2013 Domaine Huber-Verdereau Meursault 1er Cru La Pièce sous le Bois

First and very probably the only 1er Cru white burgundy of the year thanks to a very generous friend. From a producer in Volnay. Opened a bit natural winey yeasty and spiced but sucked up air beautifully to become a self assured, rich yet still fresh Chardy. Full range of honey, toasted nuts, cut apple and autumnal stone fruits, melting butter and golden sunny days. All contained by a deliciously soft mouthwatering acidity that sits right inside the wine and balances the abundance so well. As with Burgundy sometimes the last glass the best. Shame you can’t squeeze a glass bottle.

13% alcohol. Cork. $? dread to think.

95 points

2007 McArthur Ridge Southern Tor Central Otago Pinot Noir

The only bottle of Kiwi Pinot in the cellar. Ten years ago it was fresh and bright, lower in alcohol than a lot of Otago Pinots and Murphy’s decided to clear it for under $30 I think I remember. Despite a bit of smoky old bottle development, it’s still fresh red fruits that hit the tongue mid way and taper a bit to finish. Pliant tannins and some more pure ripe strawberry and cherry as well. The acidity’s just a bit too hard and assertive, standing a little separately from the fruit and tannin. Bit of a shame as the flavours are convincing and tasty.

13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $35 retail originally roughly before the less than engaging label saw it heavily discounted.

91 points.

2017 Domaine Costa Lazaridi Assyrtiko

Assyrtiko grown near Thessaloniki rather than on its home island of Santorini. Large framed but in balance, sort of like a good white version of Carignan inasmuch as there’s big fruit, big texture, big acid and a fair whack of alcohol. Elephant on a tightrope with equilibrium. More vinous than fruity. Clean fresh and made in a modern protective way. Lime and other sorts of citrus maybe with real crunch despite the alcohol which doesn’t upset the sheer drinkability. Sweet fresh green herbs too and a bit of a nutty end. Again it’s both a fascinating and delicious change to taste a variety from the amazing grape storehouse of the Med. Much better than Greek Sauv Blanc, no?

14.00% alcohol! Screwcap. About $19 from Dan’s. Tried checking on their website but it said no results found. Well, I found it in the Collingwood shop.

89 points

2016 Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz

Svelte, composed and delicious. Seamless mixture of darkish berries and cherries, woody herby stems, good acidity without the jangle and fine tannin. Some pepper to season. Really didn’t notice any timber either. Seems unforced and just the right level of ripeness. Good to drink now but the effortless glide may mask an ability to age. Happy.

13.80% alcohol. Screwcap. $27

93 points

2017 One Block Yellingbo Syrah

Sweet dark raspberries, blood oranges, serious sneezy pepper and some bitter stalks. Lovely intensity of fruit poised on fine glassy acid and a brush of drying tannin. Almost a cherry liqueur richness making for gloss on the fruit. Foresty mulch and herbs too. Lots going on indeed. It will be interesting to see where it heads with time. If the fruit stays centre stage and the stalks and savoury bits recede to bit players then delicious resolution awaits. If not, things might look a bit too compost heap. Really hope it’s the former.

13.50% alcohol. Diam. About $40 from the fascinating Blackhearted folks and an unreliable memory.

94 points to come I hope.


2015 Vietti Perbacco Langhe Nebbiolo

Irresistible buy thanks to the ragazzi from Boccaccio offering this at a bargain of two for $80. Shopping with a good friend meant one each. Happy days. Surly, tough and a bit reductive to open, putting back in the fridge for a couple of days to reflect on its mumbling adolescence seemed to help a bit. Seriously dry and proper Nebbiolo behaving like a traditional Barolo with not much front but plenty of cherry, tarry and dried rose grunt bringing up the rear. Savoury and needing some time to shrug off a bit of meaty sulphide perhaps. Real unresolved tannin and firm acidity. The other bottle bought at the same time was reported as being delicious and ready to talk straight from the sniff. Bottle variation maybe even from the normally perfectionist Vietti or the weird Biodynamic fruitlessly rooty days? Nonetheless a deliciously traditional stern Nebbiolo not without charm.

13.50% alcohol. Diam! $80 for 2 at Boccaccio.

92++ points. Sort of a guess really. Could be more.

2016 Pont de Gassac

From a Languedoc original, Mas de Daumas Gassac, now run by the second generation Guibert family who have expanded the range to include lower prices and the immediately approachable. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a little bit of Syrah and it’s the Cabernet that shows. Chewy, generous and blackcurrant flavoured with a note of almost Bordelaise gravel. Not complex but holds out all the way through with a ripe chunk of tannin and acid. A level of fruit quality above some large production Southern French stuff with a some phrygana notes. Valid synonym for garrigue or scrubby shrubbery it seems.

13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $22, shame was about $18.

90 points.