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Wine Blog & Reviews

Reviews by Avid Wino

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2006

Looooooooooong

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 4 April 2014 10:03 PM

Looooooooooong. Heady. 2 small glasses and I already feel tipsy. Yum. So much going on, pear, grapefruit, peach, oats. Those toasted nuts do it for me. Good to go now, and anytime over the next five years. Don't chill this too much, I recommend drinking at 10-12 degrees celsius, just below typical wine fridge temperature.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Top notch cabernet

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 4 April 2014 10:00 PM

One of those wines that sets you back on your heels more than once, makes you feel "geez this is good". Huge nose, recognisably Margaret River. Intense and concentrated in the mouth. Still youthful, primary, sweetly fruited. Blackberry, blackcurrant, gravel. Outstanding length and ropey tannin structure.

  • Rating: 94 (Average for all reviewers 94)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Small Gully Ringbark Red Shiraz Cabernet 2000

Barossa shiraz and Clare Valley cabernet

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 18 June 2012 09:14 AM

Barossa shiraz and Clare Valley cabernet. My bottle was drinkable but past its best. Mostly pepper and coconut oak, fruit had faded to barely an echo, some earthiness.

  • Rating: 82 (Average for all reviewers 82)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Frey Sohler Reserve Alsace Pinot Noir 2009

An enjoyable drinking pinot

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 11 June 2012 08:32 PM

An enjoyable drinking pinot. Attractive light colour, also light in flavour, with cherries, some strawberry, and a likeable mineral edge to the finish. Well balanced. A versatile wine alongside food, drink it with whatever you like.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Seppelt Moyston Merlot 2004

Impressive complexity and structure

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 10 June 2012 09:26 PM

Cabernet merlot, not merlot as listed. This bottle needed four hours in the decanter before beginning to reveal impressive complexity. Smells mostly of mulberry and eucalyptus. Tastes of blackcurrant, cherry, chocolate, mulberry, dust, leather and a touch of eucalyptus. Impeccable structure, lots of tannin, very well balanced, finish is long. Will improve for another decade.

  • Rating: 93 (Average for all reviewers 93)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Balgownie Estate Black Label Cabernet Merlot 2009

Will put hairs on your chest

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 3 June 2012 08:28 PM

An earthy cabernet, with black and red fruits, cassis. Very tannic. Good match for a big steak.

  • Rating: 87 (Average for all reviewers 87)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Saltram Mamre Brook Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Sweet fruited and tannic

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 2 June 2012 09:04 PM

Sweet fruited, blackberry and mulberry, plus chocolate and creamy oak. Kitten's tongue tannins, actually make that cat's tongue. Mouth coating.

  • Rating: 89 (Average for all reviewers 89)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Ross Hill Pinnacle Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Terrific balance

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 27 May 2012 08:57 PM

From Orange. Wine is not just about what is in the glass, in fact it's more about people and memories and stories. Who did you drink the wine with, what was the occasion, and many other possibilities. So before writing about this wine, a disclaimer of possible bias. Despite never having visited Orange or having previously tried a wine from Orange (!) I am predisposed to liking this wine, as when I was a primary school student, some 30 years ago, my favourite teacher came from Orange. Far and away the best school teacher I ever had. On to the wine. Very purple. Doesn't give much away on the nose, some blackberry bush. One sip and you know the strength of this wine is its terrific balance. How does it taste? Blackcurrant, some mulberry and mint, perhaps even some iodine and toffee. Long finish. I decanted this 3 hours. Such is the balance, it should improve for a decade or longer. Great pairing with Irish stew.

  • Rating: 94 (Average for all reviewers 94)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 1996

Supremely impressive in its richness, ripeness, balance, power, and tremendous length

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 9 April 2012 08:05 PM

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Nose of blackberry and cedar, with sweet fruit showing more as time passed. In the mouth, supremely impressive in its richness, ripeness, balance and power. Chocolatey tannins. Tremendous length. Decanted 2 hours and drank over another 2, I would recommend decanting 4 hours or more as this bottle still hadn't peaked when the last drop disappeared. Great accompaniment to roast beef, though my wife and I almost had to drink it without food, after my 1 year old daughter cranked the oven up to 265 degrees celsius while nobody was looking. The situation was rescued just in time.

  • Rating: 96 (Average for all reviewers 96)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Watershed Shades Shiraz Merlot Cabernet 2007

A Margaret River blend that slips down easily

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 5 April 2012 08:07 PM

A blend from Margaret River. Nose of red fruits plus the Margaret River cabernet signature of bay leaves, dry gum leaves, and dust. Light to medium bodied in the mouth, slips down easily. Red and black fruits, some chocolate, nice powdery tannins. Currently listed at $10.15, very good value at that.

  • Rating: 87 (Average for all reviewers 87)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Schild Estate Barossa Shiraz 2008

Warming, glow inducing, Barossa Shiraz

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 31 March 2012 09:22 PM

A controversial wine. Ranked 7th in the top 100 for 2010 by US magazine Wine Spectator, Schild found themselves running low on supply, so purchased, blended and bottled additional wine under the same label. I have no idea whether my bottle was first or second blend, but judging what I have in my glass, if you like an old fashioned Barossa Shiraz, you'll be hard pressed to find better for the price. Warming, glow inducing. American oak to the fore. Malt and coconut. Blackberries and plums. Nice mouth coating tannins, well balanced and good long finish.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Hardy's Nottage Hill Cabernet Shiraz 2004

Plum and blueberries, mellowed by time

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 23 March 2012 08:36 PM

The bottle delivered to me under this name was actually the straight shiraz. Plum and blueberries, mellowed by time, plus a little leather. Holding up remarkably well for a wine that is at the value drink now end of the spectrum when new, though a little sourness became evident after being open an hour or so.

  • Rating: 82 (Average for all reviewers 82)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Wyndham Estate George Wyndham Shiraz 2004

Drinking very nicely, superb balance

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 22 March 2012 08:18 PM

This is drinking very nicely, in its prime I would say. Shows the benefits of being a multi-regional blend, of mostly South Australian and Hunter fruit, as it has some of the better attributes of both regions. Smells of blackberry bush and a little eucalypt. In the mouth, very nicely balanced, with generous berry fruit, dark chocolate and liquorice, some Hunter earthiness and cured meat, then nice powdery tannins on a good length finish. Must admit I guessed wrong on this wine, expecting it to be a Thursday nighter, when in fact it would have done Friday night, Saturday night, or even a Sunday roast proud!

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Provingnage Vin De Pays De L'Herault Rouge Carignan Grenache Cinsault 2001

A blend of Carignan, Grenache, Cinsaut and Syrah

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 12 March 2012 08:48 PM

A blend of Carignan, Grenache, Cinsaut and Syrah from the Herault in the south of France. My bottle was past its best. Light in colour, the nose was muted with some vinegar, and the palate was faded, with only echoes of soft fruitiness remaining.

  • Rating: 79 (Average for all reviewers 79)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Neagles Rock Grenache Shiraz 2007

Delicious, sweetly fragrant and sweetly fruited

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 10 March 2012 08:31 PM

Delicious, this one. I smashed through more than my share of the bottle far too quickly, couldn't help myself. Sweetly fragrant and sweetly fruited. Raspberry and plum, some cherry. Medium bodied. Good balance. The finish is spicy and nicely tannic, with good length. Produced by Neagles Rock from almost 40 year old Clare Valley vines, and labelled as Front Row Old Vine Grenache. There's some shiraz in the mix.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 1996

Elegance and pure ripe fruit

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 10 December 2011 09:16 PM

At its best after four hours in the decanter, and beyond that, I can't say, as it was all gone. After four had settled, smoothed, and unwound. All about the fruit, though elegance and pure ripe flavours more than power. Beautiful dark berries, mostly blueberry. Superb balance and structure. Chalky tannins. Exceptionally long finish. Earlier in its decant was still outstanding, albeit more rich, intense and peppery. Hope I get to try this again in five, ten, perhaps even fifteen and twenty years from now. Will only get better, I think.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Cellar for at least 5 years

Rosemont Estate Show Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Quality cabernet from Coonawarra

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 7 November 2011 04:47 PM

I like this. Very dark in the glass, with purple edges. Nose of blackcurrant plus touches of eucalyptus and graphite. Light to medium bodied in the mouth, which is how I prefer my cabernet as we approach summer. Black and also red fruits, mint and rosemary. Well balanced with nice kittens tongue tannins on the finish, if you know what I mean. Grippy. Took an hour to open up, and then got better and better with each passing minute. ** This of course is a review of the Rosemount Estate wine, spelt as Rosemont for this vintage in the Cellarit wine market.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Berrys Bridge Shiraz 2002

Dark, dense and powerful

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 7 November 2011 04:12 PM

Dark, almost black, with ruby edges. Black fruits, some menthol and mocha. Powerful and dense palate needs time to open up. Colossal tannins.

  • Rating: 87 (Average for all reviewers 87)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Frey Sohler Scherwiller Riesling 2009

Quaffable

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 29 October 2011 08:30 PM

From Alsace. Floral nose, citrus and apple in the mouth, tending toward fruit salad as it warms in the glass. Dry yet a touch of sweetness. Good length. Little mineral or acid. Delicious alongside smoked trout quiche.

  • Rating: 87 (Average for all reviewers 87)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Juicy, easy drinking, fruit-driven Penfolds red

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 20 October 2011 09:13 AM

Juicy, easy drinking, fruit-driven Penfolds red. Blackcurrant, with a dry finish. Just the trick if you're looking for something to go with a mid-week dinner BBQ.

  • Rating: 85 (Average for all reviewers 85)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Domain Charles Baur Vin D' Alsace Sylvaner Sylvaner 2008

A delicately floral dry white

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 16 October 2011 09:30 PM

My first Sylvaner. Nice! Pale in the glass. Delicately floral aromas extend to the palate, with a touch of peach, and a persistent mineral finish. This Sylvaner would be a great match for any light meal and be magic alongside seafood.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Gleeson Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2009

A good quaffing pinot at a fair price

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 14 October 2011 09:03 PM

A good quaffing pinot at a fair price. Strawberry, cherry, spice, some nougat, a little drying tannin on the finish. Light in mouth feel and flavour. More intriguing than the wine is the label, which almost looks home made, albeit nicely done. Who are the Gleesons, and what is the story of this wine? Guess I'll never know. Label says made by Yarrawood Estate. 12% alcohol. Cork, no capsule.

  • Rating: 85 (Average for all reviewers 85)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Boar's Rock The Poem Mclaren Vale Shiraz 2001

Rich mature McLaren Vale Shiraz, drinking well now

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 8 October 2011 09:49 PM

Rich mature McLaren Vale Shiraz. Almost black in the glass, with purple edges. Plum and dark chocolate. Great tannin structure, well balanced with a long drying finish. Popped and poured, this drank well immediately. Much better than the current asking price of $12.49... it would be a bargain at twice that.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

A top notch Black Label

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Wednesday 28 September 2011 01:43 PM

A top notch Black Label. I'm hesitant to draw this parallel on a wine site, but it came to mind, so why not.... each tasting of a modern Black Label is a similar happy experience to hearing an old favourite AC/DC song for the first time in a few years, in that part of both their greatness derives from their utter inevitability. You know what's coming and, when it comes, it's always great. In the case of an AC/DC song, it always starts with a riff, gets heavier, then screeched absurd vocals kick in, repeat a few times, then guitar solo, then frenzied finish that finishes with a whack. As for the Black Label.... Mostly cassis and mint on the nose. Rich red and black fruits in the mouth, slightly earthy. Firm tannin structure, nicely judged acidity. Lingering savoury finish. Still young, a few years short of showing at its best. Give it an hour or two of air if you're drinking now. As I said, top notch. I'm happy to have a few of these cellared, as it's travelling well, and my 2006 vintage son should be able to enjoy them after he passes legal drinking age, assuming that I have the self control to save him a couple. (Hat tip to www.nme.com for some of the words about AC/DC)

  • Rating: 94 (Average for all reviewers 94)
  • Drink: Cellar for at least 5 years

Mouthpiece Paul Lindner Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Barossa cabernet showing off perfectly ripened summer berry and currant flavours

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 18 September 2011 07:58 PM

Barossa cabernet showing off perfectly ripened summer berry and currant flavours. Predominantly mulberry and blackcurrant, with some leafiness on the nose. Medium bodied, smooth, easy drinking, nicely balanced, fine drying tannins toward the finish.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Domaine Charles Baur Cuvee Charles Riesling 2008

A very enjoyable dry riesling from Alsace

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 17 September 2011 08:40 PM

A very enjoyable dry riesling from Alsace. Yellow gold colour. Mostly floral nose, some pineapple, and a hint of violet crumble or perhaps it's European honey. Nice weight in mouth, perfectly judged acidity, peach, grapefruit, and mineral to finish with an ever so slightly honeyed twist in the tail.

  • Rating: 91 (Average for all reviewers 91)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Zerella Vineyards Vito Shiraz 2002

Drinking nicely right now

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 9 September 2011 09:06 PM

From McLaren Vale and the Barossa. Drinking nicely right now. First sniff reminded me of a plum flan that my Mum used to bake regularly when I was a kid. Tastes of plums and blueberries, chocolate, red berries too, quite spicy, some vanilla. Well balanced, mellow and easy to drink. Nice after taste and finish. Improved over the course of a couple of hours. At a touch over $12, very good value.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Xanadu Wines Cow Rock Reserve Cabernets 1999

A nicely curranty Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from Margaret River

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 8 September 2011 08:18 PM

A Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from Margaret River. Nicely curranty in the mouth, some gravel/mineral, with soft feathery tannins the best feature for me. VA on the nose obscured any other aromas, that said, it wasn't off putting, and the performance in the mouth compensated. Good finish.

  • Rating: 85 (Average for all reviewers 85)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Mildara Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Coonawarra Cabernet, says it all

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Tuesday 23 August 2011 09:52 PM

Cabernet from Coonawarra, with all the usual desirables present and correct. Blackberry, cassis, mint, cigar box, cedar. Long savoury drying finish. Needs some time in the decanter to show its best. A no brainer to pair with roast lamb. Yum.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Paringa Estate Pinot Noir 2003

Spicy aged Pinot

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Tuesday 23 August 2011 09:49 PM

Farmyard nose. Tastes mostly of spices. Also cherry, berries, plums, and mulch. The berries and plum linger on an impressively long finish.

  • Rating: 88 (Average for all reviewers 88)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Kalleske Greenock Basket Pressed Shiraz 2003

Superb

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 7 August 2011 10:28 PM

To drink this wine is to feel that all is right with the world. Very nice, and impressively crafted. Dark berries, plum, cherry, chocolate, meat juices, mineral. Fine tannins, long finish. 15.5% alcohol but perfectly integrated, perfectly balanced. I strongly recommend drinking this alongside the best piece of beef that you can get your hands on. I drank this with roast wagyu beef, also threw a splash in the gravy. A monumentally tasty pairing.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling 2004

Lovely

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 5 August 2011 08:44 PM

As I like to say when I encounter a riesling such as this, very tasty rocks with a squeeze of lemon. Lovely. Mineral and lemon rind, with a slight hint of pineapple. Medium weight and perfectly balanced. Long finish with a touch of lemon sherbet evident. Perfect accompaniment to baked snapper with a ginger and lemongrass sauce.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Petaluma Riesling 2004

Good aged riesling

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 31 July 2011 09:09 PM

Looks like a young riesling, pale yellow green. Rubbery nose. Tastes of apples and lime, minerals, and finishes with a little sweetness. Drinks very nicely alongside Vietnamese pork, chicken, and seafood dishes, and I imagine also alongside many other cuisines.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Passionfruit

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 31 July 2011 09:06 PM

Has held up remarkably well, plenty of fruit remaining, though I imagine sweeter and less crisp than it would have been in its youth. Still, enjoyable to drink. Passionfruit and a hint of lavender on the nose, passionfruit and melon in the mouth. Good long finish, slightly creamy.

  • Rating: 87 (Average for all reviewers 87)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Girdwood Estate Shiraz 2005

Porty

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 31 July 2011 09:03 PM

Blue and black fruits, spices. 15.5% alcohol, and it shows. Porty.

  • Rating: 79 (Average for all reviewers 79)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Heathcote Winery Mail Coach Shiraz 2001

Beautiful nose

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 19 June 2011 08:50 PM

Shiraz with a touch of viognier. Beautiful nose of leather and polished wood, reminded me of stepping in to a vintage railway carriage, 1st class. Tastes meaty, spicy, a bit of ash, with echoes of blackberry and cassis. Nice fine soft tannins.

  • Rating: 91 (Average for all reviewers 91)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Australian Domaine Wines Hattrick Shiraz Grenache 2002

A nicely mature wine from McLaren Vale, slips down very easily

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 4 June 2011 08:40 PM

A nicely mature wine from McLaren Vale, slips down very easily. 46% Shiraz, 38% Grenache, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon. Features a core of richly concentrated black fruits, also some raspberry, liqourice, and spices. Nicely balanced, some fine soft tannins remaining on the finish, carries the 15% alcohol easily.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Pikes Reserve The Merle Riesling 2005

A beauty from the Clare Valley

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 3 June 2011 07:54 PM

A beauty from the Clare Valley. Nose shows rubber, blossoms, and lime. In the mouth is where this wine soars, especially if you let it warm in the glass. An explosion of flavours. Lemon, lime, apple, orange rind, spices, a touch of sweetness. Long finish. Bottom line is, I have enjoyed many of the tasting panel wines, but this is the first I have purchased subsequent to trying the tasting bottle. Grabbed 2 just now for the storage account, and am looking forward to seeing how this wine develops in coming years. Apparently mature riesling is a Love It or Hate It proposition. I am firmly in the Love It camp.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Balnaves Cabernet Merlot 1999

Nicely aged Coonawarra cabernet

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 29 May 2011 08:38 PM

Nicely aged Coonawarra cabernet. 95% cab and 5% merlot. Appealing reddish purple colour. Quite an oaky nose, earthy and leafy too, with a hint of black fruit. Tastes mostly of blackcurrant and American oak, also of mint, fruit cake, coffee, and savoury meatiness. Tannins have integrated, good balance. Drying finish. Drank best after an hour in the decanter.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Saltram Mamre Brook Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Lovely ripe Barossa red

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 28 May 2011 07:18 PM

The label says "Mamre Brook wines are a tribute to the Barossa". A true statement. This wine is as much about the Barossa as it is about Cabernet. Popped and poured, ready to go. Great fun to drink. Some wines are enjoyable for their intrigue or class, this one just invites you to smile, and pour another glass. Full bodied. Lovely ripe blackberry and mulberry, chocolate, with a healthy amount of tannin, leading to a good length finish.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2009

Magificent

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 20 May 2011 11:03 AM

For mine, Campbell Mattinson (www.winefront.com.au) nailed Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier when he wrote of the 2005 vintage "here, in this bottle, is the specialness of wine in glorious capture". Those words apply to this vintage also, it is magnificent, even divine. Smelled gorgeous when poured in to the decanter, where it sat for two hours. Tasted even better when the time came. Luscious dark fruits, complex savoury and spice, roast meat juices. Beautiful silky fine tannins. Extraordinarily long finish. Hugely enjoyable before, alongside, and following lamb shank stew. Won't touch my other bottles for a good few years.

  • Rating: 99 (Average for all reviewers 99)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz 2001

Irresistible, draws you back for more, and more. And then suddenly *sigh* it's all gone.

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Wednesday 11 May 2011 09:22 AM

A wine that is irresistible, draws you back for more, and more. And then suddenly *sigh* it's all gone. Smells and tastes of rich black fruits, earth, and American oak. The finish is very long, and shimmers, a dance between mineral and acid for the most part, with grapey tannins rounding it out. Sensational match for roast beef.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Hanging Rock Shiraz 2001

Irresistible, draws you back for more, and more. And then suddenly *sigh* it's all gone.

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 8 May 2011 10:00 PM

A wine that is irresistible, draws you back for more, and more. And then suddenly *sigh* it's all gone. Smells and tastes of rich black fruits, earth, and American oak. The finish is very long, and shimmers, a dance between mineral and acid for the most part, with grapey tannins rounding it out. Sensational match for roast beef.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Charles Cimicky The Red Blend 1998

A delicious and satisfying cabernet blend from the Barossa

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 6 May 2011 08:39 PM

From the Barossa, a delicious and satisfying blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc. Popped and poured, ready to go immediately. Looks almost black in the glass, with purple edges. Nose shows herbs, some eucalypt , and earth. Tastes of concentrated, rich black fruits, with the herbs and earth in the background. Finish is long and nicely drying, with liquorice, menthol plus well balanced levels of alcohol, acid, and fine soft tannins. Drank over a couple of hours, the richness of the flavours intensified as that time passed, so there's likely plenty of life left in this vintage.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Girdwood Estate Pinot Noir 2005

Pinot Noir @ 16% alcohol

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 30 April 2011 08:28 PM

Label says "A voluptuous 2005 Pinot Noir" and "16% Alc/Vol". Voluptuous Pinot Noir? 16%? Certainly unusual, probably unique. I think I'm coining a new phrase when I say this is a Pinot Noir for Port drinkers. Doesn't have a big nose, but smells a bit cherried, jammy, and gamey. Hits the mouth in a similar way to Port. Tastes a bit like Christmas pudding but with more than a hint of strawberries and cherry, and less sweetness. I could knock back a glass of this on a cold winters night alongside some hearty food and not feel too hard done by. Certainly memorable. From central Victoria.

  • Rating: 79 (Average for all reviewers 79)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Garlands Saros Cabernet Franc 2001

Fleshy mouthfuls of blackcurrant and blackberry

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 25 April 2011 01:55 PM

88% Cabernet Franc and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fairly muted nose but delicious in the mouth. Fleshy mouthfuls of blackcurrant and blackberry, soft fine tannins, and a good length finish. Medium bodied. Drinking well now.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

De Bortoli Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

A particularly classy cabernet

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Tuesday 19 April 2011 03:54 PM

This is the Estate Grown Yarra Valley Cabernet. Decanted for two hours before drinking, then enjoyed over a couple of hours, initially as a great match for lamb casserole. A particularly classy cabernet. Beautiful colour, deep reddish purple. Gorgeously fragrant nose. Medium bodied. Palate shows rich fruit and is loaded with lovely velvet tannins. Finish is long and perfectly balanced. This wine got better and better as the night went on, and although it is very nice right now, doubtless it will drink even better a few years in the future. Curiously, the current cellarit price of $25 is $10 less than the recommended retail.

  • Rating: 94 (Average for all reviewers 94)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Yarrawood Estate Merlot 2004

Easy and enjoyable drinking.

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 10 April 2011 07:31 PM

Very nice drop, easy and enjoyable, drinking well now. Reddish purple. Medium bodied. Mulberry and blackcurrant, spices, some black olive, oak. Well balanced, good length finish, fine slightly salty tannins.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Phillip Island Vineyard The Nobbies Pinot Noir 2000

This wine is still alive, and fascinating

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 7 April 2011 07:43 PM

This wine is still alive, and fascinating. There's a little bit of strawberry remaining in every sip, but it's everything else about it that drew me in and had me captivated. The nose is subdued, reminded me of Keen's curry powder, and of visiting my uncle's cowsheds as a youngster. The palate is spicy and earthy, also with prosciutto, leather, very dark chocolate, some mushroom, fine tannins. There is a lot more going on that I cannot put in to words. As I said earlier, I found this wine captivating, not immediately appealing, but I very much enjoyed attempting to unravel what it has become. However it won't be to everyones taste, perhaps just for those who are curious about how an aged pinot noir can taste, and/or those who are in to forest and farmyard in their wine.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers 90)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Ulithorne Frux Frugis Shiraz 2001

Delicious

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 20 March 2011 08:37 PM

Won't attempt to wax lyrical on this one, short and sweet will do just fine. Deliciously ripe blueberries, plus blackcurrant, quality dark chocolate, and pepper. Big and bold, nicely balanced and good length. Highly recommended.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Twin Pack Riesling 2009

Lovely crisp young riesling, that could blossom with a few years cellaring

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Monday 14 March 2011 10:01 PM

Lovely crisp young riesling, that will blossom with a few years cellaring. Depending on your tastes, you could drink it now and/or in 6+ years time. How is it now? Very pale colour, slightly green. Nose doesn't give much away, but if you have a good big sniff or let the wine warm in the glass, it smells delicately floral. Palate is like licking a pebble, of course I mean that in a good way, very mineral, plus citrus and a solid acid backbone. Grapefruit emerges quite strongly on the long dry finish.

  • Rating: 91 (Average for all reviewers 91)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Classic McLaren La Testa Blend Shiraz Grenache Cabernet 2001

Nice ripe concentrated fruit, but too much heat

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 13 March 2011 08:43 PM

Subdued blackberry jam aromas, alcohol also evident. Concentrated dark fruit, chocolate and pepper on the palate, nice fine tannins. Up to that point, a pretty good drop. Unfortunately, for my taste, too much alcohol heat is prominent on the finish, and lingers for minutes.

  • Rating: 80 (Average for all reviewers 84.5)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Binder Mitchell Dovetail Cabernet Shiraz 2002

Better than a simple quaffer

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 27 February 2011 09:58 PM

Given the current Cellarit asking price ($6) all I was hoping for was an easy wine to gulp down with my takeaway Turkish Pide, but this is better than a simple quaffer. Dark reddish purple. Nose of sweet oak, leather, coffee grounds, berries. Juicy, blackcurrant, currants, plum, a little mint and tobacco. Soft fine tannins and cassis on the finish. Enjoyable wine that improved over the hour or so that it took to consume the bottle.

  • Rating: 89 (Average for all reviewers 89)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Scarborough Chardonnay 2003

Enjoyable and easy to drink

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 27 February 2011 09:52 PM

Enjoyable and easy to drink. A lovely crystal clear light greenish yellow colour. Restrained nose, lemon butter with a hint of nuttiness and toast. Nicely thick in the mouth, largely a balance between citrus and stone fruit, with quality acid, a little spice, plus touches of pineapple and passionfruit. Screwcap.

  • Rating: 87 (Average for all reviewers 87)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 1998

This is an enjoyable and fascinating wine, one that presents a good argument for drinking aged riesling

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 20 February 2011 06:12 PM

This is an enjoyable and fascinating wine, one presents a good argument for drinking aged riesling. Golden colour. Subtle aromas, blossom and creme caramel. In the mouth initially shows honeysuckle, toasty, nutty flavours, and a texture that is somewhere between oily and creamy. The finish is long, stewed apple, a little lime, a hint of rubber, with a fine acid backbone. Aged riesling is particularly enjoyable alongside European bistro style food, so in honour of riesling's German origins I drank this alongside Jaeger Schnitzel mit Spaetzle (Veal schnitzel and egg noodles with a creamy mushroom sauce). A delicious pairing!

  • Rating: 94 (Average for all reviewers 94)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Henry's Drive Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Nice. Hitting its peak now I think.

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 16 January 2011 09:31 PM

Nice. Hitting its peak now I think. Dark purple. Big welcoming nose of dark fruits, leather, earth and a touch of cigar box, with all those again evident on the palate, blackcurrant being central, plus quite peppery. Very well balanced, tannis have integrated, alcohol and acid are just right, present but not prominent. Good long finish.

  • Rating: 92 (Average for all reviewers 92)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz 2000

Delicious, superbly balanced wine

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 17 December 2010 09:20 PM

This is a delicious, superbly balanced wine. Floral and spicy nose. Tastes of blueberries, raspberries, plums, black pepper, spices, raisins. Has a touch of concentrated sweetness that comes and goes, not present in every sip, but by mid-way through the bottle I was longing for it. Full bodied yet smooth, great structure, tannins have softened and are in perfect balance with the acid, leading to a nice long finish. Frankly that all sounds a bit clinical. What is important with this wine is how it all comes together as a delicious whole, how good it tastes (fantastic), and how good it makes you feel (on top of the world). Highly recommended.

  • Rating: 96 (Average for all reviewers 96)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Mount Langi Ghiran Billi Billi Shiraz Grenache Cabernet 1999

Faded

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Friday 17 December 2010 09:16 PM

Given that the back label suggests cellaring for 5 to 8 years, and we're well past that, pulling the cork is mostly an act of curiosity. Some plummy fruit on the nose, but not much. Palate is even more faded, with dusty dilute fruit. Tannins gone. Drinkable (just), but not enjoyable.

  • Rating: 79 (Average for all reviewers 79)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Glaetzer Goldbeater Shiraz 2001

Old vine, dry grown Barossa shiraz

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Wednesday 15 December 2010 08:37 PM

Old vine, dry grown Barossa shiraz. Lovely colour, deep purple and black. Concentrated blue and black fruits, currants, white pepper, a little musk, toasty oak. Little structure or length to speak of, but easy to drink and enjoyable for its fruit and pepper.

  • Rating: 88 (Average for all reviewers 88.5)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Classic McLaren CMC Grenache 2000

Simple enjoyable easy drinking

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 2 December 2010 08:02 PM

It's funny how pleasurable experiences often happen when you've gone in with no preconceptions, and you just enjoy the moment as it happens. Cheap 10 year old Grenache? Wonder how that's gonna be. Light reddish brown hue gave me few clues. Jammy nose, but not exploding out of the glass, presumably a few notches down from how it was at release. No bad thing. Simple jammy taste, and decent length of finish, with a nice drying savoury twist at the end. Light to medium bodied, very easy and enjoyable to drink. The better half recommends it too, and then she gave me a classic "you're kidding me" look straight back when I told her how cheaply it could be had. 84 points if taking the cellarit scale literally, but enjoyment far above that.

  • Rating: 84 (Average for all reviewers 84)
  • Drink: Drink Now

Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2006

Nice now, and will get better

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Tuesday 30 November 2010 01:00 PM

Nice now, and will get better On day one, in between the seductive jubey nose and the peppery finish, was tight and almost indecipherable. Put in fridge overnight, pulled out the following afternoon, gave time to reach cellar temperature, seeing huge improvement. Now jubey blue and red fruits on the nose, also on the palate, with vanilla and hints of earth, followed by a softer spicy finish, with vanilla and hints of chocolate. Will improve with more time in the cellar.

  • Rating: 94 (Average for all reviewers 94)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

D'Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

Top notch, entering its prime

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 28 November 2010 09:38 PM

Powerful and invitingly fragrant nose of red and blue fruits, liqueur. Palate more restrained, still good fruit, also quality leather and a small hint of tobacco. Soft, slightly fluffy tannins and nicely balanced acid lead in to a very long finish. I tasted this while preparing a roast leg of lamb marinated in mint sauce, and then drank alongside the lamb at dinner. 20 minutes after my last sip of wine and last bite of lamb, the flavours of both were still playing out on my tongue. A delightful combination.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years

Pirramimma Petit Verdot 2005

Quality, and a worthy alternate to the regular big reds

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 28 November 2010 09:33 PM

Medium bodied, dark cherries, blackcurrant, cocoa, spicy, frequently tickles the nostrils, good length.

  • Rating: 91 (Average for all reviewers 91)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Howard Park Riesling 2008

Magic

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Sunday 14 November 2010 07:14 PM

Pale colour. Delicate floral nose. Palate is also delicate, delightful & delicious. Leads off with apple, slight touch of lemon, and mineral which may or may not be mostly quartz, but that's what comes to my mind. Not very acidic but perfect to support the wonderful flavours. The finish is long and magical, feels like 1000s of leprechauns dancing on your tongue.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2005

Spectacular taste, complexity and length

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 11 November 2010 03:36 PM

Delicious. Extraordinarily long finish. Intense and complex. In no particular order - some nectarine, toasted nuts, coconut, grapefruit, pineapple, pear, mandarine, passionfruit, mineral edges, small touch of fine oak, and much much more.

  • Rating: 95 (Average for all reviewers 95)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Kilikanoon Covenant Shiraz 2002

Full throttle

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Thursday 11 November 2010 03:26 PM

Deep dark purple, opaque. Tasted over two nights, plan being to give it plenty of air ahead of a birthday meal the second night. As it turned out, a great plan! First night just one big glass, with no food. Dark cherries and black pepper, lots more there, nice, but indecipherable, overpowering, almost overwhelming. Put in fridge overnight. Second night tasted superb alongside roast veal. Again dark cherries and pepper, but now smoother, easier on both the nose and tongue, with kirsch, dark chocolate, blueberries, licorice, iron, and still more flavours surfacing as the last drop was drunk.

  • Rating: 93 (Average for all reviewers 92.5)
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 10 years

Delicate and very drinkable

Reviewed by Avid Wino - Saturday 25 September 2010 07:44 AM

Floral nose. Lemon, lime, some apple, mineral on the palate, minimal acid, slight musky sweetness, talc on back palate and finish.

  • Rating: 90 (Average for all reviewers )
  • Drink: Drink in the next 1 to 5 years