Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Three Recent Australian Releases

Three Recent Australian Releases

It is hard to shift gears from all of my French wine drinking to Australian wine drinking. To satisfy my curiosity I thought I’d give these recent releases a go.

2005 Izway, Mates, Barossa Valley – $29
This is a relatively new venture from Craig Isbel and Brian Conway. Craig Isbel is a winemaker at Torbreck. He worked a vintage in Beaujolais in 2002. Their first barrel of wine was produced in 2003. The Mates is a 60% Grenache, 25% Shiraz, and 15% Mataro blend. The Grenache comes from 80 year old vines. I believe the Grenache and Mataro is from Greenock and the Shiraz is from Ebenezer. The 2004 vintage saw no oak and the 2005 tastes that way. Medium, opaque in the glass. A sweetish nose of brighter red berries and raw meat. In the mouth it is bright with flavors of red and dark berries and no noticeable tannins. There is a bright attack of fruit, followed by some juicy acidity then a fading finish. There is no underlying complexity and tastes like a wine to drink over the next year or two. It drank great on the second day and I preferred it over the Craneford. I’d personally wish there was more acidity to focus the fruit.

2005 Craneford, Quartet, Barossa Valley – $27
The Quartet is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 8% Shiraz, and 2% Cabernet Franc. It is matured in American and French oak for 16 months. Medium-dark in the glass, more opaque than the Izway. There are ripe blueberries in the mouth, some juicyness, and no noticeable tannins. It is a medium-bodied wine that on the second day developed a nose of raspberry fruit roll-up. The fruit roll-up is meant to convey sweet fruit with a touch of sourness. Not my style of wine, I’d rather drink the Izway or the Solitary Block.

2004 Solitary Vineyards, Solitary Block Shiraz, Barossa Valley – $55
Solitary Vineyards is another young project started in 2003 by Australian Domaine Wines. The goal is to produce single varietal wines from the best parcels of fruit they can find. The wines are produced by Neil Pike at Pikes Winery. This grapes for this wine come from Greenock Block 560. It was aged in 2-3 year old French barriques for 18 months. The 2004 is the first vintage of the Shiraz. Production for any of their wines is limited to 300 cases. A medium purple/ruby in the glass with a calm nose of red berries and spice. A medium to full-bodied wine with dark berries, creamy, and full in the mouth. There are very fine, elegant tannins and a slight amount of acidity. This wine is so easy drink! The first couple of glasses slipped down before I mustered the strength to save some for the next day. The wine is concentrated in its primary flavors and needs a number of years to develop more complexity. If you are looking for a wine to enjoy now, you can find something more interesting for the price. Otherwise buy this to drink in 5+ years.



  1. No comments yet.
  1. August 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: