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Featured Reviews




Laithwaites Hearty Aussie Reds for New Zealand

15 December,2017

Laithwaites, one of the world’s most successful wine home delivery merchants, has been operating in New Zealand since 2015. Their success is due to a number of factors, mainly that the team specifically select wines that are deemed particularly suited to each market they are servicing. Often, many of the wines are exclusive to Laithwaites, making their portfolio unique. The offerings for New Zealand are very strong with hearty Australian reds a feature. The more traditional, ripe and sweet-fruited styles have always been popular in this country, as they are not what are made locally. Here, I review a new selection of such reds. www.laithwaites.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



RedHeads Studio ‘Vin’atus’ ‘Series 1’ Adelaide Tempranillo/Graciano/Garnacha 2016

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia

17.5/20

Deepish ruby-red colour with a good, dark heart, lighter on the rim with garnet hues. The nose is elegant and ethereal with aromatic dark-red berry fruits and notes of blackberries and dark raspberries that form a deep and rounded core. Perfumed plum, black earth and mineral notes unfold in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweet and luscious flavours of ripe, aromatic, dark-red berry fruit with soft raspberry notes, along with floral elements, unfolding plums and black minerals. The mouthfeel is smooth and flowing with soft, supple tannins, the extraction light and restrained. The palate has poise with light, lacy acidity underlining the fruit, carrying the wine smoothly to an elegant lingering finish. This is a sweetly ripe Tempranillo/Graciano/Garnacha blend with dark-red berry fruits, florals and minerals on a soft, smooth and supple palate. Serve with tapas and Mediterranean fare over the next 4-5 years. Approx. equal portions of Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha from One Tree Hill, Adelaide, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 8 months in French and American oak. Winemaker: Daniel Graham. 17.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $33.00

RedHeads Studio ‘Princess of Thieves’ Barossa Mourvedre/Grenache/Shiraz 2016

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia

18.5/20

Even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is firm with deep, rounded aromas of ripe blackberry fruit entwined with dark raspberries and a layer of earthy black minerals. This has a fine, firm and tight core with good intensity unfolding spice and nutty oak elements. Full-bodied, the palate has very good richness and sweetly ripe blackberry and dark raspberry fruit with notes of pepper and spice. The fruit forms a deep core, with fine-grained tannin extraction, revealing alcoholic power which adds to the mouthfeel and presence. The flavours carry to a long, rich and sweet, ripe fruited finish. This is a rich and sweetly ripe Mourvedre/Grenache/Shiraz blend with blackberry and dark raspberry fruit with pepper and spice notes and underlying power and fine structure. Match with barbecued and roasted lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 7-8+ years. A blend of Mourvedre from Ebenezer, Barossa, 65 y.o. Grenache from McLaren Flats, and Shiraz from Willunga and Sellicks, McLaren Vale, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French and American oak. Winemaker: Daniel Graham. 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $47.00

RedHeads Studio ‘Coco Rotie’ McLaren Vale Syrah/Viognier 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

18.5+/20

Very dark, black-red colour, near impenetrable, a little lighter on the edge with slight purple tints. The nose is vibrant with very ripe and sweet aromas of blackberry fruit with notes of dark plums and boysenberries, unfolding violet florals and spices. This is opulent in expression. Full-bodied, the palate is up-front with rich, mouthfilling and deeply concentrated flavours of ripe blackberries and boysenberries with blue fruits, plums and aromatic violet floral lift. Spice and liquorice notes unfold to add to the rich detail. The palate is lusciously succulent, and the fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction and fine, powdery grip, and grows in sweetness and opulence as it flows to a long, sustained finish. This is a rich, up-front, opulently ripe Shiraz/Viognier with blackberry, boysenberry and plummy fruit with violet florals and spices on a fine-structured, plush palate. Match with lamb, venison and game meat dishes over the next 8-10 years. A blend of 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier from the McLaren Vale, vines up to 30 y.o., fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. Winemaker: Daniel Graham. 18.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $33.00

RedHeads Studio ‘Madame Frank’ Barossa Shiraz 2014

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

18+/20

Very dark, even, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rime with slight garnet hues. The nose is firm with good depth and concentration of ripe blackberry fruit with black pepper, plums, spices, unfolding liquorice and black mineral notes. This has very good intensity, and builds with aeration, unveiling eucalyptus and cedary oak. Full-bodied, the palate has vibrant and lusciously ripe sweet fruit flavours of blackberries, black plums, liquorice and spice, entwined with eucalypt, cedar and black earth and mineral nuances. The fruit is underlined by light, grainy-textured tannins with underlying alcohol power. The acidity is ripe and integrated, and the wine carries to a long, sweet and luscious finish. This is a classical, traditional Barossa Shiraz with ripe blackberry and plum fruit along with black pepper, spices and eucalypt on a grainy structured palate with underlying alcoholic power. Match with slow-cooked red meat dishes over the next 7-9+ years. Barossa fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker Daniel Graham. 18.0+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $31.00

Grenache Plays Grenache McLaren Vale Grenache 2015

Grenache from Australia – South Australia

17.5+/20

Ruby-red colour with garnet hues, lighter on the rim with some bricking. The nose is up-front with softly bright, aromatic fruits showing dark raspberries harmoniously melded with spices and hints of jam and confectionary from whole berry fermentation, unveiling red floral perfumes. Full-bodied, the palate has sweetly ripe aromatic fruit flavours of dark raspberries and plums, along with floral and confectionary notes. The mouthfeel is smooth-flowing and near-velvety, the fruit supported by flight, supple tannin extraction. The fruit is the feature, and carries to a warm and generous, long lingering finish. This is a sweetly ripe Grenache with flavours of dark raspberries, plum jam, florals and confectionary, on a smooth-flowing, fine-textured palate. Serve with pasta, pizza and Mediterranean fare over the next 5-6+ years. McLaren Vale fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker: Steve Grimley. 17.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $21.99

Goah Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2015

Blended Red from Australia – South Australia

17.5+/20

Dark, deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is firmly-packed with intensely concentrated aromas of ripe blackcurrant fruit, cassis, dark herbs, unfolding blackberry and dark raspberry nuances, and cedary oak, and black minerals. This is soft and fulsome in expression. Full-bodied, the palate is well-packed and deeply concentrated with a rounded heart, showing ripe blackcurrant fruit with cassis notes, some raspberry detail and gentle cedary oak. The mouthfeel is soft and fine textured with ripe tannin structure, with underlying alcohol power and drive. The wine flows easily with good energy to a soft, long and sustained finish of blackcurrants. This is a big, rounded, soft Cabernet/Shiraz blend with ripe blackcurrant and cassis flavours with herbs, plums and raspberry detail, driven by some alcohol power. Match with herb-marinated red meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, fermented to 15.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker: Steve Grimley. 17.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $30.00

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