LITTLE B OOK OF
WINE S U MM
INSIDE THE POCKET SIZE GUIDE TO ALL YOUR SUMMERTIME BACCHANALIAN NEEDS This is the result of many hours of hard tasting, a relentless quest to find the best value and most interesting wines available. Inside you'll find many great wines from small producers. People who, like us, have a real passion for what they do and follow a strict ethos of 'quality over quantity'. Drop in, we're here to help. The coffee rocks, the cheese stinks, and the wine is AWESOME!
Bubbles ..................................................................................... Page 1 Whites ....................................................................................... Page 8 Two Hands / Little Book Mixed Dozen ...... Page 20 Reds ........................................................................................... Page 21 A Little Sticky .................................................................. Page 36 Freight Rates .............................................. Inside Back Cover Single Bottle Club .................................. Inside Back Cover All wines can be purchased at special 'mixed 6' prices. All of the wines in this book are available to buy online at eastendcellars.com.au Prices and products are correct at the time of printing and are subject to change without notice. While stocks last.
While not necessarily certified, these producers use minimal intervention techniques and careful handling of grapes to produce wines made with an organic intention.
bubbles FROM FUN–TIME BUBBLIES TO COMPLEX, SMALL PRODUCTION CHAMPAGNES, WE’VE GOT THEM ALL! When you think of the festive season you think of two things: great weather and bubbles. All bases are loaded here for the festive season with all varieties of fizz! We have got Champagne powerhouses, tiny growers, top notch Australian sparkling producers and even a cheeky drop of sparkling red - a true SA classic! As usual, only the best bubbles pass our taste test, so you can buy with confidence!
Louis Roederer ‘Cristal’ 2009 Region: Champagne, France Winemaker: Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon Notes: Roederer is one of the few remaining family-owned Champagne houses and Cristal and its blingin’ gold packaging is one of the most well-known and well-recognised Champagnes. Represented heavily in pop and rap culture but also known for being Tsar Alexander II of Russia’s beverage of choice. The clear bottle was introduced so he could see if he was being poisoned. Thankfully today we’re more worried about UV light damaging the wine rather than being poisoned, so it comes in some pretty gold cellophane!
Louis Roederer Vintage Brut 2009
Louis Roederer Brut NV
Notes: Two thirds Pinot Noir and one third Chardonnay makes this a denser yet tighter, fruit rich Champagne. Fullness and finesse, hand in hand.
Notes: The Brut NV is full of rich toasty complexity, brilliant acidity, and the classic drying finish that leaves you wanting more.
Pol Roger Brut NV Region: Champagne, France Winemaker: Dominique Petit Style: Great All Rounder Notes: Without a doubt, Pol Roger ranks unequivocally as one of our favourite Champagne producers. Their house style seems to resonate with us and as usual, the Brut NV is an absolute steal. Cricket fans: in terms of line and length, this is the Glen McGrath of NV Champagne. Clean as a whistle with a lot of carry through on the palate, this is textbook summer afternoon drinking.
Michel Genet ‘Brut Esprit’ Blanc de Blancs NV Region: Champagne, France Winemaker: Vincent & Antoine Genet Style: Pound for Pound Champagne Champ Notes: ‘Micky G’ as he’s affectionately referred to in the shop is one of the new generations of growers starting to share their wares with the world rather than hide beneath the banner of the big houses. Their estate is based in the Cote de Blancs, with the pristine limestone soils showing right through their wines. This 100% Chardonnay (blanc de blancs) is full of lemon zest, green apples, quinine and some honeyed characters. This is the Jimmy Barnes of the line-up, looking out for your wallets with some screaming value.
Nicolas Feuillatte Premier Brut Reserve NV Region: Champagne, France Winemaker: Guillaume Roffiaen Style: Worth Going To The Guillotine For Notes: A relatively young house, yet considered amongst the top five biggest and amazingly enough is France's number one Champers sold. Partly down to the fact that Nicolas Feuillatte only uses Premier and Grand Cru vineyards, and partly because they are always very well priced. This instantly stood out as something with great complexity in our blind tasting. Crammed with lashings of apple, pears and the toastiest of buttered brioche. A dense example of Champagne’s prowess.
Dunes & Greene NV Region: South Eastern Australia Winemaker: Teresa Heutzenroeder Style: Cheap & Very Cheerful Notes: In an age where people are all about price and value, Dunes & Greene have absolutely hit the nail on the head. Exceptionally priced for the quality that is delivered, it’s no wonder that this comes from the Yalumba stable. If you are after a sparkling wine that blends aromas of strawberries and cream and lemon curd cheesecake, you’re on the money. A brilliant quaffer, or, if you want to be a heathen (like we regularly are) it’s the perfect addition to an Aperol Spritz.
ArtWine Prosecco NV Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Joanne Irvine Style: Adult Lemonade Notes: Prosecco is making a massive resurgence here in Australia, and ArtWine’s is a perfect example of why. Nothing too complicated here, Prosecco is all about fun, relaxed, daytime drinking in the sun. I’m sure at times I could hear the glass calling for a picnic rug, some mates and rays of sunshine.
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Dal Zotto Pucino Prosecco NV Region: King Valley, VIC Winemaker: Michael Dal Zotto Style: Summertime BBQ Bandit Notes: Prosecco has been dubbed by many as the perfect ‘any occasion wine’ and this is the second Australian Prosecco to make the book. Dal Zotto has long been considered the go-to for Australian interpretations of classic Italian styles and this is another notch on the belt. Lifted fragrances of jasmine and wisteria on the nose flowing through to crisp apple and hints of lemon zest, with just a hint of sweetness. Obvious BBQ choice!
Longhop Premier Cuvee Pinot Chardonnay Brut NV Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Dominic Torzi Style: Pretty in Pink Notes: The rise of blush coloured sparkling has really taken off over the last 2 years. Longhop, the venture of two mates Dom Torzi and Tim Freeland, has taken off at the same rate. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are sourced from Kersbrook at the northern end of the Adelaide Hills, producing a wonderfully lifted and vibrant sparkling. Longhop is all about strawberries, peaches, cherries and other orchard fruits, while maintaining purity and freshness to keep everything in balance.
Deviation Road ‘Altair’ NV Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Kate Laurie Style: Picnic Friendly Notes: Deviation Road are considered to be amongst the top sparkling producers in South Australia, if not the country. We’ve been long-time fans of all their wines, but this year the NV Blush ‘Altair’ came up trumps. Kate & Hamish Laurie have killed every vintage to date with this project, and the ‘Altair’ is a tribute to this. Full to the brim of apple skins, baking spices, wild strawberries and a hazelnut-like finish. The perfect accompaniment for some BBQ’d prawns or sushi.
Schild Estate Sparkling Shiraz 2014 Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Scott Hazeldine Style: Avant-garde Red Fizz Notes: Love it or hate it, no Little Book, let alone Christmas in Australia, would be complete without a good ol’ Sparkling Shiraz. The latest tipple from Schild Estate hits all the right notes. A big lush palate full of chocolate, cocoa, liquorice and liquored plums. All that is missing is either a greasy summer’s morning fry up of bacon and eggs or a spice and brandy-laden Christmas pudding! Make sure she’s ice cold when serving.
Woodstock Wines Ruby Red Velvet Sparkling Red NV Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Scott Collett Style: Slurpy Sparkling Red Notes: Sparkling red is an age old tradition in South Australia, especially come summer time. The ‘Ruby Red Velvet’ is a slight twist on the old Shiraz or Merlot dominated sparkling reds of old. Comprised of Dolcetto and Lagrein, two Italian varieties known for colour, richness and depth of fruit character, Scott has added in a dash of old fortified nectar into this, giving a sumptuous hit of warmth and complexity. Find some friends, drink this now, and drink it cold!
WHITES FRESH, SILKY, TEXTURED, FRUITS, CREAMY, WOODY – WE’VE GOT THEM ALL COVERED The one thing we’ll bang on about until our dying breath is how great Riesling is! This year sees a fresh batch of Grigio’s challenge for the title of ‘Most Drunk White Wine’, attempting to swipe the title from Sauvignon Blanc. But as ever, we have a host of brilliant, local and imported drops, and we have made an emphatic attempt to squeeze all the value we can into this year’s book.
2016 Vickery Eden Valley Riesling Region: Eden Valley, SA Winemaker: Phil Lehmann Style: Citrus Party Notes: If there’s one guy I want making my Rieslings, other than Jeffrey Grosset, it’s Phil Lehmann; son of Barossa legend, Peter Lehmann, and someone who has taken on the immense task of producing Riesling under the Vickery Label. John Vickery is considered to be THE man when it comes to Riesling in Australia, he even trained Grossett… Taking the classic approach of ripe lemon skin, finger limes, and a whiff of tangerine and talc - the 2016's are just humming!
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2016 Gaelic Cemetery Riesling Region: Clare Valley, SA Winemaker: Neil Pike Style: Drop-dead Zesty Notes: What more do you want out of a Clare Valley Riesling? Slate-like minerality, an intense spine of acidity, some texture to soften said acidity, followed up by a palate showing all the citrus fruits and new seasons orange blossom. This ticks all the boxes, and it’s all from a side project from Neil and Andrew Pike. You little ripper!
2016 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Clare Valley Riesling Region: Clare Valley, SA Winemaker: Tom & Sam Barry Style: Modern Classic Notes: What do the Barry brothers make that isn’t top notch? The 2016 incarnation of the Lodge Hill is second to none, literally, after picking up Best Young White at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show. Noted as one of the highest vineyards in Clare, the Lodge Hill is stellar. Trading that incredible lime skin and lemon pith for something more akin to lemon sherbet and gooseberry while still retaining that traditional Clare mineral drive on the palate. A bit of texture helps this down, but I can guarantee one glass will not be enough.
2013 Cave de Ribeauville Riesling Region: Alsace, France Winemaker: Co-op Winemaking Style: Aussie Riesling’s Richer, Fatter Cousin Notes: Alsace is the tug of war region, fought over by the Germans and the French for centuries, it’s a real head-on collision of cultures. It’s the only place you can legally grow Riesling in France, and this is Riesling as you have not seen it before. Not sweet like your grandmother would remember, nor laser beam like the Clare and Eden examples, but full of richness and viscosity. The colour is golden with scents of rose petals, talc, baked apples and marmalade to fill your nose. The palate is unctuous up front, with a citrusy cut to finish.
2016 Wirra Wirra ‘Hiding Champion’ Sauvignon Blanc Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Paul Smith Style: Fruit Salad in a Glass Notes: Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills has been a staple for many South Australian wine lovers over the years. Wirra’s Sauvignon Blanc attempts to hide none of its iconic attributes with this release. Full and up-front passionfruit, and the grassiest of knolls on the nose followed by an incredibly soft palate. Do not try and hide your love for Savvy Bee! Warning: Do not attempt to be a hiding champion. Results often end in sobriety and hunger. Also, do not attempt to hide this in the fridge, this results in an angry wife. I can attest.
2016 Harvest Wines Sauvignon Blanc Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Brendan Carter Style: Fragrant & Crisp Notes: The Harvest label was started by Brendan & Laura Carter of Unico Zelo to help out some of their growers and they’re really turning out some rippers. This is not your standard Adelaide Hills offering: rather than your traditional super fruity, passionfruit and gooseberry Sauv, this is full of minerality, grapefruit pith, and lashings of texture.
2016 Lofty Valley 'Aloft' Sauvignon Blanc Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Brendan Keys Style: Aromatic & Fresh Notes: As the sea of Sauvignon Blanc looks to be receding slowly in favour of Pinot Grigio and Gruner Veltliners, along comes a Savvy that isn’t overly sweet or pungent to steady the ship! Crisp notes of freshly mowed grass, green herbs and aromatic lemon peel are at the helm, diving into that palate you’ll notice more grapefruit acidity and a little of the gooseberry you see out of the New Zealand model. A great example to show how Adelaide Hills Savvy should taste!
2016 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc Region: Marlborough, NZ Winemaker: James Healy Style: Classic Kiwi Notes: No East End Cellars Little Book, or South Australian summer, is complete without a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Dog Point is the passion project of James Healy and Ivan Sutherland, respectively ex-winemaker and ex-viticulturist of Cloudy Bay. This wine delivers all those characters that you know and love, the grapefruit, the passionfruit, the fresh asparagus, all rolled into a fruit salad bundle! Perfect for all your kiwi Sauvignon Blanc needs, with a touch of Loire finesse.
2015 Tiefenbruner Pinot Grigio Region: Alto Adige, Italy Winemaker: Christof Tiefenbrunner Style: So Hot Right Now Notes: Pinot Gris/Grigio (same grape, stylistic difference) seems to go through waves, and right now its star is on the rise. The Alto Adige in Italy’s North East is home to a lot of amazing wines, and Tiefenbruner Pinot Grigio is the freshest of the fresh. This is straight from the heart of Grigio country, and if you like Pinot Grigio, Tiefenbruner is the benchmark.
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2015 Zuccolo Pinot Grigio Region: Alto Adige, Italy Winemaker: Alberto Zanello Style: Iconic Venetian Notes: Considering we have two Grigio’s from the North East of Italy in our book, they’re very different cuts of the same cloth. The Zuccolo picks up where the Tiefenbruner steps off, more obvious fruit up front, leaving the alpine and glacial coolness for more pear, flowers and a bit of honey-like texture. More of a gondola ride, less of a downhill slalom.
2016 Hentley Farm ‘Brass Monkey’ Pinot Grigio Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Andrew Quin Style: Your New House Wine Notes: For a company that is most well known for their reds, the crew at Hentley are really hitting their stride. Making a flinty, softly spoken white takes a deft touch, and that’s really on display here. This shows the Grigio lifeblood of pears, jasmine, freshly cut apple and lime with some flirtatious musk peeking through. A stinking hot afternoon is not a request, but a prerequisite for this wine. Drink this when it’s the opposite of brass monkey weather.
2016 Whistler Wines 'WTF' White Frontignac Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Josh Pfiefer Style: Modern, Aromatic and Refreshing Notes: ‘WTF’ has a certain level of unexpected surprise attached to it. Usually, when something really confuses or puzzles you, a cry of ‘WTF’ can be heard. While this wasn’t entirely the case when we tasted it, I can see that it certainly would be close for a lot of people. 'F' stands for Fronti, a relative of the Muscat family. More floral than a Dutch tulip warehouse, this is all about the fleshy and juicy white peaches that accompany on the palate.
2014 Hugel ‘Gentil’ Alsace White Blend Region: Alsace, France Winemaker: Marc Hugel Style: Aromatic Bomb Notes: Hugel is one of the oldest family run wineries in Alsace, with generation upon generation handing down their highly polished winemaking craft with a constant drive for perfection. The white blend, ‘Gentil’, is a fine example of Hugels’ tradition and consists of Alsace’s five noble grape varieties; Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris, all lead the charge with a smattering of Sylvaner and Muscat to give some precise acidity and grapieness. Stuffed with texture, palate sculpting acidity and some sweetness to plush out the finish.
2014 Domaine Schlumberger ‘Les Prices Abbes’ Pinot Blanc Region: Alsace, France Winemaker: Séverine Beydon-Schlumberger Style: Asian Food Match-master Notes: Alsace is quickly becoming the new black. As the demand for Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc grows each day, we are starting to see people who traditionally loved Sauvignon Blanc step out and try something a little more exotic. Enter Alsace, and Domaine Schlumberger’s Pinot Blanc… the perfect gateway wine! The blanc’s are always less aromatic than the gris, but no less enjoyable. A full nose of pears, apples and some baking spices with a racy, clean and energetic finish.
2016 Yangarra Roussane Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Pete Fraser Style: Driza-Rhone Notes: The team at Yangarra have been steadily making moves over the last 10 years to become Australia’s premier Rhone variety specialist, and with the newest incarnation of their Roussanne, you can see why. Take a grape that can naturally be a bit dreary, give it the Yangarra treatment, and you end up with something full of life and lift. It has more texture than you can poke a stick at, a whole spectrum of stone fruit and a roundness on the palate that makes this a superb tipple.
2014 Cantine Pra ‘Otto’ Soave Classico Region: Soave, Italy Winemaker: Sergio & Graziano Pra Style: Afternoon Thirst-quencher Notes: Soave, Swah-vaay, Garganega, I wasn’t sure which term to use as they’re equally difficult to pronounce but whichever you want to call it, it is Italy’s most exported white wine. As is the case with a lot of Soave this is marvellously floral. Loaded with flavours of pear, lemons, and almond meal and tonnes of energy. Drinkability on this is high as it places well on the James Alderson ‘Can I drink it by the bucket’ scale. Bucket not included.
2014 Tomich ‘Woodside Vineyard’ Chardonnay Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Randall Tomich & Ben Riggs Style: Friendly & Familiar Notes: If there’s any other company in the Hills that delivers better value wines that aren't Tomich, I’ve yet to see it! A lot of you will remember the overly oaked and fruit laden styles of Chardy that we once produced en masse, this has zero in common with the flavours of old. The opulence is there, but it’s being held back like a tight fitting shirt on a bodybuilder. A flinty, stone-like character hums along giving the wine some more intrigue.
2015 Sidewood Wines Chardonnay Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Darryl Catlin Style: Chic Chardy Notes: Since the arrival of Darryl Catlin as winemaker, the Sidewood wines have gone from strength to strength. The Chardonnay is a great case in point. Like a disco dancer with the same moves but a fresh new safari suit, this delivers all the flavours you know and love from Australian Chardonnay. Lemons and grapefruit followed up by a conga line of cashew nuttiness, without the overdone acidity that has plagued the newer wave of Aussie Chardys. Definitely the fruitiest Chardonnay in this year's book.
2015 St Johns Road 'PL' Eden Valley Chardonnay Region: Eden Valley, SA Winemaker: Phil Lehmann Style: The Wine Next Door Notes: This is the second wine crafted by Phil Lehmann in the book this year, which is an unusual feat. Phil has an adept touch with white wine for a Barossan. Chardonnay is definitely Phil’s jam, a riff of rocky acidity rips through the middle of some lemon curd notes, all while being fuzzed up by some caramel and vanilla. A brilliantly weighted Chardonnay from the St. Johns Road gang.
2015 William Fevre Petit Chablis Region: Chablis, France Winemaker: Didier Seguier Style: Top Value Chablis Notes: If you spend a bit of time here you will know that East End Cellars proprietor Michael is quite fond of Chablis. If you see him around sipping on a white wine it’s most definitely a Chardonnay, and I’d be willing to put money on it being Chablis. So when this came up in the tasting he took one sniff and said “Chablis. It’s already got my vote”. William Fevre are known for the age-old style of fresh, flinty acidity, and oyster shell and sea spray-like freshness but retaining the coveted golden fruit that only Chablis can produce!
2015 Snake & Herring ‘Tough Love’ Chardonnay Region: Margaret River & Great Southern, WA Winemaker: Tony ‘Snake’ Davis Style: Flavour Safari Notes: When it comes to easy-going Chardonnays, Western Australia is not the first place on my list. Well known for the big and blingy show-stopping styles out of Margaret River, it’s nice to see one that turns up in shorts and thongs rather than a dapper suit. Flowing waves of stone fruit, green melon and citrus with a trace of toasted nuts from the oak round out a safari of flavours on the nose, the palate is persistent and refreshing, showing all the fleshy peaches and lemon zest you could handle balanced with a mealy creaminess. Value plus.
2014 Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Adam Wadewitz Style: South Australian Icon Notes: Get anyone to name South Australia’s most well-known Chardonnay and the answer you’ll most probably be given would be Shaw & Smith’s M3. Just as their BMW namesake has cut back on the wood grain in the dash, so have S&S curbed the usage of wood in their Chardonnay. The old adage ‘less is more’ really applies here. A wine of incredible poise for something so rich.
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Lofty Valley Sauvignon Blanc Zuccolo Pinot Grigio Selini Pinot Noir Spinifex Tempranillo Le Ragnaie Chianti M.Marengo Dolcetto
Free freight. Offer ends January 31st 2017. Each ticket is valued at $600 with a total of 4 tickets to the winner. Grand total $2,400. T&C's apply. Full details in store or online at www.eastendcellars.com.au
REDS VARIETY, VALUE, AND INDIVIDUALITY WERE THE GOALS THIS YEAR, ALONGSIDE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR: DRINKABILITY With a big tilt in wine styles over the last year, we’ve attempted to wrangle some interesting drops together for this year’s red selection. Light and dry rosés kick things off, followed by a smattering of lighter and crunchier alternate grape varieties. We’re hoping to introduce you to some of our new favourite Italian immigrants, Negroamaro, Sangiovese and Montepulciano, whose flavour and uniqueness have completely won us over. In typical South Australian fashion, we’ve snuck a couple of chunky, fuller-bodied reds into the mix. All this patriotic talk of local wines has got all our imported wines feeling left out, but there’s plenty of love for them in the pages that follow!
2016 Alternatus Rose Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Richard Angove Style: Provencal Daydreams Notes: Spanish styled rose isn’t always our go to, but after tasting this it’s definitely in the mix. Looking more like the Rose’s that hail from Provence, this Grenache, Tempranillo, Graciano and Carignan rose is all red berries, candied orange peel and spices. Combined with the rippled texture and refreshing acidity turns this into a delicious drop for a warm day.
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2016 M. Chapoutier ‘Domaine Tournon’ Rose Region: Pyrenees, VIC Winemaker: Michel Chapoutier Style: Old World Blueprint, New World Taste Notes: There’s no more blatant tip of the hat towards Provonce than a pale, salmon colored rose. Not that we have a problem with Provencal rose that is! Super fresh and fragrant with all things strawberry, grapefruit and melon. A tightrope walk of sweet and dry play off each other perfectly. Pale, delicate, and ready for summer, just like me.
2013 Bouchard 'La Vignee' Bourgogne Rouge Region: Burgundy, France Winemaker: Luc Bouchard Style: Affordable Burgundy Notes: Bouchard are one of our favourite Burgundy outfits, consistently pushing out terroir-focused yet incredibly ‘user-friendly’ wines. Going through the selection process for this was easy, every time we went back to it, it immediately stood up and said ‘Hi, I need to be drunk, STAT!’ Carrying the traditional forest floor earthiness you see in good European wines, but retaining the ‘Pinosity’ we all seek in classic Pinot Noir.
2015 Giant Steps Yarra Valley Pinot Noir Region: Yarra Valley, VIC Winemaker: Steve Flamsteed Style: Pinot Powerhouse Notes: The guys at Giant Steps absolutely killed the 2015 vintage. Called by the winemakers as a 'vintage of a lifetime', it didn't take the press long to figure that out as well and they heaped praise upon Giant Steps' Single Vineyard wines. Fast forward 18 months and the fruits of their labour are in full swing. This little 'Village' blend is a cuvee that didn't make the Single Vineyard wines, but boy is this good, how does that saying go? The whole is greater than the sum of its parts? Drink this while you wait for your SVs to come around!
2014 Sileni Estates 'Satyr - Foothills' Pinot Noir Region: Central Otago, New Zealand Winemaker: Grant Edmonds Style: Light in your Glass, Light on your Wallet Notes: Sileni hasn't been on our radar in the store for some time, so we were stopped in our tracks when we ripped the bag off this to see a brilliantly priced Pinot from Central Otago. Bright red fruits, cracked black pepper, and a touch of extra ripeness from all those hot days and cold nights in Southern NZ. It's not the most complex wine in the world, but it terms of bang for buck it’s all bang!
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2015 Maude Pinot Noir Region: Central Otago, New Zealand Winemaker: Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen Style: Burgundian Masquerade Notes: For people who like to drink French, but don’t want to splash the silly amount of money needed to pick up the silky, pretty, and floral nuances of the old world, Central Otago has your back. This is as close to Burgundy as you’ll find outside the source. Lifted and savoury with Volcano-like expression, this has oodles of length and just a nip of tannin.
2015 Delas Freres ‘St. Esprit’ Cotes du Rhone Region: Rhone Valley, France Winemaker: Jacques Grange Style: Spice Laden Gem Notes: The Cotes du Rhone is an enormous appellation in the Southern Rhone valley in France. Wines range from pretty, tart and nimble drops, to brooding, opaque and full-bodied monstrosities. The Delas Freres is smack bang in the middle: sweet raspberries and freshly pounded white pepper leap out of the glass, and the palate follows up with some sweet morello cherry and dried herbs. Ideal with BBQ’d summer Lamb.
2012 Rusden 'Driftsand' GSM Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Christian Canute Style: Juicy, Honest Drinking Notes: We’re all about the juice here. Soft, plump in all the right spots, with a cloak of glugability. Every time we open one of these I’m sure there must be a hole in the bottle. Overflowing with dense, succulent blackberry fruit followed up by some Christmas spice. Guaranteed to be devoured just like the smoked leg of ham, baked with a brown sugar and orange juice glaze that should be accompanying it.
2016 Chaffey Bros 'Pax Aeterna' Old Vine Grenache Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Daniel Chaffey Hartwig & Theo Engela Style: Flavour For Days Notes: Another year and another addition to the Chaffey Bros portfolio. The guys have certainly been busy, and they are not resting on their laurels either. Pax Aeterna is on the forefront of the new wave of Grenache, utilising whole bunches in its ferment to capture the juicy sweetness. This literally leapt out of the glass at us, like they had compressed 7 bottles worth of flavour into the one, like opening a pack of Allen’s Raspberry nipples and Chocolate Bullets at the same time. Don’t wait for the smell to dissipate, just guzzle!
2015 Torbreck 'Kyloe' Mataro Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Craig Isbel Style: Old Vine Master Notes: A Kyloe is a Scottish highland cow, and I can see why Torbreck picked the name as Mataro can be bullish, especially in its youth. The 2015 is not your stereotypical Mataro, lacking the monstrous pitch black colour and assertive tannin that it can carry. As with a lot of Torbreck’s wines, having a sip of this is like walking barefoot on a purple velour rug it’s so plush and soft. The archetypal nose of Mataro has been toned down, leaving all the berries and muting the earthy barnyard notes, making this a great ‘gateway’ Mataro for newcomers to the variety.
2015 Vinteloper 'TN' Touriga Nacional Region: Langhorne Creek, SA Winemaker: David Bowley Style: Siesta Inducer Notes: Portugal’s Douro Valley is home to two things: Port, and Touriga Nacional, the main Port variety. Since its introduction to Australia, it’s always been noted for its ability to make thickly coloured and flavoured wines without the heavy alcohol attached. This is especially true for the Touriga Nacional from Vinteloper. If any wine in the book was to taste like the colour purple, this would be it. Plums, prunes, liquorice and a soft smokiness round this beauty out. Kick back this summer with some BBQ ribs and this beast.
2015 Kalleske 'Buckboard' Durif Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Troy Kalleske Style: Steak Slayer Notes: If you like your wines bigger than Ben Hur, look no further. Durif goes under the handle of Petite Sirah, but there's nothing petite about this guy. Mainly known for the high-octane reds that are produced in the Rutherglen, Durif is making a very comfortable stand for itself in the Barossa. The boys at Kalleske know a thing or two already about staunch reds, so who better to knock one out? This is the type of wine that stains your glass and your teeth: think Shiraz on steroids. Mulberry pudding is the first descriptor I think of, followed by tar and a touch of wood. This is crying out for a grilled piece of red meat.
2015 Hesketh 'Small Parcel' Negroamaro Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Phil Lehmann Style: Nonna’s Medicine Notes: The direct translation of Negroamaro from Italian is black-bitter. This is neither black nor bitter. Not your old school big, powerful, inky Barossan red, but more of the cool earthy, red berry, leather and liquorice variety we’re seeing more of lately. I can definitely see this being used as neck oil alongside a simple dish of pasta with a tomato and basil sauce.
2014 Pikes 'Los Companeros' Shiraz Tempranillo Region: Clare Valley, SA Winemaker: Neil Pike & Steve Baraglia Style: BBQ Companion Notes: Literally meaning ‘the companions’, Shiraz and Tempranillo usually aren’t the best of mates. One’s a thick-skinned bruiser that can withstand a myriad of climates, the other is weaker than Christiano Ronaldo, and needs more water than my bonsai plant. Having said all that they keep each other company really well here, bringing the best out in each other as good friends do. Luscious fruit and gravelly tannin from the shiraz, combined with fresh rhubarb acidity and cigar spice from the Tempranillo. Not much better value to be had at this price!
2015 Trediberri Langhe Nebbiolo Region: Langhe, Italy Winemaker: Nicola Oberto Style: Light & Springy Notes: Everything we’ve seen from Trediberri has impressed and this is no exception. Mostly known for their Barolo, this wine is the baby version. Nebbiolo is the grape of Barolo, taken from the surrounding area. The classic aromas of rose petals and pitch are front and centre, while a little brambly core kicks around. You won’t find any oak here either: just bright, crunchy freshness.
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2015 Lenotti Rosso Region: Veneto, Italy Winemaker: Giancarlo Lenotti Style: Deskside Drinking Notes: It’s clear that Italy is the home of flabbergasting value when it comes to wine. This is a 50/50 split of Merlot and Sangiovese, typical of central Italy, yet this is not Tuscan. Situated on the shores of Lake Garda, halfway between Venice and Milan, Lenotti are crafting some absolute steals. The Merlot is lead guitar laying down some confit dark berries, while the Sangiovese brings the backing vocals of spice, tannin and meatiness. This is a jam.
2015 Main & Cherry Sangiovese Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Mike Sexton Style: Tuscan Accent Notes: Main & Cherry’s Sangiovese is really channelling some Tuscan vibes with their latest release. The climate over in Macclesfield in the Adelaide Hills seems to be just the right conduit to pick up on the earthy, gamey traces that Sangiovese holds so dear but loses so easily. A sense of place is still at the forefront, showing off some eucalypt and dark chocolate, oregano and lifted acidity. Just like the twang of an accent that won’t go away no matter how hard you try.
2014 The Hedonist Sangiovese Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Walter Clapis Style: Inexpensive Self-indulgence Notes: A good friend of mine once told me not to drink anything that rhymed with Patrick Swayze, luckily I ignored his advice. We’re seeing a new wave of Sang coming out now, partly due to the fact that Sangiovese is teetering on the edge of being taken off the alternative variety list, and partly due to the surge of good Sangio being produced. The Willunga foothills are home to the vineyard and it’s an idyllic location, reminiscent of Tuscany with its sunny days and cooling sea breezes. Some Sangiovese can follow the earth and spice-laden trail but this one is certainly of the opulent variety, presenting dark cherry fruit, cinnamon and a taut frame to support it all. Brilliant Friday night pizza wine.
2013 Feudi Bizantini Terre dei Rumi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Region: Abruzzo, Italy Winemaker: Marco Flacco Style: Pizza & Pasta Chaperone Notes: If I had to choose one wine out of the book to slurp down whilst chomping on some pizza, this would be it. Abruzzo is the ancestral home of Montepulciano, a variety that loves the sunshine and can provide a multitude of flavours. This fine specimen is full of wild cherry, maraschino cherries, dense blackcurrant and a crushed velvet feel on the palate. Incredible opulence for the price!
2015 Purple Hands Wines Montepulciano Region: Barossa Valley, SA Winemaker: Craig Stansborough Style: Fun & Fruity Notes: Montepulciano is making itself quite comfortable here in the warmer climes of South Australia and it handles the heat with ease, unlike some of the staff here in store… Although, like some of the staff, it’s quite a fruity number! This example is a prime contender for the most floral red wine of the book. But this wine isn’t all fruit, expressing a darker more serious and savoury side, with a lot of bramble, cracked pepper and roasted meat scents pushing through the floral lift.
2015 Fox Gordon 'The Dark Prince' Nero d'Avola Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Natasha Mooney Style: Rich & Dark with Italian Heritage Notes: Nero d’Avola has made itself quite comfortable here in the sunny climes of South Australia, and in particular, the McLaren Vale. Hailing from Sicily, Nero can be a dark, robust, tannic monster, somewhat akin to its southern Italian compatriot, Aglianico. The Nero d’Avola produced in SA however expresses itself along the mid-weight line. Opulent blackberry and cherry give way to some dark chocolate/cocoa, a dusting of spice, and a pinch of coffee.
2012 Ngeringa 'J.E' Adelaide Hills Syrah Region: Adelaide Hills, SA Winemaker: Erin Klein Style: Organic Classic Notes: One of the front runners of Biodynamic farming in South Australia, Ngeringa are always pushing the envelope, whether it be with brand new blends or fantastic takes on classic styles. This definitely falls into the latter. If I were to reach for something that reminded me of a hillside in the Northern Rhone Valley in France, this is the one. Solid waves of olive, white pepper and sage that have been freshly crushed, carried with a vivid and lacy like palate. Terrific early drinking Shiraz from the Adelaide Hills.
2013 The Story Wines ‘GO’ Shiraz Region: Grampians, VIC Winemaker: Rory Lane Style: Cool Climate Beast Notes: In a state full of bruisy broad shouldered Shirazes big enough to be a bouncer at the door of most nightclubs, it’s always refreshing to see an interstate Shiraz from a cooler climate showing off the grape’s feminine side. Having said that, there is no lack of tannin or presence of fruit here. Instead it’s teaming with lavish amounts of dark fruits, brined olives and the smoky, nearly meaty/savoury edge we look for in Shiraz from cooler climes.
2015 Mars Needs Shiraz Region: Clare Valley, SA Winemaker: David Muster Style: We Have Liftoff! Notes: Mars needs a lot of things, mainly an atmosphere so we can consume this stuff! With vineyards situated in the Armagh and Seven Hill sub-regions of the Clare Valley, it’s unsurprising that this Shiraz is excellent. On the fuller and weightier side of Clare Valley Shiraz, this shows off an abundance of bright fruits, floral characters and a peppering of Chinese five spice. This is another ‘out of this world’ value wine (sorry I couldn’t help myself). Food Match: Long Range Patrol Rations in zero gravity.
2015 Mezzo Single Vineyard Shiraz Region: Wrattonbully, SA Winemaker: Phil Lehmann Style: Top Local Value Notes: I’m sure that if I looked up ‘Mezzo’ in the dictionary it would be the definition of amazing value. Chock-full of blackberry, blueberry, molten choc-mint at its core and sprinkled with some cracked pepper, this is a real humdinger. The silky palate will definitely make you salivate for either seared steak or a bowl of black olives. One to definitely back the truck up for.
2015 Two Hands 'Angels Share’ Shiraz Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Ben Perkins Style: Nectar of the Gods Notes: Two hands have an impeccable reputation for making top quality, well-made, well-priced reds, and The Angels Share is another over-delivering gem. Utilising old vines from some amazing sources down in McLaren Vale, the crew have released another pearler in their ‘Picture Series’. The ‘angels’ share’ is the small portion that evaporates into thin air from the top of a barrel, and you can see why here: with hints of fruitcake and mocha, this wine still manages to deliver an incredible purity of fruit. A sip of this and I know you’ll be taking more than just an angels share.
2014 Koomilya Shiraz Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Stephen Pannell Style: Instant Collector’s Item Notes: We tasted this literally as we were making the final cut for the book, so we were absolutely stoked when we found out we could include Stephen Pannell's brand new personal project. This is as full bodied as Stephen’s wines get, and I can say with confidence, this brand will get to Wendouree-like collectors’ status within the next few years. Pure, earthy and multi-layered with fruit and savouriness. Suave tannins will keep this beast alive for a long time to come. I wouldn’t be drinking this before 2020 without regretting it.
2014 Mitolo ‘Jester’ Cabernet Sauvignon Region: McLaren Vale, SA Winemaker: Frank Mitolo & Ben Glaetzer Style: Vibrant & Full of Energy Notes: Mitolo are the quintessential McLaren Vale winery. Starting life off the back of an Italian immigrant with roots in family winemaking back home, Mitolo have become a powerhouse of the Vale. Year after year Mitolo present a stellar range of wines, with the ‘Jester’ range leading the way. As you’d expect from a Jester, this is full of life and character, with the fruit set literally jumping from the glass. Traditional Cab tannin on the palate is softened by sweet cassis fruit. Decadent but restrained.
2013 Amelia Park 'Trellis' Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Region: Margaret River, WA Winemaker: Jeremy Gordon Style: School Night Tipple Notes: We harp on about value something fierce here at East End Cellars, and if there was one red wine in the squad that was only thinking of your wallet, this is the one. Loaded with a cornucopia of flavours ranging from Blackberries and fleshy plums to a Chinese grocer’s spice isle. This wine doesn’t come across as overly complex, but what it lacks in complexity it makes up for in smash-ability.
A LITTLE STICKY 2015 Yalumba FSW8B Botrytis Viognier Region: Wrattobully, SA Winemaker: Peter Gambetta Style: Luscious Sweetie Notes: Viognier is a strange beast. Most notable for the flavours of ripe apricots and the oily feel that the grape provides, a sweet wine is the last thing that most wineries would attempt. Yalumba, however, are all about innovation and took the idea of something sticky that smells like an apricot orchard in their stride! This is viscous, luscious, and elegant with generous serving of apricot, marmalade, and some exotic spice. Sling this next to a peach tarte tatin over Christmas!
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