Château Sociando-Mallet 2017
Grape Observer
by S Mitchell
5d ago
This wine presented as a lesser vintage of Château Sociando-Mallet, a Bordeaux Médoc producer that is typically very good.  The wine has aromas of wood and blackcurrant, with some subtlety and effort required to find them.  The palate is tannic and lacking in fruit intensity, while it finishes with reasonable but not long length.  With notes such as these, it does occur that this may be a bad bottle.  However, it is also the only bottle tasted and it is better to “tell it as it is”.  This approach avoids unconsciously biasing a “correct” view that has not been observed ..read more
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Fleur de Pédesclaux Pauillac 2020
Grape Observer
by S Mitchell
5d ago
This wine review is of the second wine of Bordeaux cru classé Château Pédesclaux, the Fleur de Pédesclaux, a wine I have not previously encountered. With Château Pédesclaux’s reported critical mixed fortunes, it is no surprise to read that the estate is undergoing a regeneration. From afar, the position seemed quixotic. The Pauillac appellation usually, and indeed probably most of the time, amounts to a guarantee of high quality.  Perhaps because of this, and for the collection minded, it is one of a handful of cru classés seen generally only in passing glimpses in Australia.  Tasted ..read more
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La Chablisienne Château Grenouilles 2020
Grape Observer
by S Mitchell
2w ago
This is an outstanding wine from La Chablisienne, the grand cru vineyard of Château Grenouilles and the 2020 vintage. 2020 is a classic year in Chablis and this wine is true to that description. La Chablisienne is a highly regarded cooperative that produces first rate wine. I visited Chablis and this producer in 2015 and was fortunate to review their entire range. You can read my trip notes here. While it is easy to pay a lot of money for Chablis to find high quality, and this observation holds true for most wine regions, my practical experience of La Chablisienne’s wines over the last decade ..read more
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Yalumba Y Series Lighter Chardonnay 2023
Grape Observer
by S Mitchell
3w ago
This is a second low alcohol, vegan wine from Yalumba. It’s actually pretty good and the better of their two current release low alcohol wines from the 2023 vintage (their 2023 pinot grigio is reviewed here). It has correct chardonnay aromas of lemons (mostly) and a hint of peach. The wine is medium bodied despite its low 7% alcohol and finishes dry and light on the palate. Most pleasingly there is no “hole” in the palate from the reduced alcohol. It tastes instead like a normal chardonnay presented in one of its many guises while benefitting from a substantial reduction in alcohol. In this ca ..read more
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Kings Ridge Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Grape Observer
by S Mitchell
3w ago
There aren’t too many Oregon Pinot Gris that are in Australia.  If there are more than this wine, it could only be a handful.  This is not an output of quality, but economics.  There are a number of fine pinot gris styles made locally, although few with true cool climate characters.  The better ones are from the Mornington Peninsula, however these can tend to resemble chardonnay particularly if they have seen a portion of new oak. I think Alsace pinot gris styles are of more academic rather than practical interest for many or even most Australian consumers who would expect ..read more
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Yalumba Y Series Lighter Pinot Grigio 2023
Grape Observer
by S Mitchell
1M ago
Low and zero alcohol wines are of growing interest and commercial importance. The latter is for a variety of reasons, including health considerations and current stylistic trends away from heavier bodied wines. For the wine enthusiast, the question is whether the reduced (or absent) alcohol has a positive or negative impact on the quality and impression of the wine. In this case, Yalumba have created a 7.0% alcohol “light” pinot grigio and done a very good job of it. Pinot grigio is already a lighter style of wine that attracts for its ease of food matching, simple lemon and citrus characters ..read more
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Colmar Estate Pinot Noir Block 1 and Block 3 2022
Grape Observer
by Sean Mitchell DipWSET
2M ago
These are the two most interesting pinot noirs I have tasted from the Orange region of Australia to date, both from the 2022 vintage. Orange is a region that excels in European style expressions of cool climate varieties (in particular sauvignon blanc) that can elude other Australian wine regions, despite best efforts. In this case, Colmar Estate’s vineyard is located at 980 metres and the site is particularly partial to pinot noir. The two wines have a minerality that I do not encounter often in Australian pinot noir. Colmar Estate’s “Block 1” from the 2022 vintage is the most complete of the ..read more
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Yalumba Y Series Lighter Pinot Grigio 2023
Grape Observer
by Sean Mitchell DipWSET
2M ago
Low and zero alcohol wine is of growing interest and commercial importance. The latter is for a variety of reasons, including health considerations and current stylistic trends away from heavier bodied wines.  For the wine enthusiast, the question is whether the reduced (or absent) alcohol has a positive or negative impact on the quality and impression of the wine.   In this case, Yalumba have created a 7.0% alcohol “light” pinot grigio and done a very good job of it.  Pinot grigio is already a lighter style of wine that attracts for its ease of food matching, simple lemon ..read more
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Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Semillon 2019
Grape Observer
by Sean Mitchell DipWSET
3M ago
Tyrrell’s is Australia’s and the Hunter Valley’s benchmark semillon producer.  Where you looking for a Hunter semillon, this is where you would start and perhaps end. The Vat 1 is Tyrrell’s top end semillon offering if you have three figures to spend on semillon.  This wine however is their “Hunter Valley” semillon which can be found in the $20s.  It provides exceptional drinking at this price.  Its description follows. The 2019 vintage is yellow in colour in the glass.  The wine has aromas of wax, and bees’ wax in particular.  It has notes that remind of oak, but ..read more
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Stockman’s Ridge Signature Grüner Veltliner 2022
Grape Observer
by Sean Mitchell DipWSET
3M ago
This is another good grüner veltliner (GV) from Stockman’s Ridge in Orange, Australia.  The “signature” label demonstrates a GV typicity and complexity that eludes some new world expressions of this grape variety.  Orange as a region, based on observation over some years now, is unusually good at producing European styles of wine. This wine has correct aromas of honey and watercress. The palate is stoney and light bodied.  The alcohol is a modest 12.5%.  The style is ready to enjoy now.  Stockman’s Ridge also release a lower priced GV, which is similarly good and also ..read more
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