Wine Notes – June 2007

By Franz Scheurer


Wignalls Pinot Noir 2005

This terrific Pinot Noir hails from Albany on the south coast of Western Australia, a microclimate with cool days and temperate nights. Cropping levels are low and the fruit is intense. The wine is complex and mutli-layered, no doubt due to ageing on lees for 10 months. The dark berry and barnyard aromas are confirmed on the palate, helped by a luscious, velvety mouth-feel and eclipsed by a long, savoury finish. At a RRP of $28 this is exceptional value.

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Jane Moss Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2007

There is something about the way Jane Moss blends these two varietals that pushes every button. I simply love her easy drinking, light and perfumed style. The fruit from Margaret River is ripe and full of character with the Sauvignon Blanc contributing to the lifted, floral aromas and the Semillon adding spice to the palate. This is an aperitif wine or the perfect companion to lightly battered, crisp whiting and chips with aioli.

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Paxton Chardonnay 2006

The fruit for this wine comes from the Thomas Paxton block in McLaren Vale and the resulting wine is austere, high in acid and light in colour, unlike many of its Australian cousins. An unmistakable food wine it will age for quite a while but it’s very appealing right now. There are not many Australian Chardonnays made in this style and having a chance to savour the pure fruit is a real pleasure. RRP $ 29

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Brand’s of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Drinking Brand’s Coonawarra Cab Sav is a bit like having a yarn with an old friend. I discovered this wine nigh on 20 years ago and it never let me down. Of course there are vintage variations but each and every year it brings something savoury, something worthwhile for my enjoyment. The 2004 is no exception. It’s a terroir-specific, green capsicum, meaty and dark berry forward red that screams for some gamey venison, barely grilled and served with some buttery, garlicky chat potatoes. This is my kind of BBQ wine!

RRP $ 22.99

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Ferngrove The Stirlings 2003

A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Shiraz from the Frankland River area in WA, this is one of the most feral wines I have encountered. I wouldn’t’ be surprised if they used wild yeasts. There are dark berries, mainly plum on the nose with cedar notes and rotten vegetation holding the fruit in check. On the palate you confirm the plum and add a heap of vegetative flavours with dark, forest floor undertones. This is a challenging wine that will no doubt age and integrate well. The finish is long and savoury with forward, drying tannins. I suggest a serving of Janni Kyritsis’ Tripes Lyonnaise as a perfect companion.

RRP $ 39.99

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Kid you Not Tempranillo Graciano 2004

The next generation of wine makers at Brown Brothers has a sense of humour and the 'Kid you Not' range is proof. A funky label, depicting Dashing Master Huntley’ on the front, and on the back label you are presented with a little story (apparently story # 5) and it goes like this: One spring day Uncle Peter visited, bringing the children three large eggs. “The mother has passed away,” said Uncle Peter, “I need you kids to keep these eggs warm until they hatch”. Each child took an egg to care for. “They’re ducks” said Emma, “Chickens” said Katherine, “No seagulls!” screamed Caroline. They couldn’t agree and each went off, to ready pretend nests and care for the birds they imagined. Some weeks later, in the middle of the night, the eggs hatched, revealing thee baby emus. The strange birds lived on the farm for many years, one quacked, one crowed each dawn and the other stole lunch scraps off the porch, Kid you not! The wine itself is the quintessential barbecue wine, a little earthy, fruit forward and savoury, just the sort of thing that complements a char-grilled steak. RRP $ 22

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Watershed Shiraz 2004

Cathy Spratt is a gifted wine maker and this 2004 Shiraz from Margaret River is extremely well crafted. Earthy, floral and spicy on the nose, it confirms elderflowers, red cherries, white chocolate on the palate with dark undertones of liquorice and cinnamon. The fine tannins and the spicy notes help its long and steady finish. This is an elegant wine that is perfect to drink now but will no doubt age well for a few years. RRP $ 24

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Moss Brothers Semillon 2007 

This young and aromatic Semillon is made by the Moss Brothers in Margaret River and it’s balanced and refreshing. With citrus, green herb and gooseberry characters on the nose it is quite savoury and spicy on the palate. This is a very lightly coloured wine that is perfectly approachable to drink now, but will presumably increase in complexity with a few years of cellaring. It might go through a ‘dumb phase’ but be patient, I’m certain it will eventually reward you.

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Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 2004

This limited release, named after one of our great wine legends, is made from fruit from the same wines that served Maurice as he made his legendary wines in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Typical Hunter Shiraz this is a soft and balanced wine showing plum and red berries on the palate and spicy, chocolaty flavours on the palate. It’s a nice touch to show the tax stamp of the original deed of O’Shea’s purchase of Mount Pleasant in 1921, on the front label. This is a great Hunter red, worthy of the name O’Shea!

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