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WINE REVIEWS BY JENI PORT – for May 2017

d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2016

A McLaren Vale-sourced white wine that explores the more unctuous and textural side of the viognier and marsanne grapes. Golden in the glass, the bouquet is strong in viognier notes – citrus, honey, apricot – swamping the more delicate features of marsanne’s jasmine florals. The palate, while well-rounded and textural - is likewise overtly viognier-focussed with an apricot honeyed-ness that is a little cloying.

Score: 86/100 TO: 2021 Alc: 13.3%

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Soumah Yarra Valley Savarro 2016

Sometimes also known as savagnin, savarro is a grape that hails from the Jura region in France. It has become something of a flagship wine for Soumah, creating much interest with the sommelier set because of its food friendly ways. It has a strong presence in the glass with mineral, exotic spice and honeysuckle flavours and a pronounced, smooth texture. There’s a wildness to this wine, a kind of wild herb thread, that is appealing and different.

Score: 90/100 TO: 2025 Alc: 13%

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Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Barossa Valley Trebbiano 2016

Not too long ago the name trebbiano was a dirty word in the Australian wine industry, a grape that was definitely on the outer with makers and drinkers alike, a mere bulk grape for the wine cask market. Vines were pulled out and replaced with more fashionable varieties. Look at what Torzi Matthews has achieved with the grape and you wonder why. The grape is re-fashioned as a subtle, gently-flavoured dry white with a distinctive savouriness. It’s a rough-hewn grape suited to a rustic country wine informality. More please.

Score: 94/100 TO: 2027 Alc: 12.5%

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WINE REVIEWS BY JENI PORT – for March 2017

d’Arenberg Pollyanna Polly/ Non-Vintage

A wine dedicated to the winemaker’s mother, Pauline, who was known as Pollyanna Polly, this easy going sparkling combines all three major sparkling grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier. What it lacks in aldehydic complexity, it makes up for in a bright citrusy personality. A pretty, unassuming bubbly from the Adelaide Hills.

Score: 87/100 TO: 2020 Alc: 11.5%

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Seppelt Show Sparkling Limited Edition Shiraz 2007

What a pleasure it is – and an honour – to taste this classic Aussie sparkling aged for eight years on lees before release, maintaining a full frontal savoury, earthy, sweet, spicy, shiraz attack with bubbles! Grampians shiraz writ large with layers of red fruit, florals and cloves, cinnamon spice but, importantly, it tastes fresh and lively thanks to a 3% addition of ’14 shiraz in the topping up liqueur.

Score: 94/100 TO: 2036 Alc: 13.5%

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Taylors Bottle Fermented Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut Cuvee Non-Vintage

A sub-$20 bubbly complete with the normal dressings of a bottle of sparkling except for the fact that it comes with a screwcap. No more cork taint issues. Brilliant! An easy going, highly drinkable all-rounder: preserved lemon, pear, bruised apple on bouquet with a gentle yeastiness, citrus, nuts on the palate. Fresh and brisk.

Score: 86/100 TO: 2020 Alc: 12.5%

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Read more May 2017 Review
RAY'S WINE GUIDE 2017