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Featured Reviews




Laithwaites Australian Red Selection

03 April,2017
Laithwaites is one of the world’s major on-line home delivery wine merchants. Established by Tony Laithwaite in 1969 in the U.K., the company has offices in the U.S. and Australia, and operates in many and diverse markets. Part of the success is attributable to the ‘small scale feel’, and also to the making and selection of wines geared to suit each market. In 2015, Laithwaites announced their arrival in New Zealand. At the start of this year I reviewed two wines exclusive to the New Zealand market (click here to see). Here I review six more Australian reds to be marketed in this country. www.laithwaiteswine.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Casella Wines ‘Dark Corner’ South Eastern Australia Durif/Shiraz 2016

Blended Red from Australia - Other

16.5+/20
Dark, deep, near saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a full, up-front and voluminous nose with aromas of ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruit entwined with liquorice, anise and herbs, unfolding black plum jam notes. Full-bodied, the palate has sweet and juicy, mouthfilling flavours of ripe blackberries, boysenberries and black plum jam along with subtle herbal detail. The palate sweetness is underlined by light, grainy tannin extraction with integrated acidity lending a lush mouthfeel. The wine carries positively to a sweet-fruited finish of boysenberries and black plums. This is an up-front, sweetly ripe Durif and Shiraz blend with blackberry, boysenberry and plum ham flavours on a grainy textured palate. Match with barbecued and grilled red meats over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 60% Durif and 40% Shiraz from South Eastern Australia, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 6 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker: David Joeky. 16.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $19.99

The Black Pig ‘Reserve’ Fleurieu Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre 2015

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia

15.5/20
Light ruby-red colour with some garnet hues and depth, paler on the rim. This has a light nose with restrained and subtle aromas of red berry fruits along with nuances of dark and fresh herbs, a little earthiness and nutty, cedary oak elements. Medium-bodied, the palate possesses light and slender red berry fruit flavours entwined with red florals and nuances of herbs and earth. The fruit is sweetly rich and accessible, and supported by light, fine textures. The mouthfeel is soft and the flavours slowly recede as the wine carries to a dry finish. This is a light and slender GSM blend with sweet red fruit flavours on a finely extracted palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 87% Grenache, 8% Shiraz and 5% Mataro from the Fleurieu Peninsula, fermented to 14.0% alc., the Grenache aged 8 months and Shiraz 6 months in French oak. Wine made by Fuse Wine Services. 15.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $23.99

Leconfield ‘Hamilton Block’ Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – South Australia

17/20
Full, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is tight and firmly concentrated with good intensity of cool-spectrum blackberry, blackcurrant and leafy aromas along with nuances of herbs and stalks. Full-bodied, the palate is concentrated with sweet flavours of blackcurrants and blackberry fruit along with cassis, blackcurrant leaf and notes of herbs. The fruit is supported by fine, grainy tannin extraction providing good grip and a firm core. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and the palate leads to a vibrant and long finish of blackcurrants, herbs and leaf. This is a firmly concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon with cool-spectrum blackberry, blackcurrant and leafy flavours on a grainy, but lively palate. Match with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 5+ years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the company’s Coonawarra estate vineyards, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in seasoned French and American oak. Winemaker: Paul Gordon. 17.0/20 Apr 2017 RRP $25.00

Peter Lehmann ‘The Pastor’s Son’ Barossa Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17.5+/20
Dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is aromatic with sweetly ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruit along with dark raspberry notes detailed by liquorice, plum and spices, and cedary oak elements. Full-bodied, the palate features sweetly rich, ripe fruit flavours of blackberries, dark raspberries and boysenberries, unfolding plum, liquorice and cedary oak. The palate has a lively and juicy core, balanced by fine, grainy tannin extraction, with background acidity lending vibrancy and line. The flavours recede as the wine carries to a light, lingering finish of blackberries and spice. This is a sweet and juicy Shiraz with ripe flavours of blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries on a fresh, finely structured palate, Serve with roast lamb and beef over the next 5-6 years. 100% Barossa Shiraz fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in seasoned French oak hogsheads. Winemaker: Ian Hongell. 17.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $26.99

Richard Hamilton ‘The Smuggler’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17.5/20
Full, even, near impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a rounded, but concentrated nose with good depth of ripe blackberry fruit with notes of boysenberries, black pepper, earthy minerals, spices and cedar. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a positive core of ripe blackberry fruit in an amalgam of black pepper and earthy minerals, along with nutty and spicy oak detail. The palate is finely structured with integrated acidity, and carries to a sustained finish of black fruits, minerals and cedary oak. This is a well-concentrated, ripe Shiraz with black fruit flavoura and notes of minerals and oak cedar on a fine-structured palate. Match with slow-cooked game meat and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-7+ years. 100% McLaren Vale fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 16 months in predominantly French oak, 18% new, and the remainder American oak. Winemaker: Paul Gordon. 17.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $25.00

Chapel Hill ‘The Prophet’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

18.5/20
Very dark, deep, black-hued red colour with slight purple hues, youthful in appearance. The nose is full and voluminous with well-packed aromas of ripe fruit aromas of blackberries, black plums and nuances of boysenberries harmoniously melded with liquorice and lifted oak elements. Full-bodied, the palate shows rich, ripe and lusciously succulent flavours of blackberries, black plums and boysenberries with hints of liquorice and balanced cedary oak. The flavours are harmoniously entwined, forming a rounded, smooth core, and the wine flows smoothly along a fine-textured line, leading to a long, elegant finish of sweetly ripe blackberry and plum fruit. This is a harmoniously rich and succulent Shiraz with ripe blackberry and plum flavours on a fine-structured palate with a long, sweet finish. Match with roasted beef, lamb and game meat over the next 6-8+ years. 100% Shiraz from McLaren Vale, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 2 y.o. and 3 y.o. French oak. Winemaker: Michael Fragos. 18.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $40.00
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