Wine Reviews Ė April 2009

By Franz Scheurer


Pennyís Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007

I love the understated label of Penny Hill. Itís simple and it looks gorgeous. The wine is not bad, either! The vineyard is laid out in single-cordon, narrow planted trellis structure, on pebbly loam over clay base ground. The year 2007 was not kind to the vines with an unusually dry winter and spring, but although the yield was down drastically, the remaining fruit is terrific. It gives this Shiraz purpose and focus with up-front dark berry fruit and a strong, oak-influenced vanilla backbone. Itís great now, but will no doubt be happy cellared for up to 10 years. RRP $ 27

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Logan Weemala Merlot 2007

Weemala is both the name for Ďgood viewí and the name of the vineyard where the fruit fro this wine comes from. Overlooking the valley, in the Central Ranges of NSW the vineyard is very picturesque and produces very good fruit which winemaker Peter Logan turns into terrific wine. This Merlot is bottled at 14.5% a/v and itís a savoury, dark and intense wine with a whiff of violets on the nose and savoury plum and Christmas pudding on the palate. At a RRP of $ 17 this is an absolute steal. Look out for it in your local bottle shop or go to:


GAVI Marc de Grazia 2007

A terrific white from the Piedmont, this DOC wine is bottled at 12% a/v and is a dry and savoury food wine. With white peaches and almond nougat on the nose it is dryer on the palate than expected with flavours of fresh cheese or fior di latte and undertones of nutmeg and white pepper. This is a superb food wine when paired properly and it shines with a simple fresh artichoke pasta.Selected by David Ridge and imported by Dťjŗ vu Wine Company I hope to see this in my favourite Italian restaurants!

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Dragon Amado Chardonnay Unbaked 2008

Generally I am no friend of unoaked Chardonnay, but this Margaret River beauty is worth drinking. Very fruit forward it is nevertheless a dry wine and works well as an aperitif instead of a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon. This is a simple wine, which is best consumed now and if you have to pair it with food then I suggest some simple anti-pasto, maybe some anchovies, toast, olives and a dry, white cheese.

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Evans & Tate Margaret River Merlot 2007

This wine has substance and body. Itís not fruit forward, rather integrated and balanced. The fruit is there, in the form of mulberries, dark plums and they are held together by fine tannins, understated wood and lots of spice. The spice is the kind you associate with a freshly baked cake: cardamom, nutmeg, mace and toasted poppy seed. Bottled at 14.5% a/v this is a great Aussie Merlot and if you can hunt one down at your local bottle shop, then I suggest you do. For more information:


Grey Sands Pinot Gris 2008

Iím in love! What a fabulous wine! I opened the bottle of Grey Sands Pinot Gris from Glengarry in Tasmania a couple of nights ago and couldnít believe the complexity, freshness and stunning, very slight effervescent (which I put down to a secondary fermentation in the bottle) that hit my palate. Now I admit that I grew up in Switzerland and all young Swiss white wines (mainly made form the Chasselas grape variety) have a faint aroma of cheese and shine with this slight effervescence that I encountered in this wine; so maybe this just takes me back to my roots. To make sure, I tackled the second half of the bottle last night and the sensation persists, and I still think this is a fabulous wine. On the nose there are aromas of Lilly of the Valley, the scent of a fresh field of flowers after the rain and, yes, itís there, a faint whiff of GruyŤre. On the palate itís instantly mouth-filling, fruit forward with a long, very dry finish. This is a great wine, right now. I donít think it will age for many years, but I donít care; this wine will never get old in my house!

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Evans & Tate Classic Margaret River 2008

Bottled in a very lightly green tinted bottle with a simple white label this wine looks as refreshing as it is. This style of wine has been made by Evans & Tate since 1987 and itís been a winner most years. Itís meant to be drunkyoung, equally perfect as an aperitif as it is paired to shellfish or white asparagus and hollandaise. It smells of gooseberries and squashed carnation leaves and tastes of lime zest, braised artichoke hearts with a short, but lovely acidic finish. The 2008 Classic is a classic.

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Redoak Brilliance

Redoak is one of my favourite Australian beers and chief brewer David Hollyoak pushes the boundaries, again and again. I love his ĎRauchbierí, a smoky, salty beer that complements German and Italian cold cuts and I adore his latest creation, the Belgian Chocolate Stout. This oatmeal stout is infused with Belgian chocolate and two things immediately grab your attention: itís one of the few beers on the market that actually gets better with age and, I donít know how he did it, but the beer holds a terrific head in the glass. There are many chocolate beers on the market but theyíre generally flat and acidic, whereas the Redoak shines with velvety textures, a terrific, soft mouth-feel and superb, balanced flavours. Itís also made in the traditional way and there is no sugar, preservatives or additives.This is a beer that loves chilli heat and salty, spicy food. You can also enjoy it with a dessert, although this is a bit Ďold hatí. Itís bottled in a 250ml bottle at 5% a/v. and available from Redoak Boutique Beer Cafť in Sydney.