Been a long time since I’ve bought a Semillon of any sort, but these are worth a look if you are partial to Sem with a bit of body and some winemaking work.
3 years old now and picking up some golden flecks in the colour, smells of wool fat, oyster shell and lemon curd. The palate is immediately fresh and alive, with its cut grass, herb garden flavours, accompanied by some nougat like notes, with some cashew like oak rounding this out with some phenolic grip on a well rounded citrus pith like finish that sees just a little acid cut right at the end.
A bit to be interested in here. Pleasant and credible, balanced, and right for fish and chips.
88/100 from me – which means it is more than halfway up the “very good” category. Some would arrive at a score of 91 or so with the same impressions. The magic of numbers.
Still some red colour; no bricking. A good start. Initially quite mushroomy and earthy, and a touch of volatility. Then some caramel and spices, getting more pleasurable with time, lifted aromatics, white florals, undergrowth and pan grille. The palate is a bit thin, fine cherry and mushroom fruits and undergrowth. Drying out? Drink now. 87 points. Sealed under Diam. 13.0% abv.
Chardonnay is probably the least regarded of the trio of grape varieties Felton Road make. Thats an odd thing, as they do a really, really good job of it, right from the minimally oaked Elms, through the Bannockburn to this, the Block 2.
This is a nice stage in the evolution of this wine, theres a lot going on here. The early impression is of winemaking – rich, creamy cashews & nougat, laid across some white peach fruit. There’s also a piercing lemon acid line on the finish. Its a little split personality, and I think a couple more years will see the components integrate more. And good quality components they are. To be really picky – dialling the oak down a touch would help. But I think the answer to that is to drink the Bannockburn instead. Not entirely sure of the price but I think this lands at a little under $A50 ordered from cellar door
91/100 now with upside.
My second look at this in quick succession, after seeing it on Grand Final Day, albeit this time out of half bottle.
The preview starts with holding the bottle to the light before opening – relatively transparent, and expectations of lightness. It pours red with no purple tinges, and smells of medium weight things – rosepetal, redcurrant, and classic nebbiolo tarry whiffs.
The palate is size 10, but with size 16 tannins! I wonder if more breathing or bottle age will see these settle? I hope so, so the pretty redcurrant and strawberry fruits can come out more and get across those hallmark nebbiolo sawn timber tannins. This feels like it is coiled up and held tight, so fingers crossed the tannic grip will get released at some stage. Right now, this demands food.
Hard to rate – 92/100 for what I think it will be, but a bit of a challenge to drink now.
The second best riesling made in New Zealand
I’ve been sipping this over 4 nights And its still oh so gluggable even now on night 4, as these sugar and acid balanced rieslings can be.
It looked a little pudgy on night one with the usual acid tension slackened right off, but with a few nights in the fridge it seems to be back in form. The lightness of lemon, the fullness of orange, the backbone of lime pith, a big smiley citrus tree this is. Some secondary petroleum jelly whiffs just beginning to peek through. There’s a dried green herb nuance too on the back palate, some slatey sulphur and freshly crushed sugar cane.
All up its showing a lot like a bigger riper Mosel style just now. Another in a long string of tip top rieslings from Felton Road. 91 points.
Dexter Wines is the project of Tod Dexter who has several decades winemaking experience in the Mornington Peninsula, most notably at Stonier and Yabby Lake.
An interesting nose, cherries and green plums, cedar and stalk, dry spices. A textual palate, tangy and sappy, with cherries, cranberries and a hint of tomatoes. There is also some undergrowth and earthy complexity, and the wine finishes with some stalk. Finely tannined. RRP about $50. 13.5% abv. Sealed under screwcap. Quite lovely, 88 points.
Attractive nose, medium weight cherries and bright spices, a touch of stalk. Light to medium bodied palate, that moves through red fruits to a touch of bitterness and dry stalks. The green streak is annoying, and almost like pine needles, and strangely it comes and goes. The weight on the palate also seems to vary with time. Admittedly a cheapie, so expectations shouldn’t be too high. Drink now. 85 points.
$34 for as Langhe Nebbiolo. Bargain? Well maybe.
Brick red and lightly transparent. Earthy, tarry berries, and a whack of nostril tingling VA that lifts out some rosepetal. Initially this is quite approachable with bright and lifted redcurrant and tingly acids carrying the red fruits into a nebbiolo tannin finish, which is fairly old school and fairly confronting without food. Relatively simple, medium bodied, food friendly, and carries its 14% ABV really well. 85/100
“That’s sophisticated for a Dry” Rosalie’s immediate reaction to this wine. And it sums up very succinctly this top line dry riesling from the star of the Nahe in Germany.
Lemon rind and pith, peaches are the tell tales of spatlese ripeness. Then there is lemon myrtle, some slatey sulphur and dried herbs. Lightly spiced too – a lot going on here. It is pretty close to bone dry, and seems to be opening up to show its stuff at 5 years old without putting on the secondary characters of bottle age just yet. This presents as reasonably rounded with acids in the background right now.
While this is still perhaps a little bit coiled up, drink now if you want the fruit based complexity it is showing, or hold on to it as this is on a slow evolutionary path – see where it goes! About $80 on release, 13% ABV. 90/100 now with upside.
13.0% abv. Screwcap. RRP in the high $20s. On the nose, cherries and cranberries, spices with some confection but not much complexity. The palate shows soft fruits, earthy and a bit twiggy, softly candied. Very lightly bodied and tannined, but it does build some weight with time, getting a fuller mouthfeel and some glossiness. Drink now. 85 points.