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Misha’s Vineyard 2017 ‘Starlet’ Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 ‘Gallery’ Gewurztraminer and ‘Cantata’ Pinot Noir
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Featured Reviews

Z Wine and Rustica Barossa Valley

28 December,2017

Z Wine is the Barossa Valley brand of sisters Janelle and Kristen Zerk. They have over 170 years of Barossa heritage, and their vineyard has been in family hands for five generations. Forebear Joachim Zerk, from Germany, settled in the Barossa Valley in 1846, purchasing ‘Section 3146’ to establish the vineyard in the Lyndoch district. The family make several tiers of wine, their premium being ‘Z Wine’, supported by the ‘Section 3146’ label, the approachable ‘Rustica’ bottlings and the ‘Audrey & Hedley’ wines. Janelle Zerk is the winemaker, with extensive experience in Australia and overseas. The Zerk family run their cellar door and administration in Tanunda. Here, I review a selection of Z Wine and Rustica bottlings, to be imported by Kahurangi Wines, landing mid-January 2018


Z Wine ‘Rustica’ Barossa Valley Grenache 2016

Grenache from Australia – South Australia


Moderately deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. This has a softly full and gentle nose with fragrant dark-red berry fruit with dark raspberries and hints of pepper and spice and a suggestion of eucalyptus. Full-bodied, the palate has plenty of presence, the fruit flavours a little restrained, unveiling soft and gentle flavours of dark raspberries with spice and pepper, liquorice and dark-red floral elements. The palate has light tannin extraction and grip with soft, integrated acidity. The wine carries to a light nuanced finish of dark-red fruits and spices. This is a full-bodied Grenache with shy fruit flavours, showing dark raspberry, pepper, spice and floral flavours on a moderately extracted palate. Match with pasta, pizza and barbecued fare over the next 4-5 years. Fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned oak. 17.5-/20 Nov 2017 RRP AUS$20.00

Z Wine ‘Rustica’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Grenache from Australia – South Australia


Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple hues. The nose is soft and full with rich, deep aromas of ripe blackberry fruit along with an integrated amalgam of dark raspberries, black pepper, liquorice and spice with notes of eucalyptus. The fruit is up-front and accessible. Full-bodied, the palate has moderately rich, sweet flavours of blackberry and dark raspberry fruit entwined with liquorice and spices, along with black pepper and a little eucalypt. The fruit sweetness is balanced by moderate tannin grip and fresh, background acidity. The flavours form a rich core with good presence and the wine flows to a lingering, sweet-fruited finish. This is a moderately rich Shiraz with blackberry and dark raspberry fruit with liquorice and spices and a palate with good grip and presence. Match with roasted and grilled red meat dishes over the next 5-6+ years. Fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 5% new oak. 17.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP AUS$20.00

Z Wine ‘Rustica’ Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – South Australia


Full, dark ruby-red with black hues and a little garnet on the rim. The nose is full, firm and densely packed with blackcurrants entwined with mint and eucalypt aromas along with earthy nuances. Full-bodied, the palate has deep and densely concentrated, up-front flavours of blackcurrant, mint and eucalypt. The fruit is rich and solidly presented. Savoury dark herb notes emerge with nuances of earth. The palate has plenty of fine, grainy tannins, extract and structure with a fine thread of enlivening acidity, and the wine carries with good power to a fulsome, soft and lingering finish. This is a fulsome, softly packed Cabernet Sauvignon with dense blackcurrant fruit along with mint, herb and eucalypt notes on a grainy textured palate with underlying power. Match with roast lamb and slow-cooked red meat dishes over the next 7-8+ years. Fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 5% new oak. 17.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP AUS$25.00

Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013

Syrah from Australia – South Australia


Dark, deep, purple-black hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose has full and deeply concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry and black plum fruit aromas along with notes of eucalyptus, black pepper, liquorice and spices. This has layers of detail and interest. Full-bodied, the palate is rich and vibrant with sweetly ripe fruit flavours of blackberries, black plums and nuances of boysenberries, entwined with eucalypt, black pepper and liquorice. The mouthfeel is luscious and plump, and balanced by underlying alcoholic vigour, and fine-grained tannin extraction, with integrated acidity providing energy. The wine flows with drive to a lingering finish of blackberries, plums, boysenberries and eucalyptus. This is a vigorous, rich and ripe Shiraz with blackberry, plum, boysenberry and eucalypt flavours on a plump, fine-textured palate. Match with barbecued and roasted lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 8-10 years. A barrel selection wine. Shiraz fruit from the ‘Zerk’ vineyard, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in French and American oak hogsheads and barriques. 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP AU$34.00

Z ‘Roman’ Barossa Valley Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2016

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia


Dark, deep, black hued ruby-red colour with purple hues, a little lighter on edge, youthful in appearance. The nose is full with rich, ripe and deep blackberry fruit entwined with a layering of dark raspberries, boysenberries, liquorice and spice, and a little eucalypt. Full bodied, the palate is packed with rich, ripe, sweetly luscious blackberry fruit melded with black plums, boysenberry and mineral notes. The fruit sweetness is balanced by fine, grainy tannin textures that provide underlying structure, and the wine flows with good energy and liveliness, and alcoholic power along a plush but well-textured line leading to a lingering finish. This is a rich, plush and succulently ripe-fruited GSM with blackberry, plum and boysenberry flavours on a lively, powerfully driven palate. Match with slow-cooked red meat dishes and Mediterranean fare over the next 7-9+ years A barrel selection wine, 50% Grenache, 35% Shiraz and 15% Mataro from 90 y.o. bush vines, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 16 months in seasoned French oak. 201 dozen made. 18.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP AUS$35.00

Z ‘Julius’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia


Full, dark, deep black-hued purple-red colour. The nose is full and deeply packed with sweetly ripe, aromatic blackberry fruit with notes of boysenberries and plums, subtle liquorice and black pepper, and spicy, lifted oak. Full-bodied, the palate has rich, deep well-concentrated and vibrantly sweet flavours of ripe blackberry fruit layered with plums, boysenberries and dark raspberries. The flavours form a deep core packed with spice, liquorice and black pepper notes. This is fulsome and supported by plenty of underlying tannin structure and balanced acidity. The palate carries the richness, depth and power to a long, luscious finish. This is a fulsome, vibrantly rich and lusciously succulent ripe-fruited Shiraz with blackberry, plum, boysenberry and dark raspberry flavours along with liquorice and spice and plenty of structure. Match with roasted game meat dishes over the next 9-10+ years. Shiraz fruit fermented to 14.8% alc., the wine aged 24 months in 20% new American and 20% new French oak. 202 dozen made. 19.0-/20 Nov 2017 RRP AUS$60.00

Z ‘Xave’ Barossa Valley Late Harvest 2015

Sweet Wine from Australia – South Australia


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose has well-concentrated and deeply complex aromas of fresh, waxy, lanolin fruit along with pure lime fruit notes and suggestions of honey, unveiling a little toasty detail. Medium-sweet to sweet in taste, and light-bodied, the palate has a softly concentrated core with flavours of wax and lanolin, herbs, lime, florals and honey. The mouthfeel is gently rich with subtle unctuous notes and a delicate phenolic-textured line, with balanced, fresh acidity. The wine flows along a fine line, leading to a long and sustained finish of herbs, honey and lime. This is a sweet late-harvest wine with softly rich lanolin, herb and honied flavours on a gently concentrated palate with a soft unctuousness and fresh, balancing acidity. Serve as an aperitif and with fruit desserts over the next 4+ years. A blend of late-picked 51% Semillon and 49% old vine Riesling, with no botrytis, fermented to 10.5% alc. and 55 g/L RS. 197 dozen made. 18.0-/20 Nov 2017 RRP AUS$20.00

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