give it a little more body. But you know its a Sangiovese with the usual characteristics there.

The freshness of the wine (and probably a good dose of Italian wine sterotypes) would suggest tomato based pasta dishes, or something a little more hearty and slow cooked.

 

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $25
Region: Clare Valley, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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Singlefile 2015 Pinot Gris: Wine Review

Pemberton in Western Australia is probably not as well known as it should be. While only a mere 400km from Perth, its a region which is essentially still emerging, despite the first initial vines being planted in 1977.

Singlefile Wines, based in Denmark, Western Australia, has been producing since 2007 from previously established vineyards. They source some fruit from the Pemberton region as well as a number of others in the area. Singlefile Pinot Gris

The 2015 Pinot Gris shows complex aromas of lemon curd, subtle spice, and musky fruit. On the palate its refreshing and fuller in style with a hint of richness. Lots of lovely acidity. Flavours of fresh pomelo citrus, and poached spiced pear. Packed full of texture and complexity. It could suit a richer seafood dish with a beurre blanc sauce.

Alcohol: 12.7%
Price: $30
Region: Pemberton, WA
Source: Provided by producer

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