Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes


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. 





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. 





2010 McGuigan, Hand Made Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, South Australia

£25, 14.5%, Tesco Wine Online

A dense, inky, youthful Aussie Shiraz from the increasingly impressive Langhorne Creek region. Plush, lush, ripe and aromatic, it's rich and supple, with mocha oak, smooth blackberry and vanilla cream flavours and a firm backbone of tannin. 





2008 Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia

£28.99, 14.5%, www.winedirectwines.co.uk; www.slurp.co.uk; www.winedirect.co.uk; Layton Wine Merchants; Planet of the Grapes; Reserve Wines

You could open this impressive Cabernet/Shiraz blend right now, but you'd be missing out on what the wine will do in bottle. This is the top red from Yalumba in most vintages and that's the case here. It's rich and deeply coloured, but not over-ripe or blowsy in the slightest. Structured and sweet, with nuances of blueberry, mint, chocolate and vanilla, polished, fine-grained tannins a a long, satisfying finish. 





2009 Yalumba The Virgilius Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia

£26.99, 14.5%, www.slurp.co.uk; Selfridges; Majestic;Harrods; www.winedirect.co.uk

A candidate for the title of Australia's best Viognier (and that's not meant to sound like faint praise), this is true to its varietal, but in a subtler way than many New World examples. White flowers, some cream, a hint of spice, nuanced oak and enough acidity to keep the wine tingling nicely on the palate. 





2012 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia

£23, 12.5%, Liberty Wines

Polish Hill is always the tightest and most restrained of Jeffrey Grosset's wines and that's the case here, but this excellent dry Riesling seems a little more open than usual. It's floral and delicate with lovely, minerally acidiity and notes of lime and green apple. Long and complex.





2006 Fow Hollow Hunter Valley Single Vineyard Semillon

£22 down to £16.50 for a case, 11.5%, Marks & Spencer

This looks and tastes suspiciously like Vat 1, Tyrrell's sublime Hunter Semillon. It's light and unoaked, but with lovely aged aromas and flavours of toast, cream and citrus fruit. On past performance, these wines age for decades, but you'll have trouble keeping your hands off the screwcap here. Wonderfully complex. A bargain on the 25% off deal, so hurry.