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Wine Reviews

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Review: Rutherglen Estates 2014 Tempranillo The Rutherglen Estates’ Tempranillo wine lifts the bar with a sweet, succulent and rich bouquet. It’s everything a ripe and lush Spanish-styled tempranillo should be, combining wonderful expressions of those moreish toffee-apple candy scents with ripe cherries. Some parcels of the wine are matured in American oak then blended back with parcels from softer French oak, creating a strong but well-integrated textural appeal. A vanillin fragrance from the  American oak…

Matthew Jukes discovers a new breed of wildy expressive ‘young gun’ table wines among the historic fortified classics of Rutherglen, Victoria. I recently had the honour of tasting alongside David Morris in my capacity as international judge at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show. On the evening of the judges’ dinner, in time-honoured fashion, everyone brought along a bottle for the team to taste. David’s bottle was a 1961 Topaque. This was a glimpse at an…

Extraordinary UK wine columnist Matthew Jukes is regarded as one of the world’s leading wine writers, having worked in the wine trade since 1987. He hosts corporate and consumer wine tastings all over the world as well as writing a weekly column for MoneyWeek and the Daily Mail. Matthew writes the most keenly followed wine column in the UK – he entertains 9 million readers each weekend. This year he has partnered with Essentials Magazine to launch…

Popular, affordable bottle shop brands vs boutique cellar door wines. I have a confession to make. When I walk into my local supermarket bottle shop, I wouldn’t have a clue what half the wines are. Sure I recognise the mainstay established brands such as Penfolds, Wynns and Jacob’s Creek. But scan the shelves and there seem to be so many labels. How on earth can the customer begin to know what their provenance is, and…

Logically, many Australian winemakers growing vines in our cooler climates admire and study techniques developed in some of Europe’s greatest wine regions such as Alsace in France’s north-east, and Trentino-Alto Adige in Italy’s north bordering Austria and Switzerland. Specialised local varietals ripen slowly there, retaining a firm acidity that conspires to produce delicate aromas and, in some sites, beautifully cleansing mineral and flinty notes. Historically, those regions have been recognised for producing outstanding wines such…

If there’s one thing Australian winemakers have become great at, it’s experimenting with new wine varietals and clones, often grafting them onto well-established rootstock, then monitoring fruit production and best growing conditions to learn how to perfect fine berry development and well-matured seeds for better tannin profiles. There are myriad steps in this process, including careful site selection, the choice of vine trellising styles, nutrient toppings or  irrigation additives, irrigation methods and countless other issues.…

Rutherglen Estates 2010 Zinfandel ‘WOW!’ was, honestly, the first impression and spoken word that sprang from my mouth on sniffing the complex and very brooding scents of this wine. It’s punchy, herbaceous and spicy, all the while presenting a lovely underlying sweet fruit layer. There’s a hell of a lot going on and it’s great to explore its expansive fragrances. So let me take this a little further. Coriander and cloves, Chinese five spice and…

Dal Zotto 2009 Nebbiolo (this vintage sold out) Deciding exactly which vintage of Dal Zotto Nebbiolo to sample and review for this article was a bit of a no-brainer, really, because I’d recently enjoyed a bottle with an authentic Italian gnocchi at Dal Zotto’s award-winning cellar door and trattoria. The 2009 Barolo styled wine carries with it all the hallmarks of a great Italian nebbiolo; shit, it drinks well!  Even the colour is that classic slightly…

I’ll admit it; I’m obsessed with wine. Not just any wine… Australian wine. Not always reds, but they tend to be a preference. The huge diversity of fabulously more-ish wines we enjoy, with all those complex fragrances,  owe their existence to a melting pot of cultures, of immigrants who arrived on our fine shores to grow, cultivate and shape a wide range of grape varietals. Don’t get me wrong here xenophobes: I am aware that…

A ride on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle following the King Valley’s corkscrew bends is just one way Trevor Knaggs likes to cool down at the height of summer. ‘I love jumping on the bike and going for a ride in this magnificent part of the world,  especially when the temperature starts to drop in the late afternoon,’ says the owner of King River Estate. Summer in the King Valley is the winemaker’s favourite time of the…

Yileena Park 2010 Pinot Noir Regular readers of Essentials will know that I’m a bit partial to the great luscious reds wines of the boutique Yarra Valley label Yileena Park. It has been recognised though that Yileena’s pinots were somewhat amply endowed in body, perhaps not quite delicate enough for those who want something lighter than the regular big bold red. Now however, I am excited to report that with the new 2010 release, Yileena…

The board might have sympathised! with the growers of what used to be Australian sherry however in recognition of Spain’s claim to that name, Australia had to invent its own name for the wine: apero. It’s a sentiment winemaker Mandy Jones, whose training and experience encompass France and Australia, can echo proudly. In the case of Rutherglen’s Jones Winery and Vineyard, the name of the wine may have changed, but quality is a constant. Her uncle…