50 Best Wines of 2019
As we head into another year of rigorous wine reviews with the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel, my thoughts turn to the highlights of 2019. There has clearly never been a better time for the Australian wine consumer – quality has never been better, choice continues to grow through regional and varietal diversity and, despite external forces doing their best to push up prices, value for money is also a key feature of many of our Top 50 wines for 2019.
Once again, we tasted in excess of 4,000 wines from every wine producing region in Australia. All wines submitted to Wine Selectors are tasted blind – the judges, including our expert Panel of wine show judges, winemakers, wine educators and a sommelier, as well as some very experienced independent winemakers, who between them have over 150 years of wine show judging experience, assess the wines only knowing the vintage and variety. We taste without fear or favour.
This means a $20 bottle of wine can be tasted in a line-up of other wines worth many times more. We don’t judge labels, we are interested only in the juice in the bottle. And we love it when the $20 bottle gets the highest score because, as often is the case, price is not necessarily a determinant of quality and there are many great value wines out there.
So what did we find from 2019’s tastings? Without doubt, we found that almost all regions in Australia are making Gold medal quality wines. We have come a long way in the last 20 years. Back then, if you wanted Shiraz, the best were from Barossa, if you wanted Cabernet, you went to Coonawarra and only good quality Rieslings came from the Eden and Clare Valleys.
Today we are spoilt for choice with all these varieties (and many more) being made to the highest standards from many disparate regions. This extraordinary development in a short time not only demonstrates the diversity and suitability of this country as a great wine producer, but also gives consumers enormous choice as well as the ability to compare subtle ‘terroir’ differences in varieties – Pinot Noir from Yarra, for example, is significantly different to Pinot from Tasmania, but the delightful common denominator is complexity and quality.
As I mentioned in my 2018 wrap-up, Chardonnay dominates the landscape for white wine and has made a stunning comeback in recent years with winemakers making more elegant wines with a focus on subtlety and complexity. We have five Chardonnays in our Top 50, each from a different region, but all demonstrating overt varietal character, individuality and importantly, value for money. The 2018 Virgil from the Hunter Valley comes from a relatively new brand, who in a short time have displayed a deft touch with their wines and are clearly a producer to watch.
In other white varietals, Riesling continues to produce outstanding wines and the 2014 Woodvale from Watervale in Clare shows why at five years of age this variety is often one to keep to bring out its best. Every time I taste a good Riesling I lament the fact I do not drink more – as an aperitif or a food wine, youthful or with age, it is most of the time a stunning Australian wine style.
Alternative varieties continue to shine and their popularity grows each year. Again we are lucky to live in a country where so many different wines do well. Fiano, Vermentino, Viognier and a fabulous Grüner Veltliner, native to Austria, all have a place in our top white wines this year. We also found a curious new blend on a recent trip to Tasmania – a Riesling Schonburger – the latter a German variety, and its addition to the Riesling makes an attractive lychee and star fruit wine with beautiful acidity and spice. Keep an eye out for this if you want a Riesling in a European style – we will have the new vintage exclusively sometime in 2020!
Pinot to fizz
Pinot Noir has also been a story of success in this country. Just ten years ago we were forced to drink the Kiwi ones from Otago and Martinborough with their hefty price tags, but gradually I have witnessed a steady rise in the quality of Australian Pinot Noir, to the point where we can buy it with confidence, even dare I say at less than $25 a bottle, as you will see with a couple in our Top 50 list.
While the Yarra Valley has long proved a heavyweight, Adelaide Hills has in more recent years become one of the go-to regions for Pinot. A delicious example from Corduroy ably demonstrates my point – get some while you still can.
It would be remiss of me not to make a special point of the stunning progress we have made in recent years with Australian Sparkling wine. It was only ten years ago when I would almost always default to Champagne for my preferred fizz tipple, but nowadays I proudly buy local bubbles, knowing that there are dozens of high quality producers around this country making sensational Sparklings.
I have written previously this year about the remarkable skills of Ed Carr (Arras) and Nat Fryar (Bellebonne), who have both had a huge hand in establishing and fostering luxury method traditionelle in this country.
But, of course, there are many more who are having a crack with much success with these wines. It comes as no surprise that possibly the finest on our list this year is from Tasmania, where the Pipers River region perhaps equals Champagne for its ability to produce elegant but powerful wines of great complexity. The Bay of Fires Sparkling Rosé is a stunning wine which epitomises all that is great about Tassie fizz.
Alternative reds were another standout in 2019. In fact, we blind tasted 25 different Australian alternative varietals in one sitting, comparing them to the same varieties from their countries of origin. The results were staggering with most Australian wines out-scoring their imported version – and at generally much cheaper prices.
A highlight for me was the somewhat unfamiliar Zweigelt variety, another Austrian oddity, which has found its way to the Swan Hill in Victoria, and was a real stand out showing Pinot Noir-like texture, bright red fruits and lovely acidity. Delicious!
There’s never been a better time to enjoy Australian wines. I commend 2019’s Top 50 to all our readers!
Gapsted Ballerina Canopy Chardonnay 2018
King Valley, RRP $25
With alpine breezes, high rainfall, cold nights, morning fogs, crystal clear skies and abundant fresh water, the King Valley and Alpine Valleys have ideal conditions for producing quality, modern cool climate wines like this Chardonnay. It shows terrific limey intensity with a sweet core of white peach, lemon and nougat. Very varietal with sweet background oak and minerally acidity.
Three Elms Timbertops Chardonnay 2018
Great Southern, RRP $35
Three Elms is a vibrant young label from Frankland River in WA’s Great Southern. The name is an acronym for Emily, Laura and Molly – three sisters who have crafted a wine that tells a story about their unity as a family and their gratitude for past generations. Rich, complex, and full-bodied, it has a bright yet deep mix of fruit with creamy texture yet beautiful minerality, very focused acidity and nutty oak.
Virgil Chardonnay 2018
Hunter Valley, RRP $35
Virgil is a multi-award winning boutique vineyard, situated in Millfield in the Hunter Valley, specialising in true Hunter Shiraz and Chardonnay. Their 2018 Chardonnay shows aromas of lemon, stonefruit, oyster shell and cashew oak. Fine and stylish with a tangy and flavoursome mix of peach, melon and grapefruit, silken texture and mouthfeel, refreshing lime-like acidity, beautiful oak and a complex finish.
Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2018
Tasmania, RRP $38
Josef Chromy’s winemaker Jeremy Dineen is one of the most talented Chardonnay winemakers in Tasmania. With every vintage, this wine showcases why this small island is such a mecca for world class expressions of the variety. Full-bodied and powerful, it has layers of cut lime, white peach, Spanish melon and nashi pear, hints of roast cashew, sourdough toast and ginger. A seductive creamy texture is balanced by mouth-watering acidity and quality charry oak.
Aylesbury The Pater Series Chardonnay 2018
Ferguson Valley, RRP $45
Aylesbury Estate is one of the several small, family-owned wine businesses in WA’s Geographe region quietly working away making a name as quality wine producers. A winery to watch! Perfumed with nectarine, citrus, struck match, oyster shell, ozone, flint, sea spray and barrel, this Chardonnay is refined with masses of elegant fruit, nougat and cashew complexity and long acidity.
De Bortoli Bella Riva Fiano 2018
King Valley, RRP $20
De Bortoli has been at the forefront of pushing innovation and diversity when it comes to planting alternative varieties in Australia. They have long viewed their King Valley vineyard as a superb spot to plant varieties of Italian heritage such as this Fiano. Stonefruit, pear and white nut aromas precede a medium bodied palate with generous fruit and creamy texture, showing apple, apricot, pear and peach with hints of fresh ginger and blanched almonds.
West Cape Howe Vermentino 2018
Great Southern, RRP $22
Vermentino is an alternative variety that’s fast becoming mainstream, and has found a niche in south west WA. This great example presents sea spray, green apple and herb aromas leading to a pure, light palate with poise and purity. It shows an attractive mix of white fruits, subtle salty notes and mouth-watering acidity. Fermentation in older oak adds touches of honey, grilled nut and ginger spice complexity.
Woodvale Watervale Riesling 2014
Clare Valley, RRP $30
Woodvale is the label of acclaimed Kilikanoon winemaker Kevin Mitchell. Riesling is his passion and he keeps back a portion of the great vintages to release as a cellar release – this is just the second of these releases. Citrus, toast and slate aromas define the nose, while the palate is light yet has excellent intensity showing barbequed lime, nashi and lemon curd, hints of talc and minerality adding complexity, mouth-watering acidity and driving length.
Erin Eyes Emerald Isle Riesling 2019
Clare Valley, RRP $25
Wine industry veteran Steve Wiblin makes small batches of fine Clare Valley wines under the Erin Eyes label using select grapes from some of the best vineyards and growers in the valley. Ripe lime, white pineapple and a touch of florals and guava aromas precede a bright and racy palate with a crisp core of lime and pineapple, balanced fruit sweetness and acidity and a jubey finish.
Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Margaret River, RRP $31
The winemaking of this Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc focuses on the regional fruit expression of southern Margaret River to build layers of flavour and structure. It features fresh yellow fruit aromas with strong herbaceous accents and notes of vanilla and spice. It’s very flavoursome yet subtle and savoury with citrus and stonefruit depth, hints of barrel ferment, zesty lime-like acidity and a long, fresh finish.
Hungerford Hill Classic Series Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Tumbarumba, RRP $27
Although one of the Hunter’s leading producers, Hungerford Hill also makes a delicious range of wines using Tumbarumba and Hilltops fruit, as this Sauv Blanc shows. Opening with fresh, bright jasmine, green bean and light tropical perfume, it’s complex yet refined with lemon and tropical fruit depth, a savoury, almost salty layer, fresh acidity and a vibrant, mouth-watering finish.
Willow Bridge Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Geographe, RRP $22
Geographe is one of the most exciting regions in Australian wine at the moment and Willow Bridge Estate is one of the region’s shining lights! The nose presents a very lifted and grassy note with citrus and tropicals. A well made wine with excellent balance of fruit and acidity, it shows passionfruit richness throughout with mouth-watering, sherbety acidity and an almost creamy finish.
Chartley Estate Riesling Schonburger 2016
Tasmania, RRP $24
Former abalone divers, Lorraine and Peter Kossmann produce premium cool climate wine from their vineyards in Tasmania’s Tamar River region. Blending two German varieties, this wine presents an aromatic lift of lychee and star fruit leading to a rich, complex palate with ripe stone and tropical fruit and grapey acidity. Shows delicious sweetness yet finishes dry and savoury.
Quealy Pinot Grigio 2018
Mornington Peninsula, RRP $30
The Quealys became synonymous with Pinot Grigio in Australia after Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy introduced the variety to Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula when they owned T’Gallant Winery in the 1990s. This 2018 vintage delivers musk, pear, red apple and bakers spice aromas. Featuring vibrant flavours of pear and quince with lemon core depth, the palate has subtle musk complexity, mouth-watering texture and a long finish.
Printhie Mountain Range Pinot Gris 2018
Orange, RRP $20
Simply one of the best Pinot Gs the Tasting Panel has tasted this year and a Gold medal winner at the 2018 National Wine Show. A great example of the aromatic whites coming from the Orange region, it presents a perfumed lift of nashi pear and citrus. Rich and full-bodied, with concentrated fruit flavours, grapefruit-like acidity, supple mouthfeel and a creamy finish.
Mount Pleasant Cellar Aged Elizabeth Semillon 2013
Hunter Valley, RRP $28
This Mount Pleasant Semillon was named after Queen Elizabeth in honour of her 1954 visit. And like the monarch, it’s aged gracefully, showing the incredible beauty of this style. Full, bright gold in the glass, it has a fresh, clean nose with attractive toasty development. Incredibly flavoursome, dry and savoury, it has ripe yellow fruit depth and lovely buttered toast and honey development.
Meerea Park Hell Hole Semillon 2019
Hunter Valley, RRP $27
Meerea Park is owned by the Eather family, who handcraft their wines using fruit grown on some of the Hunter Valley’s best vineyard sites. This Semillon is a perfect example of their prowess. It’s light, crisp and refreshing with excellent intensity of fruit showing as Tahitian lime, Granny Smith and nashi pear, with oyster shell minerality and seamless saline purity from start to finish.
Petaluma White Label Dry Rosé 2019
Coonawarra, RRP $22
Petaluma was founded by Brian Croser in 1976 with the sole aim of producing ultra-premium wines, by carefully selecting the best sites within a particular region suited to a chosen variety, thus creating the concept of Petaluma’s ‘Distinguished Vineyards.’ Crafted from Coonawarra Nebbiolo, this Rosé is dry and savoury with spicy red fruits, subtle herb and white pepper notes, fine tannins and mouth-watering acidity.
Howard Park Miamup Rosé 2018
Margaret River, RRP $28
Howard Park has patiently developed its Margaret River and Great Southern vineyards over the last 25 years, with each site chosen to maximise the quality of the grapes. The resulting wines are sophisticated and balanced, like this Rosé with its white pepper, redcurrant, talc and orange sherbet aromas. Delicate yet flavoursome in a savoury frame, it has a tight core of red fruits, drying acidity and a hint of orange rind to finish.
Sorby Adams Jazz Pinot Rosé 2019
Eden Valley, RRP $35
Simon ‘Sorby Adams’ has been making wine around the world for over 30 years and his experience is on show in this impressive Pinot Noir Rosé from Eden Valley. Pale apricot in colour, it presents sweet cherry and strawberry aromas with spice lift. On the palate, it’s light and juicy, delivering fleshy red fruit characters, fresh grapey acidity, floral, white pepper and dried herb notes and a mouth-watering finish. A very pleasant wine.
Soumah Hexham Viognier 2018
Yarra Valley, RRP $40
Soumah specialise in wine styles and varieties typical to northern Italy and south eastern France, with most produced from their Hexham vineyard on the Warramate Foothills in the Yarra Valley. A refined yet powerful expression of Viognier, this wine has a fine core of stonefruit and citrus with supporting nougat and barrel complexity, vibrant acidity and a salty finish. Light and fresh yet complex.
Lisa McGuigan Platinum Collection Grüner Veltliner 2018
Hunter Valley, RRP $30
This must be one of the only Hunter Valley Grüners available on the market – another example of how Lisa McGuigan is not afraid to innovate. Fine straw with green freshness in the glass, it has clear signatures of celery, lime juice, wet stone and white pepper. Elegant and restrained with a long and satiny fruit core, lemony brightness, green herb complexity and attractive acid crunch. Mid weight yet with the suggestion of latent power.
Yarra Burn Vintage Sparkling 2016
Yarra Valley, RRP $25
Yarra Burn is located on the steep slopes of the Yarra Valley. It’s the altitude and style of this fine region that define the very essence of Yarra Burn wines, made by Ed Carr, Australia’s most awarded Sparkling winemaker. This generous wine shows light stonefruit, citrus zest and leesy lift. It’s full-bodied with peach, lemon and strawberry, creamy mousse, crisp acidity and savoury persistence.
Coombe Farm Estate Sparkling NV
Yarra Valley, RRP $30
This blend brings together Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a portion of each fermented in one-year-old French oak to introduce complexity and weight. The result is a nose of creamy yeast and brioche aromas over bright yellow fruit. Ripe lemon, nectarine and pear fruit depth shows on the complex, nutty-style palate with marzipan and honey complexity, creamy mouthfeel and excellent flavour persistence. A well made wine.
Bay of Fires Tasmanian Cuvée Sparkling Rosé NV
Tasmania, RRP $42
Bay of Fires wines are crafted to enhance the most pristine features of their distinctive Tasmanian terroir, including this gorgeous Sparkling Rosé. It’s pale onion skin coloured with a fine bead. Very lifted bread shop and red berry lift on the nose precedes a complex medium-bodied palate with peach, strawberry and brioche, fine acidity, creamy mousse and a long and refined finish.
Taltarni Cuvée Rosé 2013
Multiple regions, RRP $26
Established in 1969, Taltarni Vineyards is one of the pioneering wineries of Victoria’s Pyrenees region, dedicated to making exceptional wines from the unique terroir of the region and other premium sites. Winner of two Trophies and four Gold medals, this Sparkling Rosé is quite rich with a ripe core of fruit and nutty development adding complexity, citrussy acid freshness and creamy persistence. Silken, complex and long.
Four in Hand Shiraz 2017
Barossa Valley, RRP $25
Made by the team at Robert Oatley led by Chris Hancock, this wine has become a wine show medal magnet, with the 2015 vintage taking out the 2017 Saint Martin Oak Great Australian Shiraz Challenge. This vintage shows powerful blackberry, cassis, mocha, ironstone and clove spice perfume. The balanced palate has masses of black fruits in harmony with raspberry cola and espresso, fine yet deep tannins and well-judged oak.
Andrew Thomas Elenay Shiraz 2017
Hunter Valley, RRP $55
Andrew Thomas is a Hunter Valley loyalist. His love and dedication to the famed Shiraz and Semillon grapes from the region are his true passion, evident in his outstandingly consistent wine show results. This impressive Shiraz has a brooding nose of black cherry cola, leather and deluxe oak. Lovely power and harmony with black cherry intensity, deep yet soft tannins, beautiful balance and abundant quality oak.
Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz 2013
Barossa Valley, RRP $100
This is a flagship wine from one of the country’s best Shiraz producers, and an Australian icon. Deep red purple in colour, it has a nose of violets, blackberry, dark cherry, black plum and black pepper. A monster, it’s deep and concentrated with black and purple fruit power, loads of pepper and graphite spice, deep tannin foundation and savoury oak support.
Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz 2017
McLaren Vale, RRP $23.50
Since 1999, the Kaesler name has continued under winemaker Reid Bosward. McLaren Vale fruit defines this deep, dark red coloured Shiraz. Aromas of rich red berries, blackberry, white pepper and mocha lead to a well balanced palate, which has a rich core of red and black fruit characters. The oak is seamlessly integrated, while the tannins are fine yet deep, with rose petal and red cherry complexity and a powerful yet refined finish.
Yangarra Estate Vineyard Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2016
McLaren Vale, RRP $35
Yangarra Estate’s philosophy centres around producing single-vineyard biodynamic wines, with bush-vine Grenache being the keystone variety. Blended with Shiraz and Mourvèdre, the result is brooding plum, raspberry, dark cherry, cured meat and five spice aromas. The muscular palate has a bright mix of ripe black fruits, notes of kitchen spice, tobacco and charcuterie and fine tannins.
Jack Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Coonawarra, RRP $25
Established in 2011, Jack Estate are one of Coonawarra’s newer labels, but the property used to be the famed Jameson’s Run, so the fruit and wine quality are superb. This wine from the excellent 2015 vintage struck the Panel as being the essence of Coonawarra Cabernet. It shows lovely herb and pot pourri perfume over beautifully concentrated red and black fruits with oak spice and primary fruit adding youthful vibrancy.
Watershed Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Margaret River, RRP $90
Watershed Wines is located at the southern end of Margaret River, in the ‘dress circle’ of well recognised wineries. Their prowess is on show in this Cabernet with its cassis, mulberry, bay leaf, mint, vanilla and toasty oak perfume. The palate is poised yet delivers powerful dark fruits with bay leaf and tobacco complexity, deep yet fine tannins and well-judged oak.
Tulloch Cellar Door Release Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Orange, RRP $50
Tulloch only release these limited edition wines in the best of years and the 2018 vintage in Orange offered a parcel of Cabernet too good to ignore. A fragrant nose of wild herb, redcurrant, blood plum and black tea leads to a lighter style palate with a bright mix of red and black fruit, cassis, new leather, fine tannins, fresh acidity and and oak sitting in the background.
Bleasdale The Wild Fig Shiraz Grenache Mourvèdre 2018
Langhorne Creek, RRP $23
Langhorne Creek is one of the best-kept secrets in Australian wine, and the philosophy of the Bleasdale winemaking team is to capture the essence of what makes the region’s wines so attractive – vibrancy, harmony and texture. Take,
for instance, this soft, youthful Shiraz blend with its sweet cherry and plum fruit characters, candied peel and five spice notes.
Three Ponds Holman Nero d’Avola 2018
Hunter Valley, RRP $45
Mount Eyre Vineyards combine a European family winemaking tradition with a generation of experience in Australian viticulture to create wines of renown like this Nero. Dark berries, liquorice, confectionery and crushed red petals show on the nose, while the mid weight palate has plum, black cherry and blackberry with hints of anise, Chinotto and bakers spice, fine-grained tannins and a long, silken finish.
Morris V.P. Vintage Fortified 2007
Rutherglen, RRP $25
Producing some of the country’s best, Morris are Australian Fortified Wine royalty and this VP was a highlight from all of the Fortified wines the Panel tried this year. With raisin, Christmas cake and toffee aromas, it’s deeply flavoured and delightfully sweet, featuring toffee apple, fruit mince pie, bitter chocolate and red liquorice characters, well integrated spirit, seductive texture, juicy acidity and a long, delicious finish.
St John’s Road The Resilient Grenache 2018
Barossa Valley, RRP $22
Over the last few years, this wine has been amongst some of the best Grenache-based wines in the country. The 2017 scooped the Trophy pool at the 2018 Barossa Wine Show and the follow-up 2018 is just as smart. It’s a delicious Grenache in the modern fruit-focused style with a seductively silken texture driving the fine mix of red fruit, slippery texture and a moreish finish. Absolutely gorgeous!
Brokenwood Sangiovese 2018
Beechworth, RRP $36
Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels. In their standout Sangiovese, cherry, raspberry, vanilla and mocha aromas precede a palate that’s mid-weight but loaded with red and purple fruit with complex notes of coffee, vanilla and bay leaf in a fruit-forward style.
Andrew Peace Zweigelt 2018
Swan Hill, RRP $25
Andrew Peace has a deft hand at drawing the best out of alternative varieties. In this wine, the Austrian variety Zweigelt shows all of its noted perfume and seductive light to medium weight frame. Youthfully fresh with bright red cherry, raspberry, mocha and cedar oak aromas, it’s elegant, well-balanced and long with red cherry and raspberry jube characters, energetic acidity, fine tannins and appealing satiny persistence.
De Iuliis Special Release Tempranillo 2018
Hunter Valley, RRP $25
De Iuliis wines are known for their trademark Hunter regionality and commitment to showcasing the very best the Hunter Valley has to offer. This Tempranillo is a perfect example with its complex aromas of sour cherry, mocha and game. The palate abounds in sweet dark fruit with touches of pepper and liquorice, soft tannins, mouth-watering acidity and a long, classy finish.
Vinaceous Voodoo Moon Malbec 2017
Margaret River, RRP $24
Malbec-based wines thrive in Margaret River and this wine has a history of picking up wine show awards and this vintage is no different! Well-balanced and flavoursome, it allures with violet, graphite, blackcurrant and bay leaf aromas. The palate displays classic varietal muscle and fruit intensity with masses of black and purple fruit, graphite-like tannins, classy cedar oak and a lingering finish.
Margan Breaking Ground Barbera 2017
Hunter Valley, RRP $40
The Breaking Ground Range celebrates a focus on innovation and features pioneering and alternative wines and wine styles. Medium to deep red in the glass, it presents lifted dark berry, plum, kitchen spice and cedar oak aromas. With seamless texture from start to finish, it has a delicate, medium weight mix of spicy red fruit, supple tannins and oodles of charry oak.
Wild & Wilder The Exhibitionist Merlot 2019
Barossa Valley, RRP $23
Wild & Wilder work hand in hand with their band of growers, crafting wines of quality at their Adelaide Hills winery using fruit from Barossa, Langhorne Creek, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills. Their Barossa Merlot has a fresh and varietal nose of plum, blueberry, black pepper and vanillin oak. The full, ripe and juicy palate has plenty of dark fruit flavour, savoury elements, chocolatey oak and a powerful finish.
Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Henty, RRP $55
Seppelt are best known for their Sparkling wines, but this Pinot scored Gold from the whole Panel. It has an expressive nose of fresh red berries, sweet herbs and wood smoke, while the palate is light-bodied yet packed with varietal flavours of white cherry, white strawberry and raspberry with hints of black tea, hickory and vanilla, silken texture, crunchy acidity and charry oak.
Rochford Estate Pinot Noir 2018
Yarra Valley, RRP $38
The whole suite of 2018 Rochford Pinot Noirs are superb, showing the skill of the grape growing and winemaking team at Rochford and the strength of the 2018 Yarra Valley vintage. This classic example has a complex nose of dark berries, forest floor, exotic spices and smokey oak. It has a seductively silken texture and beautifully fine tannin and acid balance. Packed with dark cherry, strawberry and cranberry with vanilla bean, black tea and wood smoke.
K1 by Geoff Hardy Pinot Noir 2018
Adelaide Hills, RRP $45
Geoff Hardy wines show not only balance and finesse, but have a delicious latent fruit power – clearly on show in this 2018 Pinot! A long and juicy wine which really evolves in the glass, it exudes red and blue fruit, forest berry and wood smoke aromas. Light and elegant, it’s fresh and youthful with crunchy red cherry and red plum, hints of black tea, exotic spices, red petals and toasty oak adding complexity.
Harewood Estate Pinot Noir 2019
Great Southern, RRP $21
James Kellie cut his winemaking teeth at Howard Park before his family purchased this boutique operation in Denmark, where he now crafts an exciting range of premium wines, including this Pinot. There’s a fine, aromatic mix of field strawberry, white mushroom, earth and oak spice. On the palate, there’s ethereal harmony and integration of bright satiny fruits and whole bunch tension, soft tannins and savoury cedar oak.
Corduroy Pinot Noir 2018
Adelaide Hills, RRP $30
The fruit for this wine came from 23 year old vines on the Anvers Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. It shows the strength of the 2018 Adelaide Hills vintage and the skills of winemaker Phillip LeMessurier. Opening with a perfumed lift of red plum, red cherry, pomegranate and vanilla, it’s powerful yet refined with a juicy riot of red berry flavours, notes of Italian bitters and mushroom and vibrant, crunchy acidity.
Cooks Lot Allotment 1111 Pinot Noir 2018
Orange, RRP $23
A relatively recent discovery, Cooks Lot wines continue to impress, consistently scoring well across the board with the Tasting Panel, and this Pinot Noir is no exception. Light cherry red in the glass, it appeals with aromas of Chinese plum, tilled earth and kitchen spice. Soft, silken and seamless, the palate has terrific texture, vibrant acid freshness, a lovely red fruit core and well-judged oak in support.
Celebrate the best of 2019 with our summer catalogue!