Wine Notes – February 2007

By Franz Scheurer


Paxton AAA McAllen Vale Shiraz Grenache 2005

David Paxton did a stint as a wool presser many eons ago and that’s where he learnt of the AAA wool-classing stencil, reflecting superior quality. Today’s home of Paxton is Landcross Farm homestead with its century old shearing shed transformed into cellar door. What remains is the desire to create superior quality. Made from fruit grown at the Paxton homestead by Michael Paxton, this is a soft, luscious Shiraz Grenache. The Grenache obviously lifts the aroma and lightens the palate without making the wine thin or insipid. Fruit forward, soft tannins and good structure make this a good quaffing wine that complements gamey flavours perfectly.

RRP $ 23.00

Available in bottle shops and cellar door as of March 2007 


Sticks Sauvignon Bland 2006

Overlooking the Yarra Valley Sticks new cellar door and private tasting area will be completed in March. Although the Yarra Valley might not be an area renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc this is a varietally true white wine without the overtly cat’s pissy flavours often prevalent in a New Zealand offering.

It’s light, very pale and the fruit is perfectly balanced by the acid. It might be short but it has its place as an aperitif wine or as an accompaniment to freshly shucked oysters.

RRP $ 17.99

Available now.


Pindarie ‘Bar Rossa’ Tempranillo Sangiovese Shiraz 2006

Take the varieties from Spain, Italy and France and, bingo, a Mediterranean blend is born. Throw in Barossa terroir and Tony Brooks and Wendy Allan’s commitment to produced the best wines possible from their Pindaire homestead and you end up with a terrific, dark, dense and captivating red wine that stands out by being different. The ‘Bar Rossa’ stands up to a little spice and absolutely sings with Paella or Zarzuela.

RRP $ 19.50


Grey Sands Pinot Noir 2005

Hailing from Glengarry in Tasmania, using fruit exclusively grown on the small3.5Ha) family owned and operated vineyard near the Tamar Valley, Grey Sands Pinot Noir is really very good. Rita and Robert Richter take their wines seriously and make a serious Pinot Noir, from grapes planted in 1992. It’s fruit forward (red berries and stewed strawberries) on the nose and quite savoury on the palate. The finish is long with fruit and forest-floor flavours battling it out and the eventual winner is the drinker. This is a terrific pinot. You can buy it via mail order, from P.O. Box 518, Exeter, Tasmania, 7275 or go to:

Cellar door cost: $16 per bottle


Xanadu Dragon Cabernet Merlot 2005

Xanadu just launched a new range of quality, affordable wines called the Dragon range. Owned by the Rathbone family, who also own Victoria’s Yering Station, Mount Langi Ghiran and South Australia’s Parker Coonawarra Estate, they have built a reputation for uncompromising winemaking and viticulture and the Dragon Cabernet Merlot certainly reflects this by over-delivering at the price point. This is a fruit driven, clean drink-now wine that pleases the palate without hurting your hip-pocket nerve. Sold at cellar door for $16 per bottle this is great value.

For more information go to:


Voyager Estate Shiraz 2005

Together with 1% of Viognier, this Shiraz is fermented at 26-28°C to protect the aromatics and extract less tannin. Combined with a regime of punching down rather than pumping over, for even softer extraction of tannins, and a maturation in 60% French and 40% American oak (of witch 40% is new, 20% one year old, 20% two year old and 20% three year old) the resulting wine is very approachable right now. It’s bright crimson in colour with a savoury nose and a dark-berry palate with mature and soft tannins. With a cellaring potential of up to 10 years and a RRP $ 32 this is a top Aussie red. For more information go to:


Richard Hamilton Almond Grove Chardonnay 2006

A young, perfectly balanced and delicate Chardonnay showing McLaren Vale terroir and the influence of a temperate, marine climate. I love the creamy mouth-fell and the fruit-driven, fruit forward flavours. You can smell citrus (mainly grapefruit) and there’s a hint of hot toast with oodles of butter on the palate. This wine is straight up my alley and I love this as much as an aperitif as a wine with a handful of gougères.

Available soon in your favourite bottle shop.

For more information, go to: