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Featured Reviews




Laithwaites – Mainly Australian Shiraz and Other Reds

06 October,2017
tyrrelOne of the world’s significant wine home delivery merchants, Laithwaites, has been operating in New Zealand since 2015. U.K. established in 1969, Laithwaites now has a global presence. Its success is based on selecting wines that are particularly suited to each market. Invariably the wines are limited production and ‘exclusives’, thus enhancing a more personal relationship with the buyer. Here, I review a selection of Australian reds, mainly Shiraz, with a blend and two Cabernet Sauvignons. They are traditionally styled wines with plenty of sweet, ripe fruit and are suited to cooler-season drinking with hearty (red meat) dishes, fitting the image of what the New Zealand market has enjoyed over the years. www.laithwaiteswine.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Dark Corner South Eastern Australia Durif/Shiraz 2017

Blended Red from Australia - Other

16.5+/20
Dark, deep, saturated black-red colour with purple hues, little lighter on the edge and very youthful in appearance. The nose is full, up-front and deep with ripe aromas of blackberries and boysenberries with dark raspberry and plum jam fruit. The aromatics are very primary in expression, building in depth with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has up-front, rich and juicy, sweet fruit flavours of boysenberries and blackberries with raspberry and plum jam. The fruit is lush and primary, filling the palate. The mouthfeel shows light, supple tannin extraction lending some structure, and integrated acidity, with the fruit richness driving the wine to a jammy finish. This is a plush, sweet and juicy, ripe Durif/Shiraz blend with boysenberry, blackberry and raspberry jam flavours, and a light, supple structure. Serve with barbecued and roasted red meats over the next 3 years. A blend of 65% Durif and 35% Shiraz, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine given 4 months oak contact. Winemaker: David Joeky. 16.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $19.99

Deep River McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

16.5/20
Dark, deep, dense and impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues. The nose is softly full with gentle, but up-front ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruit along with raspberry notes. The fruit expression is youthful and distinctly primary. Full-bodied, the palate is up-front with sweetly ripe and juicy flavours of blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries. The fruit flavours are broad with light tannin extraction providing modest structure and support. The acidity is soft and integrated. The flavours recede a little as the wine flows to a light, nuanced finish. This is an up-front, bright, dark raspberry and blackberry fruited Shiraz with light extraction and a light finish. Serve with pasta, pizza and barbecued fare over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from iron-rich soils near the Onkaparinga River, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months in seasoned French and American oak barrels. Winemaker: FUSE Wine Services. 16.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $23.99

The Black Pig McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17+/20
Full, even, impenetrable black-red with purple hues, very youthful in appearance. This has a firm and tight core of ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruit with good intensity and a fine, lifted aromatic profile, revealing some black mineral elements. Full-bodied, the palate has rich, sweet and juicy, lush fruit flavours of blackberries, boysenberries and dark raspberries. The fruit is up-front and mouthfilling, and the palate has moderately extracted, supple tannin providing support. The acidity is balanced and lends a degree of vibrancy. The wine carries to a sweet and lively finish with fine textures. This is a bright and juicy, lush Shiraz with mouthfilling sweet fruit and moderate tannin structure, along with good vibrancy. Match with barbecued and roasted red meats over the next 3+ years. McLaren Vale Fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months in seasoned French and American oak. Winemaker: FUSE Wine Services. 17.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $22.00

The Black Pig ‘Reserve’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17.5-/20
Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red with purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is tight, elegant and firmly bound with intense and penetrating aromas of ripe blackberry fruit with dark raspberries and hints of complexing black minerals. Full-bodied, the palate has a tight heart of well-concentrated flavours of ripe blackberry fruit with soft raspberry flavours and black mineral elements. The fruit is firmly bound, with fine-grained tannins in support. This has good linearity, and leads to a long finish with restrained flavours. This is a tightly bound, brooding Shiraz with black fruit and mineral notes, and fine-grained structure. Serve with roast lamb, beef and venison over the next 5+ years. McLaren Vale fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker: FUSE Wine Services. 17.5-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $25.00

RedHeads Studio ‘Lot 7’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17+/20
Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. This has a full, soft and gentle nose with aromas of dark raspberry fruit with subtle notes of blackberries and spicy, cedary oak and savoury nutty nuances. The oak grows in prominence with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has rich flavours of dark raspberries and blackberry fruit layered with spicy and nutty oak, along with eucalypt and cedar notes. The flavours show good depth and are mouthfilling, with moderately extracted, fine-grained tannins and integrated acidity. The wine carries with good intensity and length, finishing with spice and cedar notes. This is a gently concentrated and mouthfilling Shiraz with dark raspberry fruit and a layer of spice, eucalypt and nutty, cedary oak and fine grip. Serve with Middle Eastern fare over the next 4-5 years. Fruit from several sites, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 6 month in seasoned French and American oak barrels. Winemaker: Daniel Graham. 17.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $30.00

RedHeads Studio ‘Barrel Monkeys’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17.5-/20
Full, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, near impenetrable, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegant and aromatic with bright fruit aromas of dark raspberries, unfolding notes of blackberries and nuances of boysenberries. The nose is bright and lively with fragrance and lift. Full-bodied, the palate has juicy and plush fruit flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated core and has fine linearity. The palate is balanced by light, firm tannin grip and the wines carries to a light finish with moderate length. This is a well-balanced, elegantly concentrated, oft-fruited Shiraz with blackberries and raspberries on a fine-textured palate. Serve with grilled and roasted red meat dishes over the next 4 years. McLaren Vale fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in seasoned French and American oak barrels. Winemaker: Daniel Graham. 17.5-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $30.00

Patronus Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

16.5/20
Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with a black heart, lighter on the rim. This has a softly full nose with ripe, dark raspberry and black-berried fruit melded with earthy notes and some minerally reduction. Full-bodied, the palate has black berried and dark raspberry fruit with some bitter dark herb elements, earthy notes and minerally reduction. The mouthfeel is lively withfresh acidity and the fruit is supported by light, grainy tannin textures and some grip, lending a sinewy line. The flavours recede as the wine leads to a lingering, nuanced finish. This i a lively Shiraz with flavours of blackberries and raspberries with notes of bitter herbs, earth and reduction on a sinewy line. Match with Mediterranean fare over the next 4 years. Barossa Valley fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 5 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker: FUSE Wine Services. 16.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $28.00

Elderton ‘East Wing’ Barossa Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

17.5+/20
Dark, deep, black-hued red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very fine and elegantly proportioned with intense and fragrant aromas of harmonious and integrated dark raspberries, blackberries, plums and liquorice, unveiling aromatic black florals, minerals and spicy, cedary oak. The nose shows a degree of restraint and style. Full-bodied, the palate is well-proportioned and finely concentrated with tightly bound flavours of dark raspberries entwined with black berried fruits and fragrant floral, along with spice and mineral elements. The oaking is soft with cedar flavours. The fruit is underlined by very fine-grained flowery tannin extraction and balanced acidity, and the wine carries to a slender, lingering, nuanced finish. This is an elegantly proportioned, concentrated Shiraz with black and red fruits, with fragrant florals, spice notes and minerals on a fine-textured palate with a slender finish Match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 5-6+ years. Fruit from the Barossa, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in American and French oak puncheons. Winemaker: Richard Langford. 17.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $40.00

Peter Lehmann ‘The Antiquus’ Barossa Shiraz 2015

Syrah from Australia – South Australia

18.5/20
Very full, saturated black-red colour. The nose is full and voluminous with ripe black berried and plum fruit along with liquorice and chocolate notes and spicy, cedary oak. The nose reveals an intense and tight core with aeration. Full bodied, the palate has rich and lively, intense and mouthfilling flavours of blackberries and plums with notes of liquorice and spicy, cedary oak. The palate has a concentrated heart and is supported by balanced tannin extraction with fine grip. The rich fruit, tannins and acidity carry the wine to a long, lingering, luscious and lively finish. This is a lively, luscious and intense Shiraz with ripe blackberry, raspberry and plum fruit with liquorice, spice and cedary oak on a fine-structured palate with lively acidity. Serve with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat over the next 6-9+ years. Fruit from the Barossa, mature Shiraz vines, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in seasoned French oak. Winemaker: Ian Hongell. 18.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $44.00

Tyrrell’s ‘Rufus Stone’ Heathcote Shiraz 2014

Syrah from Australia – Victoria

17.5/20
Dark, deep, black-hued red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The bouquet has aromas of complex, savoury earth-infused dark raspberry fruit and liquorice elements melded with nutty oak and suggestions of corruption and reduction. Full-bodied, the palate is well-proportioned with bright, lively and vibrant flavours of dark raspberries with plum and liquorice, complexed by cedar and mineral flavours. The mouthfeel is fresh, enlivened by bright acidity, and the fruit is underlined by fine-grained tannins lending a brisk, sinewy palate line. The wine carries to an elegant, lingering raspberry and earthy flavoured finish. This is a well-proportioned, vibrant and sweet-fruited Shiraz with raspberry, plum and liquorice flavours and savoury, earthy and mineral notes on a lively, sinewy palate. Match with lamb, beef, venison and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 5-6+ years. Fruit from Heathcote, Victoria, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 24 month in 10% new French oak. Winemaker: Mark Richardson. 17.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $35.00

Long Live The King Barossa Valley/Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – South Australia

17.5/20
Full, dark, impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour. The nose is elegantly proportioned with rich, ripe aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants along with cassis liqueur. This is soft in presentation, with good depth, unfolding some menthol and mint. Full-bodied, the palate shows a deep, soft and rounded core of ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with notes of cassis and boysenberries. The palate unfolds a layer of dark herbs, menthol and mint, and some cedary oak. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained, supple tannins providing good linearity, leading to a long finish of cassis and menthol. This is a softly concentrated, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with blackberry, blackcurrant fruit flavours, some mint and cassis on a fine-grained palate. Match with roast lamb over the next 5+ years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of Barossa Valley and Coonawarra fruit fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 8 months in seasoned American and French oak. Winemaker: Bill Calabria. 17.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $24.00

Marsc Wine Co. Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – Western Australia

18-/20
Dark, even, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly proportioned nose with very good intensity of aromatic blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with an amalgam of dark herbs, menthol and a subtle layer of cedary oak. Medium-full bodied, the plate is sweet and vibrant with lively fruit flavours of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with cassis, herbs and a little eucalyptus. The fruit forms a firm and vibrant core with good vitality and linearity. This has fresh acidity and fine-grained, balanced tannins leading to a succulent, lingering finish. This is a fresh lively and vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon with elegantly concentrated blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with a touch of eucalyptus and oak in a fine-grained, fresh, linear palate. Match with roast lamb over the next 6-8 years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River fruit, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in new and seasoned French oak. Winemaker: Bren Luke. 18.0-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $26.00
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