2016 Yangarra McLaren Vale Mourvèdre

Seems to take a day to really settle into being comfortable in the glass as some deep black fruit finally emerges to match the crunch of warm leather on a hot dusty stone path. As far down the path of dark ripeness as some of us would like to tread but still a clear bass voice happily at home. Such a surly bloke of a grape. Warm heart though. Flavours of coal black pudding and roasting pan juices. Warm firm handshake of ripe tannin and natural feeling acidity. Yangarra know where they’re taking you.

14.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $26.

92 points.

2010 Domaine de la Renjarde Massif d’Uchaux Côtes du Rhône Villages Reserve de Cassagne

Opened with a little trepidation as it approaches its ninth birthday, only to be surprised by a still vigorous red colour and a satisfying freshness. 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah with perhaps a touch of oak barrel, this looks more like a CNdP than a CdR. Really lovely soft kirsch and chocolate fruit, only a hint of scrubby herb and well melded tannin and acid. A little judicious pepper seasoning. Very much a polished version of a rustic Rhône but no less delicious for the haircut and a bit of education. No superfluous bling, just well brought up sense of place. Very happy to have a few more.

14% alcohol. Cork. Can’t remember exactly how much but a ludicrous bargain in the wholesaler’s annual clearance sale. Wish they still did them!

93 points but especially a good thing.

2007 La Spinetta Langhe Nebbiolo

Opened a bit dull and browning but in the tradition of ageing Neb the colour freshened to a deeper red and the fruit gained weight. Some oddly distracting spice and herby liqueur smells also bobbed up, perhaps from this maker’s love of small oak barrels? Despite the static the fruit is dense and fresh with typical cherry and tar floating on settled acidity and considerable tannin. Just a bit too drying maybe? Leads to speculation about how much Nebbiolo really needs oak tannin as it just seems to jar against that lovely ripe skin extraction. The fruit wins in the end but does it need the make up?

14% alcohol. Cork. $25 from Murphy’s clearance back in 2012. Worth the risk.

91 points.

2017 Louis Claude Desvignes Les Impénitents Morgon Côte du Py Javernières

This isn’t sheepish in showing its delicious, mid weight mix of pure, clean and dense fruit equalled by mineral earthiness. Pristine dark cherry and raspberry liqueur chocolate sliced with granitic acidity and ripe rolling tannins. Deep, dense and perhaps true to the reputation of Morgon being the most powerful and lasting of crus? Irresistibly drinkable yet will probably mellow and deepen in years to come. Nothing to be penitent about here apart from how quickly it vanished. Another cracking 2017 Beaujolais.

13% alcohol. Cork. Perfect addition to the pizza, thanks for sharing.

95 points.

2017 Louis Jadot Combe aux Jacques Beaujolais Villages

An appealing deep ruby colour sort of makes this look even more…er…drinkable. Fresh cherry and raspberries with some good crushed stone and wet soil to pleasantly complicate things. Good fresh haul of acid and just enough meshed fine tannin to invite food or another sip. 2017 looks good for ripeness and importantly freshness in Beaujolais. With basic Bourgogne over $50 a bottle now, this is terrific value.

12.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $26.

91 points.

2010 Tahbilk Marsanne

Just starting to deepen in colour in its clear glass bottle. Still lots of primary fruit with a touch of honeyed development and no toast as yet. Floral honey and broad citrus with an almost chalky texture. Maybe that floral honey is what others see as the typical honeysuckle? Opened up well but never got fat. Some hotter years can perhaps look a bit brassy but this stays tidy. Bit washy though despite the poise. For the money, it’s a wonder.

12% alcohol. Screwcap. $10.50 in a six pack in 2010.

90 points.

2012 Grant Burge The Holy Trinity Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre

Appropriate bottle for Easter. Bright raspberry, cherry and spice with a touch of seasonal chocolate. Nice mid weight balance and some length carried on acidity and tannin which are tucked comfortably into the generous fruit. Cooler year freshness has kept this tidy perhaps? Not much Barossa coal dust or leather, more pure gentle ripeness. This makes a formidable argument for the benefit of blending those Rhône companions. Probably not a good match for sweet choccy eggs though.

14% alcohol. Diam, which looks like it did good. Thanks for sharing!

93 points.