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Winemaker Peter McGlashan: "My first Riesling was in 2013 [review], I have been playing around with yeast and treatments for Riesling, while they have been quite good in the QLD context of Riesling, I thought it has potential to be so much more. In the past they have carried about 6g/L of R.S. (Residual Sugar) and they were enjoyable. 2017 the crop of Riesling was big. So i had a play with a small portion leaving it over night in the tank press on skins".

Both portions sent to tank for a slow cool ferment, on light lees for approximately a month before bottling. 

Lime and lemon barley, lemon butter. Expressive citrus. 

Lends a little width and weight, an even spread, oozing its way across the palate. There's texture, along with length, carrying a line of citrus derived flavour.  Length is generous. 91 

Tasted on: Friday 4th May, Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://ridgemillestate.com/

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Smokey, Plummy, biscuity, nutty.

Exudes a cool and dark presence, feels tight and somewhat shy. There's black Cherry at its heart, a tail of licorice and a good rub of gravelly tannin. Good going, a cool wine from a cool region. 89

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd April, a Flower day
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.alkoomiwines.com.au/

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"De-stemmed with 20 percent left as whole berries for fermentation in order to create complexity and silkier tannins. It was matured in French oak puncheons (20% new) for 12 months. The hallmark of Barbera being its natural acidity".

Meaty and savoury, on opening even a little reductive hint. Powder-fine tannin, cocoa meets blackberry and black cherry. Silken and pillowy smooth on entry, cascading nicely across the palate. Good natural acidity, in tandem with savoury liquorice twists. 

This needs something more than a simple pasta dish that Barbera tends to get instinctively paired with, Venison ragu perhaps. 91

Tasted on: Monday 16th April, Leaf to Fruit day
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.angullong.com.au

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Despite the name, this is actually the second release of the wine from Heartland. Six Barrels, 100% Malbec, all new French oak

Shy initially, taking its own sweet time to begin to unfurl. It's 100% Malbec from Langhorne Creek and it's home prior to bottling was 100% French new oak, not that you'd necessarily know - for it seems to have totally soaked it up. 

Yes, the wood is present, more as a seasoning to the violets, dried rose and black fruit hints that are in a curious interplay with what is, otherwise a wine of savoury intent. 

The palate is slick, having a slight glycerol feel, the new oak further giving that silken and racy texture. Black abounds, a dark and inky blackness. Tannin is fine, length is good. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 17th April, a Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $50
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap 
Website: https://heartlandwines.com.au

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Dead Arm, d'Arenberg and McLaren Vale. Each integral to the other. Rich, a touch figgy, heady and a mix of dark black fruit that emanates from glass. 


Black fruits, sweeter accents on entry, tannin that resolves to something fine and yet gravelly. Black olive, hints of Mediterranean herb. It's a dark mix with elements of dark chocolate on the finish. A line of acidity gives excellent length. One for the trophy room! 93 

Tasted on: Sunday 22nd April, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14.4%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Eighteen bucks and delivers in spades, the blackcurrant truck was well and truly backed up for this release, repeatedly. Primarily fruit driven, latent savoury hints sit in the background: black olive, tomato leaf and herb. 

Fresh, tangy with acidity in tune with the body of the wine. Presence of fruit, a little more of the herbal mix, though it does run out of steam and puff through the middle third. 

Holds up incredibly well over some time open. 90

Tasted on: Thursday 19th April, a Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $18
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Ooh, this one's a goer, more of the tropical mien to it - think something like a mandarin and lime marmalade, a little cumquat for good measure. 

The aroma carries more of that subtle minerality that you might suspect betrays a sweetness within. More of that limey citrus on the palate, a harder edge with some zesty acidity balancing out the sweeter aspects. 88

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th April
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 11%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.ferngrove.com.au

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Not quite sure what the scandal is here, a Riesling with higher levels of sugar can be one of life's great pleasures. Perhaps the scandal is that the drinking masses are not aware of this ("It may be false, it may be true; but nothing has been proved").

So, about that sugar, it's 24g/l residual sugar (a typical 'dry' sugar, would be around 4-5, and 10 at most). Aromatically it offers lime, apple and event a hint of honeydew melon.

Soft and succulent, chewy almost. There's an unmistakable citrus hit that swings through the back palate. Solid. 89

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th April
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 11.1%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.patinawines.com.au/

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This 2015 release was polarising. Day 1 it was sullen and the body inconsistent. A day later it was a different beast, rewarding the patient.

Salt bush, bay, blackcurrant lurks in the background, with damson. There's cedar wood offering a delightful seasoning over a core of fruit. 

Twists of Mediterranean herb, oregano/marjoram and the like. Seasoning of cedar, pepper. Inherently more savoury. With time the black fruit shows a strong hand on entry and through the core of the wine. 

Tannin profile feels gravelly and coarse initially, before a finer presence makes itself known. A little dark chocolate bitterness concludes the wine, it's on an impressive length, yet my overall conclusion is it does still need time to mesh together. Really more about the parts being greater than the sum at present. But I consider this an excellent cellaring prospect 92+ 

Tasted on: Sunday 15th April, a Leaf day and Monday 16th April, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $70
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.darenberg.com.au

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Church Block smelling mighty fine, for all its intoxicating mix of Cabernet and Shiraz (plus a dollop of Merlot for good measure). It carries the plummy/damson/Mulberry signature with a generous carry of chocolate and damp earth.

Simply good to go now, the fruit well pitched with a fine rub of tannin. Mere suggestion of oak lends middle-weight support, delivering a wine that successfully straddles both generosity and substance. 

Consistently a cracking release, the 2016 no exception. 92 

Tasted on: Wednesday 18th April, a Fruit to Root day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.wirrawirra.com

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