The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2015

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40  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2015 SEEKING DISTRIBUTION W ord is out: Australia is back. Its image as the land of cute critter wines and burly, over-extracted Shiraz is fading as the country makes a renewed push to promote its premium and super-premium wines of world-class stature. Lots has happened Down Under in the past decade, and Australian vintners are eager to show their goods to new audi- ences worldwide—and nowhere more so than here in the U.S. I recently tasted 50 wines from producers who at the time of the tasting did not yet have U.S. representation. Below are my notes on the best of them. These Aussie offerings show- case ripe fruit, polished style and a restrained hand. Importers, this is your wake-up call! Developments Down Under 3 Oceans 2012 The Estates Chardonnay, Margaret River Smooth, ripe and toasted with nice barrel- fermentation notes; fresh, creamy and ripe; balanced and complex. 90 BolderTM 2013 Don't Hesitate Shiraz, McLaren Vale Dark and smooth with blackberry, spice and lush texture; dense, concentrated and rich; velvety, rich and intense. 90 Battle of Bosworth 2011 Best of Vintage, McLaren Vale Juicy and ripe with silky texture, dense black- berry and plum; rich and concentrated, long and deep. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot. 90 Brown Brothers NV Moscato & Sauvignon Blanc, Victoria & Tasmania ($14) A bit spritzy, sweet and spicy with smooth, juicy style; a good pop wine. 88 Bremerton Wines 2012 Selkirk Shiraz, Langhorne Creek Smooth, fresh and lush with ripe blackberry, blueberry and spice; balanced, juicy and dense; lengthy and rich. 90 Heathcote II 2012 H.D. Shiraz, Heathcote Smooth and silky with racy plum, black raspberry and spice; graceful and elegant, long and focused with great finesse and style. 95 Leconfield Wines 2013 Richard Hamilton Cabernet Sauvignon, Hut Block, McLaren Vale Bright and juicy with blackberry and spice; crisp acidity and lively style with vibrant flavors and a long finish. 90 K1 by Geoff Hardy 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills Fresh and juicy with clean, bright citrus and racy acidity; tangy, pure and keen. 90 The Islander Estate 2008 Cabernet Franc, Kangaroo Island Smooth and rich with lush texture and deep plum, polished and concentrated; balanced and lovely. 91 Mallee Estate 2010 P & E Markeas Shiraz, South Australia Spicy and bright with plum and blueberry fruit; silky with notes of licorice and mint; dense, juicy and edgy. 88 Montara Wines 2012 Shiraz, Grampians Dark and dense with blackberries, blueberries and spice; licorice and toasty oak; long and balanced. 90 Sirromet 2010 Wild SV Shiraz Viognier, Granite Belt Silky and earthy with juicy raspberry and blackberry; balanced, stylish and rich. 90 Terre à Terre 2013 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Wrattonbully, South Australia Multi-layered with notes of oak, spice, citrus and lees; a masterful wine with great depth and finesse; plenty of fresh, juicy fruit as well. 92 The Hidden Sea 2013 Shiraz, South Australia Rich, lush and ripe with dense blackberry and spice; bright, juicy and toasty with balance and a long finish. 90 Gatt 2010 Accent Shiraz, Barossa Valley 100% estate-grown Shiraz from the rich loams of Siegersdorf Vineyard in the heart of Barossa Valley. (this wine arrived too late for review) MANY WORTHY AUSTRALIAN WINERIES ARE LOOKING FOR U.S. IMPORTERS by Anthony Dias Blue

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