April 2017 New Release – Mixed
Barry Weinman: 17th April 2017
I am really taken by the trend of adding some worked characters to the SSB/SBS blends from Western Australia. A small percentage of barrel fermented fruit is often all it takes to add real depth and texture to these wines. Add in a touch of lees aging and the result can be a complex, serious wine.
In a break from the norm, the Cherubino SB comes from Pemberton, and is a cracking wine, whilst the Xanadu DJL delivers great value (in a more restrained package).
Xanadu also hits the target with the DJL Cabernet.
Cherubino – Sauvignon Blanc – 2016 (18pts – $35). Attractive, with grassy/tropical fruit characters. The palate has decent complexity, with the mouth-feel and texture a highlight. The slightly grippy finish adds to the feel. The winemaking is a highlight, with the barrel work adding to the overall package. A serious wine. (From Pemberton).
Xanadu – Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – DJL – 2016 (18pts – $24). Quite a complex and textural wine. The quality fruit on the palate is highlighted by zesty lemon acidity. Excellent balance, with just enough winemaker inputs to make it really interesting. Great value and easy drinking.
Pedestal – Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc – 2016 (17.9pts – $25). Opens with citrus fruit and a touch of lanolin from the Semillon. Powerful, complex, and worked, this is an intense wine that has received plenty of attention in the winery. The high quality fruit and oak is complimented by barrel work and lees stirring etc, and shows minerals, flint and struck match. Needs a couple of years, but this is a high quality, slightly idiosyncratic wine.
Rosa Brook – Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – 2016 (17.6pts). Restrained nose, with the Semillon fruit a feature. The rounded palate has seen a little work, adding textural components rather than overt flavour. I really like the mouth-feel, which is quite creamy, transitioning to fresh acidity at the end of the palate.
Deep Woods – Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc – Hillside – 2016 (17.3pts). Refreshing, lively, hints of tropical fruit and spice, the palate has decent length and lemony acid. Not overly complex, but an excellent drink.
Howard Park – Pinot Noir – Flint Rock – 2016 (17.8pts – $28). I like this wine. Fresh berry fruit, with a touch of cherry and aniseed. The palate is balanced and harmonious, with the warm fruit matched to supple oak. The acid and tannins are fine, allowing the fruit to linger on the close. Would also be good with food.
Meadowbank – Pinot Noir – 2010 (17.5). Pretty strawberry fruit that carries onto the palate, with gentle structure and well-judged acidity. Not overly serious, but deliciously easy to drink.
Xanadu – Cabernet Sauvignon – DJL – 2014 (17.5pts – $24). Decent fruit weight and intensity in a package that is fairly linear and quite drying. The fine tannins and oak complement the fruits suggesting this would take food very well. Value for money.