June New Releases
Barry Weinman: 24th July 2017
Due to technical challenges, I was unable to publish any of the reviews from June. So here is a summary of some of the great wines that came in front of the panel.
In writing my notes for the Bass Phillip and Madfish Chardonnays, I wondered how such divergent wines (in both style and price) could both score 18 points. In reality, the Bass Phillip is a much more serious wine, but the drinking pleasure provided by the Madfish elevated its points significantly. So whilst the wines scored the same points, they are not equals.
Howard Park – Riesling – Porongorup – 2016 (18.5pts – $34). Each year, this is my pick of the Howard Park Rieslings, as it possesses greater depth, yet is also the most elegant and delicate of the wines. Pretty aromatics that are floral and very delicate. On the palate, the texture and minerality of the wine is key, set against a backdrop of fine acidity. One to watch.
Madfish – Riesling – 2016 (17.8 – $18). Fresh and taut. The palate is delightful, with lemon blossom and talc. The core of acid and minerality gives the wine drive and persistence. A fine and elegant wine that will take a few years in the cellar, yet would be great with freshly shucked oysters now. Value!
Singlefile – Chardonnay – The Vivianne – 2014 (18.5+pts – $80). Complex, powerful and youthful, with curry leaf, minerality and stone fruit. The fruit purity on the palate is captivating, supported by a veneer of oak that adds depth and mouth-feel. Finishes with near seamless palate transition with great length. Age-worthy, this is outstanding.
Devil’s Lair – Chardonnay – 2015 – (18.5pts – $38). Fine, refined and elegant, with great presence in the glass. Lemony fruit and acid, with stone fruit, nectarine and peach. Textured, balanced, complex and long, this will open with time in the bottle. Only 13% alcohol.
Bass Phillip – Chardonnay – Estate – 2015 (18pts). Nectarine and tropical fruit on the nose. The palate is defined by the racy acidity, which complements the fine fruit perfectly. Hints of pineapple, almond meal and lemon/grapefruit citrus notes. Fresh and long, this is a serious and powerful wine that has real presence in the glass. Now – 5+ years.
Flametree – Chardonnay – 2016 (18pts). Fresh lemon and white peach here, with almond meal nuttiness to the fruit. The palate is long, fine and textured. The oak is well judged, but will benefit from a little time to come together. Excellent value. Madfish – Chardonnay – 2016 (18pts – $18). Pretty fruit that is floral and perfumed. The palate is a delightful blend of floral characters and stone fruit, with a lovely creamy texture. Quite seamless, this lingers for some time on the finish. A slightly different style, but one that is most attractive. Great drinking and excellent value.
Stella Bella – Chardonnay – 2016 (18pts+). Grapefruit, citrus, ripe stone fruit, creamy, textural oak, this has it all. Superb mouth-feel and very long, the acid adds life and balance. Delightful now, but cellaring will see the acid soften and the fruit characters build.
Singlefile – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – 2015 (18.3pts – $25). Intense and powerful fruit with the aromas coming in waves. The palate has minty cabernet fruit with spicy undertones, tar and chewy tannins power, yet retains a degree of elegance that is remarkable. A classic Cabernet that offers great drinking or short/medium-term cellaring.
Shingleback – Cabernet Sauvignon – D Block – Reserve – 2013 (18.5pts – $55). Silky and supple, yet there is a seam of powerful fruit behind the prettiness, keeping the palate taut and restrained. Very long, with souring acidity and coffee-ground oak notes. A refined wine that really builds intensity with air. A wine with a very long future. (5 gold medals). 14.5% alc.
Shingleback – Shiraz – Davey Estate – Reserve – 2015 (18.3pts – $23). Textured, powerful, firm and taut, with chocolaty fruit. Powerful blueberry fruit builds in layers, complemented by a spicy edge. Textured and long, this is a superb wine that is so easy to drink.