Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

94

2015 Our Fathers Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia

£25, 14.5%, Our Fathers Wines

A wine that tastes as good as it looks, this is made by my fellow Master of Wine, Giles Cooke (we passed in the same year), who donates all of the profits to charity. Sourced from the Ebenezer sub-region of the Barossa Valley, it's rich, but well balanced, with subtle oak, refreshing acidity, fine-grained tannins and sweet bramble and bluberry fruit. Long and refreshing with a savoury tang. 

BeefSpicyBarbecue

 

 
 

93

2007 S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

£32.09, 14.5%, Liberty Wines

The list of impressive Nebbiolo producers outside north-west Italy isn't a long one, but Steve Pannell, who has worked in Piedmont to familiarise himself with the grape, would definitely be on it. Suitably pale in colour, with the variety's unique combination of austerity and voluptuousness, firm tannins and sweet, savoury autumnal fruit, this wouldn't look out of place in a line up of Barolos. 

PastaLambCheese

 

 
 

92

2012 S.C. Pannell Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia

£31.99, 14%, Liberty Wines

Steve Pannell was making great Grenache in McLaren Vale before the variety began to enjoy its modern renaissance as the so-called "Pinot of the south". This combines plum and raspberry fruit sweetness with a backbone of tannin and refreshing acidity, supporting the concentration of the old vine fruit. The oaking is almost imperceptible here. 

BeefLambSpicyBarbecue

 

 
 

93

2015 Thistledown Suilven Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

£20-£30, 13%, Alliance Wines

One of those wines that tastes every bit as good as it looks, this Scottish/Australian collaboration eschews the leaner, reductive, early picked style that's favoured by some winemakers Down Under in favour of something a little more substanial and textured. Deftly oaked, oatmealy and refreshing, with a focus and minerality that wouldn't look out of place in the Côte de Beaune. 

ChickenFish

 

 
 

89

2014 Thistledown Great Escape Cool Climate Textural Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

£13-15, 12.5%, Alliance Wine

A fruity, modern Aussie Chardonnay from the cool (well coolish) Adelaide Hills, where the oak is unintrusive and the pure pear and peach fruit is allowed to express itself. The result is one of those whites you want to glugg by the glass in your nearest wine bar. 

ChickenFish

 

 
 

91

2014 Tumbarumba Chardonnay, Tumbarumba, New South Wales

£12, 13%, Marks & Spencer

An impressive example of the new, cool climate style of Australian Chardonnay that takes Burgundy as its inspiration. Tangy, bright and crunchy, with citrus-fresh acidity, subtle oak and lovely focus and length, this is a classy New World white that will age further in bottle. 

PorkChickenFish

 

 
 

89

2014 De Bortoli La Bohème Act Three, Pinot Gris & Friends, Yarra Valley, Victoria

£13.95, 13.5%, Slurp

One for opera buffs, or possibly just bohemians, this is an Aussie take on an Alsace-style blend, based on Pinot Gris. Aromatic and appealing, with orchard fruit and spring blossom on the nose, it segues into waxy, pear and apple spice flavours and a tangy finish. 

ChickenAsianSpicyCheese

 

 
 

90

2007 Mount Pleasant Cellar Aged Elizabeth Semillon , Hunter Valley

£14.95-£17.80, 11%, Slurp.co.uk, Wine Library, Hedonism, BBR.com

Not many white wines age as wll as Hunter Valley Semillon and this is well up to speed, as its haul of medals (plastered all over the front label) testifies. It's just starting to shift into another gear, developing the toasty notes that are so typical of the style. Refreshing, waxy and taut with custard, honeysuckle and citrus peel notes. Long and satisfying. 

PastaChickenFish

 

 
 

88

2013 Kosi Bay Selection Shiraz, South Eastern Australia

£5.99, 14%, Wine Rack

The dip in the value of the Aussie dollar has made it easier to source wine like this again, which is great news for UK consumers. Spicy, soft and just off-dry, with smooth tannins, a hint of spicy oak and juicy brambly fruit. A great party red. 

PastaBeefLambGameBarbecueCheese

 

 
 

91

2013 Bleasdale Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills

£9.95, 12.5%, The Wine Society

Anyone who doubts that the Australian Chardonnay revolution is one of the most exciting trends in the world, right now, booting the old "sunshine in a glass" cliché into the Great Southern Ocean, should join The Wine Society and get hold of a bottle of this remarkable wine from the cool climate Adelaide Hills. Burgundy could only dream of providing such value at under £10. Fresh, minerally and yeasty, with subtle oak and a savoury undertone, it tastes like a really good Saint Aubin. Drink over the next five years. 

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