Ken’s recent reviews

RECENT WINE REVIEWS BY KEN GARGETT

Redman Coonawarra ‘The Last Row’ Shiraz 2014

A lovely dusty glass of red that makes you feel as though you have a handful of that famed terra rosa soil in your glass. Some nice regional choc mint notes with warm earth tones. Good fruit here. A wine well structured and with balance. Does have a slightly austere note right on the finish. Cherry notes on the finish. Definitely one to chase.

Score: 90/100 Best drinking: 8 Years Alc: 14%

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Redman Coonawarra ‘The First Divide’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Initially comes across as quite tight, even a little closed. It is crying out for time and it would not be out of place to leave this in your cellar for 10 to 15 years. It is all black fruits with cloves, black olives, licorice and a hint of axle grease (a good thing). Good intensity here with length, balance and power that keeps on keeping on.

Score: 92/100 Best drinking: 15 years and more. Alc: 14.8%

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Redman Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013

A classic Bordeaux/Coonawarra blend, this is one of the more impressive Redman’s of recent years. Spice, cassis, black olives, blackberries, all to be found here. Good structure, a seamless style. Length and silky tannins to be found in this youthful and very attractive wine. Will age impeccably.

Score: 93/100 Best drinking: a decade. Alc: 13.6%

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WINE REVIEWS BY KEN GARGETT – May 2017

Oakridge ‘Over the Shoulder’ Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2016

A youthful but delightful pinot from the Yarra Valley. Fresh flavours with a sweet core of fruit, raspberry notes, hints of cloves and even a touch of chocolate. Supple. This is simple but simply delicious. Mid length. Chief winemaker, Dave Bicknell, is one of our finest and that comes through, even in his more commercial wines.

Score: 90/100 Best drinking: Now for three years. Alc: 14.4%

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Heartland ‘Sposa e Sposa’ 2014

An intriguing mix of Italian varieties, lagrein and dolcetto. These two are not permitted to be combined in the same wine in Italy, due to the draconian and often odd European wine laws, but work well together here and, in a nice segue, one dollar from each bottle sold will be donated to the cause of marriage equality. This Langhorne Creek wine has chocolate, cloves, tobacco leaf and dark fruit notes. Soft and supple. Very fine tannins. A thoroughly enjoyable mid-length style.

Score: 90/100 Best drinking: now for two years. Alc: 14.5%

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Bests No 1 Shiraz 2015

From the Great Western region in Victoria, lots to like here. As soon as it was opened, the room filled with lovely plummy red fruits. Soft, appealing and generous with flavours that do linger. Soft tannins. Not overly complex but balanced and delicious. A real winner.

Score: 92/100 Best drinking: now for 6 years. Alc: 14%

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Read more May 2017 Review

WINE REVIEWS BY KEN GARGETT – April 2017

Pike & Joyce ‘Methode Cuve’ Pinot Noir Rose NV

The colour is a pleasing orangey pink. Lots of aromatics to be enjoyed here – strawberries and florals. This is a sparkler brimming with summer freshness. Clean, lots of fruit, excellent length and a nice touch of tartness on the finish to tie it all together. Also, boasts an attractive creamy texture.

Score: 91/100 Best drinking: Now Alc: 14%

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Pike & Joyce ‘Methode Traditionelle’ Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2009

Price alone would suggest one should prefer this to the Rose but the sheer drinkability of the pink bubbles gets it the nod. Not that this is anything other than a fine fizz as well. It is undeniably more subtle. There are spices, lemon and grapefruit notes. A crisp, clean style with mid-length. Very pleasant drinking.

Score: 90/100 Best drinking: now for two years. Alc: 12%

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Henschke Mt Edelstone Shiraz 2014

A seamless, supple, enchanting wine of great length. There is a slight dustiness at the moment, but the components are all still melding together. The flavours range far and wide, but look especially for plums, black fruits, cloves and black cherries. Very, very fine tannins, leaving the impression of endless plushness. Surely one of the great Mt Edelstones. Just glorious.

Score: 97/100 Best drinking: well cellared, it has three decades and more ahead of it. Alc: 14.5%

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Read more April 2017 Review

WINE REVIEWS BY KEN GARGETT – March 2017

Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz 2014

Australia has yet seen from the 2014 vintage anywhere. Warm earth, florals, roses, cigar box notes, hints of chocolate and black olives. Richness, complexity, fine balance and great length. Has a great future. Brilliant. Should even exceed the great ’86 Graveyard.

Score: 99/100 Best drinking: 8 to 40 years. Alc: 13.5%

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Brokenwood Rayner Vineyard Shiraz 2014

Brokenwood’s intriguing exploration of McLaren Vale fruit was much lamented – this is the first release of this wine since the 2007 vintage. A pleasing mix of black and red fruit notes, touches of aniseed, cloves and dry herbs. Finishes with considerable tannins but nicely balanced with the richness of the fruit. Lovely depth. It is the fruit flavours that are key. Toss in a little chocolatey characters. Drink or cellar? Depends on preferences. Hard to go past the lovely expressive flavours as they are now, but with time, more complexity will add to the pleasure.

Score: 92/100 Best drinking: : five to fifteen years. Alc: 13.5%

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Brokenwood Hunter Valley Shiraz 2014

Stock up on all the 2014 Hunters you can find. Drink them now, by all means, but please put as much as you can in the cellar. This is – as they say, a bit of all the top vineyards – a joy, but well-structured and has years ahead of it. Choc and tar, warm earth, orange rind, dark berries.An array of ever-emerging flavours. Plenty of grip on the finish. This has power and persistence. Don’t miss it.

Score: 92/100 Best drinking: 4 to 25 years. Alc: 13.5%

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Read more March 2017 Review
RAY'S WINE GUIDE 2017