New Release – April 2020
Barry Weinman: 20th April 2020
Over the last few weeks (before the COVID-19 shutdown), the panel had a first look at several producers.
Below & Above: The primary focus of this Pemberton producer is on growing high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under contract, for a number of large and small producers. They currently have 35 hectares under vine, with efforts being made on increasing clonal diversity, especially for Pinot Noir.
A small percentage of grape production is set aside for their own label, made under the watchful eye of Bruce Dukes. The current Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are solid wines, but it was the Merlot that caught my eye.
This is notably different in style to a Margaret River Cabernet, the powerful fruit taking on a dark, brooding character. The 2013 is the current release and represents decent value.
Hutton Vale: Slick, polished wines made by Kim Teusner
Liv Zak range by Warramunda: These are fresh and approachable wines that are perfect for early consumption.
Below & Above – Merlot – 2013 (17.7/20pts – $35). Quite dense and powerful fruit that is brambly, brooding and chewy. A different style to what we are used to from Margaret River, but a compelling wine. Slick enough to enjoy now, but cellaring likely to add complexity.
Liv Zac by Warramunda – Chardonnay – 2019 (17.5/20pts). Quite a smart wine this, with all the winemaking boxes ticked. Peachy fruit, fine creamy oak and gentle lees work add up to an approachable, moreish wine. Delicious, supple and uncomplicated. Don’t serve too cold.
Liv Zac by Warramunda – Malbec- 2018 (17.5/20pts). Lifted pretty blueberry fruit on both the nose and palate. Fruit driven and vibrant, but the immediacy is compelling. Drink now.
Hutton Vale Farm – Shiraz – 2014 (17.8/20pts – $75). Spice here is a key feature. Ripe, fresh fruit is intense and powerful, with texturing tannins and acid build on the finish, keeping the finish tight. Dense, concentrated and age-worthy, with excellent fruit quality.
Marchand and Burch – Pinot Noir – Mt Barrow – 2018 (17,7/20pts -$60). Pretty and fragrant, with cherry, berry and spice aromas. The palate is firm, but accessible, with the oak spice notes complementing the fruit well. Supple and savoury, with excellent length. A year or two in bottle should see this fill out. From Mt Barker.