Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

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

 

 
 

90

2012 Fowles Wine, Are You Game? Shiraz, Victoria

N/A, 13.7%, Enotria

Ignore the nudge nudge, wink wink name of this wine (it's only a bit of fun anyway) and concentrate, instead, on what's in the glass. Violets, bramble and some gentle spices, with a touch of cracked pepper make this a refreshing, easy drinking red. A dash of Tempranillo adds extra interest here. 

LambGameSpicy

 

 
 

90

2012 Innocent Bystander Syrah, Yarra Valley, Victoria

N/A, 13%, Liberty

Phil Sexton's Yarra Valley winery is one of the most innovative in the region. It's got a lot of tourist appeal, but it's wines are deadly serious, too. This is a typically elegant, refined red, with fine-grained tannins, subtle pepper spice and plush raspberry and blueberry flavours and a minerally, refreshing finish. 

LambGameSpicyBarbecueCheese

 

 
 

93

2007 McGuigan, Semillon Bin 9000, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

£14, 11%, Tesco Fine Wine

The sort of wine that seems to win medals in its sleep, this Semillon is something of a wine nerd's white. It's well priced, especially given its quality, and will age beautifully in bottle, too. Smoky, leesy, waxy and toasty with underlying citrus fruit ping, no apparent oak and a lovely lighthness of touch. 

PorkChickenFishCheese

 

 
 

93

2008 Wynns, Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, South Australia

£15.99, 14%, Waitrose

Sue Hodder is one of the best winemakers in Australia and bestrides the Coonawarra region with the quality of her reds. This, the 53rd vintage release of Black Label, more than lives up to the example of its predecessors. It's sillky, elegant and low-key with cool climate finesse, filigree tannins and stylish plum and blackcurrant fruit. The acidity drives the wine here. 

BeefLambGameCheese

 

 
 

91

2012 McGuigan, No 1081 The Shortlist Riesling, Eden Valley, South Australia

£15, 11.5%, Tesco Wine Online

Lime blossom-scented, toasty Eden Valley Riesling showing some enticing bottle development. Like the rest of The Shortlist range, this provides excellent value for money. Tangy and long on the palate, it's a very pure, almost transparent expression of the grape. 

AsianVegetables

 

 
 

90

2010 McGuigan, No 3471 The Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, South Australia

£15, 13%, Tesco Wine Online

Grassy, elegant and perfumed, this is a lighter style of Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, showing notes of graphite, mint and green pepper and refreshing acidity supported by fine tannins. Not a wine to keep, but enjoyable to drink over the next couple of years. 

BeefLambCheese