Tag Archives: 2014

Wirra Wirra 2014 Woodhenge Shiraz: Wine Review

McLaren Vale doesn’t have a Stonehenge, but it does have a Woodhenge.  Wirra Wirra’s late owner, Greg Trott, wanted to build a post and rail fence of herculean proportions. It uses massive red gum timber sourced from the Flinders Ranges, with some of the pieces weighing over three tonnes!  But slightly less colossal is the Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

The Wirra Wirra 2014 Woodhenge Shiraz shows great regional style, and displays what McLaren Vale does so well. Lots of plush ripe fruit, but also showing moderation.

On the nose there are aromas of warm spices including cinnamon, milk chocolate, and dried fig. On the palate its luscious and warming. Fleshy ripe plums, ripe mulberries, and chocolate coated liquorice. A hint of sweet oak. Medium to full bodied, with flavours showing restraint but still lasting in the mouth and tempting you for more. Its all supported by powdery tannins adding more texture.

The Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz is sterotypical McLaren Vale Shiraz, and a great example of it.

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge




Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $35
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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

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

Bests Great Western 2014 Bin 1 Shiraz: Wine Review

Hot on the heels of the Bests 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, my interest was pique as to what wonders they could produce from the Great Western region of Victoria.
Bests Shiraz

Cooler climate Shiraz has always been a relief. Often offering meal complementing flavours and mouthfeel, without feeling like you have had a meal replacement.

The Bests Great Western Bin 1 Shiraz provides more of the red fruit (some dark berries), lovely floral perfume made me think Viognier (but there was no mention of it on the lable). A hint of dried provecale herbs and roasted fennel. Typical cool climate spices of white pepper show themselves.

On the palate its soft and luscious.  Tannins are fine and smooth, but still supportive of the fruit. Fruit is darker berries and ripe dark plums oozing with fresh summer juice. Finishing dryer in flavours, with a savoury edge of warmed black olives. A little more complexity would make it great, possibly developing over the next 5 years.

Being more medium weight, this would complement a broad range of dishes. The acidity means it could manage tomato based slow cooked meats. The 2014 Bin 1 Shiraz shows that Bests Great Western again provides good value in a smart package.

Alcohol: 14.0%
RRP: $25
Region: Grampians, VIC
Source: Provided by producer

Best’s Great Western 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Review

150 years in any business should be celebrated. 150 years in business when you are at the mercy of mother nature and still producing excellent wines should be sung from the rooftops. Next year Best’s Great Western will be celebrating this great milestone.

Founded in Victoria’s Great Western wine region in 1866 by Henry Best. In 1920 Best’s Great Western was purchased by the Thomson family, and is still run by the family after 5 generations. Bests Cabernet

The 2014 Best’s Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon shows great concentration and vibrancy, without showing any over extraction.  On the nose its bright, and intense. Ripe dark berry fruit, floral violets and some warm sweet spice add to complexity.

On the palate, concentration is consistent with the aromas.  Packed full of fresh ripe dark berries. Displaying density without being too unctuous or cloying. Warm spices, like cinnamon and clove, envelop the mouth. Acidity keeps everything fresh and in balance. Supportive tannins and fresh acidity mean it could cope with roast spring lamb studded with garlic and rosemary. A smart wine, offering great value. I hope the next 150 years continue making impressive products.

Alcohol: 14.0%
RRP: $25
Region: Grampians, Victoria
Source: Provided by producer

Turkey Flat 2014 Mataro: Tasting Note

With about 16 different names around the world its no wonder consumers get confused with Mataro/Mourvedre/Monastrell/Esparte et al.  So I’m sure wine enthusiasts will be grateful for Turkey Flat deciding to use the much easier to pronounce Mataro.  Turkey Flat mataro

On the nose the Turkey Flat 2014 Mataro has some sweet blue fruits, floral violets, and gamey meats in the background. Nice complexity. On the palate its medium bodied, which wouldn’t dominate too many foods.

Savouriness is the dominant character rather than fruit, which makes a nice change for a Barossa wine. Black olive brine, beef stock/Marmite savouriness lurking in the depths. Acid contributing to the juiciness. Fine tannins make for a seductive and interesting drink. Middle of winter, slow cooked goodness (specifically a Moroccan roast vegetable tagine) and the Turkey Flat Mataro, would be a perfect match.

Also check out the new release of the Turkey Flat 2013 Butcher Block Red.

Alcohol: 14.5%
RRP: $32
Region: Barossa
Source: Provided by producer