The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2016

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Page 106 of 148

106  /  the tasting panel  /  january-february 2016 Handpicked Collection Series 2013 Pinot Noir, Tasmania William Dong's dynamic winery is led by Chief Winemaker Gary Baldwin, who crafted a luxurious Pinot Noir with a most dis- tinctive plum blossom nose. Whispers of pomegranate and the pretty jasmine petals top off summer plums and wild cherry in a plush, dense and sensuous mouthfeel. The tannins are laced with coffee. 95 —Meridith May, Editorial Director CONTACT: James Hunt, Helen & Joey Estate 2013 "Alena" Cabernet Sauvignon–Merlot, Yarra Valley All of the wines produced at the 85-acre Helen & Joey Estate are 100% single- vineyard. This outstanding red is perfumed with black cherry and sweet tobacco leaf. The big rush of rich ripeness embraces the pal- ate, followed by dry, smacking tannins. An underbelly of sour cherry, tobacco and espresso are sturdy components. 94 —M. M. CONTACT: Trent Griffiths, Parker 2013 Coonawarra Estate Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra An immediate minty tingle slides into an herbal eucalyptus note in this small-batch pre-phylloxera Cabernet. Mouth-coating tannins support the cassis and blackberry. The rich, minerally finish reflects the best locations in the Coonawarra's Terra Rossa sub-region. The texture and body here is an impressive effort by the son of Peter and Margaret Lehmann, Phil Lehmann. 94 — Jessie Birschbach, Wine Editor CONTACT: Jonathon Hesketh, Bremerton 2012 "Old Adam" Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, South Australia The original vineyards for this red are planted on a floodplain made up of black alluvial soils for Cabernet Sauvignon, and were expanded just for growing Shiraz, moving into loam and sandy soils. This family-owned and -operated winery was given a five-star rating by renowned Aussie wine critic James Halliday, putting them in the top 5% of all Australian wines. The expres- sive nose echoes coffee and chocolate candy bars, while gorgeous violets bloom on the palate alongside sugared beets, grilled meat and black olive. Layered textures of satin and buttered cookies make the structure all that more alluring. 94 —M.M. CONTACT: Matt Murray, Michel et Marie 2013 Botrytis Semillon, Yenda, New South Wales Michel and Marie Nehme married in 1969 and migrated from Lebanon to Australia where they established the much acclaimed Nehme Vineyard in Yenda, in the heart of the Riverina, an area that is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. The region is revered for botrytised wines in the style of Sauternes. This labor-intensive Semillon is matured in French oak and has potential for a long life. The cornucopia of flavors includes peaches and honeysuckle, along with roasted yellow beets, raisins, ginger and candied pineapple. 93 —A. D. B. CONTACT: Julie Nehme, The Pawn 2013 "Gambit" Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills The Pawn Wine Company's mantra is to rescue unique grape varieties from becoming lost as blending tools "in the corporate wine game." They go on to insist, "Pawns can become King and win the game." For the Gambit—a chess move that occurs when the first player voluntarily sacrifices a pawn in the opening for positional advantage—this Old World variety certainly becomes a worthy player. Its nose is dense with savory figs, boysenberry and mulberry spice. Cinnamon, sweet red cherry and earthy components make this red a class above the black & white. 93 —M. M. CONTACT: Tom Keelan, Rymill 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra Family- owned and sustainably managed, with 140 hectares (350 acres) of vineyards in the Coonawarra district, Rymill Connawarra prides itself on a portfolio of wines that are 100% estate-grown and 100% Coonawarra. This wine pos- sesses a lovely nose, almost Bordeaux- esque, with a touch of cut green herbs (but not vegetal or underripe). Purple flowers, grapey, with a good chunk of oak tannins (this is a baby of a wine!). Lean yet driven. Just a bit closed down Longview Vineyard 2013 "Yakka" Shiraz, Adelaide Hills, South Australia was a sensation with smoked bucatini carbon- ara with bacon and poached egg. The Pawn 2013 "Gambit" Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills plays well with a tomato salad dressed with crème fraîche, shallots and vinaigrette.

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