December 2015 - Australian Wines

This month's Wine feature is Australian Wines
Australian Wines Reviews
213326
Zonte’s Footstep
2014 "Lake Doctor" Shiraz
Bright dark opaque black garnet color. Bright, fruity, medicinal aromas and flavors of blueberry gelato, alpine herb lozenge, and chocolate mint wafer with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, long dried apricot, spiced nuts, and herbs finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A deliciously zesty and mouthwatering shiraz.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213329
Zonte’s Footstep
2014 "Avalon Tree" Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark black garnet color. Delicate, toasty, spicy aromas and flavors of mocha, caramelized roasted nuts, and berry pie with a glycerous, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, medium-long spiced craisins and blueberries, chocolate cherries, sundried tomato, and dried eucalyptus leaf finish with chewy, leafy tannins and moderate oak. A nice savory cabernet for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212892
Wakefield/Taylors
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque black ruby color. Bright, spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of blueberry cobbler a la mode, toffee, and chocolate mint with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, medium-length honey buttered toast finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A zesty, nicely polished cabernet.
94 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212888
Wakefield/Taylors
2012 Taylors Winemakers Project Shiraz
Black garnet color. Rich, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of blueberry pie a la mode, toffee, and caramelized bacon with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, medium-long creme brulee and brown and peppery spices finish with moderate oak. A silky, flavor-bomb of a shiraz that will surely entice and satisfy.
94 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212881
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 St. Andrews Shiraz
Black garnet color. Lively, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of dried berries, toasty meringue, toffee, and roasted chestnuts with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, blueberry and cherry pies, spicy vanilla nougat, cedar, and mint finish with silky, fine tannins and moderate oak. A complex and rewarding shiraz with cascading waves of flavor.
94 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213064
Sidewood
2014 Estate Bottled Shiraz
Black ruby color. Bold, spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of fresh eucalyptus, spiced blueberries, and chocolate mint with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, elegant, medium-long orange blossom honey, blackberry creme brulee, and toffee finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A wonderfully spicy and well balanced shiraz.
93 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212890
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 Cellar Door Exclusive Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque black garnet color. Bright, complex, spicy aromas and flavors of cranberry chutney, chocolate pomegranates, menthol-mint, and sweet bbq rub with an oily, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, medium-long spiced blueberries and cassis, creme brulee, and eucalyptus honey finish with chewy, leafy tannins and moderate oak. A wonderfully smooth, spicy and engaging cabernet.
93 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213061
Ferngrove
2012 Dragon Shiraz
Black garnet color. Muted, roasted aromas and flavors of mocha cream and chocolate nuts with a silky, tangy, body and a smooth, involved, medium-long blueberry pie and blood orange sorbet finish with silky, chewy tannins and light oak. A bouncy, flavor-packed shiraz with great racy acidity.
93 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213331
Zonte’s Footstep
2013 "Z Force" Syrah-Petite Sirah
Black garnet color. Lively, savory aromas and flavors of roasted peppers, dried mulberries, leather, and hung game with a satiny, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long pomegranates, over dried tomato, creme brulee, and nuts and cedar finish with well-integrated, chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A seriously poise and structured shiraz blend that drinks like a old world Rhone wine.
93 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212891
Wakefield/Taylors
2014 St. Andrews Chardonnay
Bright medium golden straw color. Rich, buttery, toasty aromas and flavors of buttery praline, caramelized pineapples and apples, and coconut frosting with a soft, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a silky, complex, medium-length green apple, lemon-vanilla custard, and brown spices finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and beautifully oaked show-style chardonnay.
93 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212882
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark garnet black color. Lively, complex, spicy aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, peppermint patty, and spiced blueberries with a glycerous, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length chocolate cassis, roasted nuts, minerals, and marinated beets finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. An elegant, seriously structured cabernet that will shine at the table.
93 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212879
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 Tempranillo
Dark violet color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of spicy berry pie a la mode and vanilla toffee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, amusing, medium-length beet relish, creme brulee, roasted nuts, and mocha finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, very attractive, fruit driven tempranillo.
92 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213324
Mr. Riggs
2013 "The Magnet" Grenache
Ruby black color. Citrusy, fruity aromas and flavors of lemon powder, dried lavender, and pomegranate chutney with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, craisin, herbed nuts, and spiced apples finish with crunchy, dusty tannins. A robust, racy, spicy grenache.
92 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213072
Sidewood
2014 Mappinga Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Yellow color. Aromas and flavors of coconut cream pie and spicy mango tart with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a silky, interesting, medium-length nougat and lemon curd finish with soft, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A silky, toasty sauvignon blanc with lots of tropical fruit.
92 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212880
Wakefield/Taylors
2014 Reserve Parcel Shiraz
Nearly opaque black violet color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas and flavors of blackberry creme brulee, chocolate graham crackers, buttercream, and floral tea and spice with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, complex, medium-long spiced dried cherries and nougat finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A delicious, chewy shiraz that is sure to satisfy.
92 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212889
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 Cellar Door Exclusive Merlot
Deep purple color. Lively, spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of chocolate mint, alpine herbs, and blueberry cobbler with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, distinctive, medium-long mocha gelato and spiced cranberries finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A toothsome, spicy merlot that drinks beautifully.
92 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213328
Zonte’s Footstep
2014 "Violet Beauregard" Malbec
Black garnet color. Bright aromas and flavors of dill pickle, blackberry pie, pistachio nougat, and powdered lime with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long blueberry cobbler, minty spices, and chocolate finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A delicious, zesty, spicy malbec.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213333
Zonte’s Footstep
2015 "Doctoressa di Lago" Pinot Grigio
Bright light yellow straw color. Delicate, fruity aromas and flavors of peaches, lime, and plantain with a soft, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a smooth, medium-length Meyer lemon and minerals finish with crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A mouthwatering pinot grigio with refreshing acidity and an elegant style.
91 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213334
Zonte’s Footstep
2015 "Scarlet Ladybird" Rosé Fleurieu Peninsula
Pale light ruby color. Interesting aromas of dried strawberry, graham cracker, and cornichon with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length blood orange, melon, and reduced lemon finish with no oak. A nice dry adult rose.
91 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213071
Sidewood
2013 Mappinga Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Yellow color. Aromas and flavors of nut brittle, mincemeat, and lemon-pear tart with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity body and a smooth, engaging, breezy vanilla nuts, lemon spritzed melon, and passion fruit finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A round appealing, delicately oaked sauvignon blanc.
91 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213318
Mr. Riggs
2014 "The Truant" Shiraz
Black garnet color. Lively aromas of creme brulee, melted toffee, and sour cherry tart with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, compelling, medium-length chocolate graham cracker, vanilla yogurt craisins, blood orange, and sandalwood finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A nice juicy, appetizing shiraz.
90 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213125
Jacob’s Creek
2015 Two Lands Pinot Grigio
Brilliant pale white gold color. Tropical aromas and flavors of exotic citrus, bubblegum, and vanilla pudding with a soft, crisp, dryish medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-length melon, green apple, and minerals finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A refreshing, nicely layered pinot grigio.
90 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212886
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Yellow color. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, grilled pepper, and pine needle with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long kiwi, honeyed lemon, melon, and herbs finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A nicely balanced, zesty sauvignon blanc.
90 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213316
Mr. Riggs
2013 "Piebald" Syrah
Opaque black violet color. Lively, attractive, spicy aromas and flavors of menthol-mint, chocolate berries, and spicy dill pickle with a satiny, tangy, fruity body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length tangerine, mocha, creme brulee, and nutskin finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. An attractive, juicy, fruity well balanced shiraz pleaser.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213070
Sidewood
2013 Mappinga Reserve Chardonnay
Golden straw color. Bright, toasty aromas of grilled pineapple and coconut cream with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-length spiced apples, roasted nuts, and cornichon finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A fine oaky chardonnay.
90 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213330
Zonte’s Footstep
2014 "Canto di Lago" Sangiovese-Barbera
Black ruby color. Bright, attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate fondue, honeyed cherries, and vanilla toffee with a satiny, lively, petillant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length spiced nuts, dried berries, sundried tomato, and cedar finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nicely structured and nuanced Australian red blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213322
Mr. Riggs
2014 "Three Corner Jack" Red Blend McLaren Vale
Ruby black color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of black raspberry a la mode, eucalyptus honey, and chocolate craisin with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length exotic spice, dried cherries and pomegranates, nuts, and cedar finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A versatile, spicy and lively red for everyday enjoyment.
89 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213289
Beastly
2013 Red Blend South Australia
Deep purple color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of blueberry chutney, menthol-mint, and chocolate with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length creme brulee, nuts, spiced beets, and cedar finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A very nice and spicy red blend.
89 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213063
Ferngrove
2015 Off Dry Riesling
Clear silvery straw color. Bright, citrusy, rubbery fruity floral aromas and flavors of Meyer lemon, balloon, starfruit, and jasmine with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, breezy mango, lime, apple, and earth finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A lovely, fruity, appetizing riesling.
89 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213321
Mr. Riggs
2014 "The Gaffer" Shiraz
Indigo color. Mild, toasty aromas of chocolate cake and cherry sauce with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and a smooth, brisk pomegranates, spiced blueberries, oak, and medicinal herbs finish with medium, woody tannins and heavy oak. A nicely structured shiraz that could use a bit of time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213332
Zonte’s Footstep
2015 "Excalibur" Sauvignon Blanc
Bright light yellow straw color. Lively, inviting, citrusy fruity peppery aromas of lemon pepper, lemon salt water taffy, roasted yellow peppers, and roasted jalapeno with a vibrant, dryish full body and a peppery, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213325
Zonte’s Footstep
2014 "Chocolate Factory" Shiraz
Bright dark black garnet color. Lively, spicy aromas and flavors of blackberry pie a la mode, spicy praline, and mole with an oily, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, subtle, breezy spiced cherries, chocolate mint and nuts, and cedar finish with firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, zesty, and solidly structured shiraz.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213320
Mr. Riggs
2014 "The Ring In" Shiraz
Deep purple color. Delicate, attractive aromas of mocha cream and berry pie with a silky, lively, medium body and an appealing, breezy chocolate craisins and cherries, watermelon sorbet, nuts, and cedar finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. An attractive, zesty, easy drinking shiraz that is sure to please.
88 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213066
Sidewood
2013 Estate Bottled Chardonnay
Emerald straw color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of creme brulee, spiced apples, and pineapple tart with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-length papaya-mango relish, nuts, and lemon cream finish with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak. A pleasant, well oaked chardonnay.
88 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213068
Sidewood
2015 Estate Bottled Pinot Gris
Pale clear silvery pink coral color. Delicate, fruity aromas and flavors of peaches in cream, nougat, lime, and banana with a soft, crisp, petillant, dryish medium body and a tingling, captivating, easy spiced yellow apple, minerals, and earth finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A pretty pinot gris with a pleasing dryness.
88 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213069
Sidewood
2014 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc
Yellow color. Aromas and flavors of earth, nougat, and lemon pulp with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, intriguing, cheery mango, kiwi, and moss finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A refreshing, even and appealing white wine.
88 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212884
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 Riesling
Bright light medium silvery emerald color. Bright, citrusy, nutty aromas and flavors of baked lemon and peach, grass, and key lime with a tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, layered, medium-length melon sorbet and green apple skin finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A supple, nicely dry structured riesling that is sure to please.
88 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212887
Wakefield/Taylors
2014 Taylors Winemakers Project Viognier
Bright medium golden straw color. Lively, fruity aromas and flavors of dried apricot and honeyed toast with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, complex, breezy spiced apples and pickled peaches and lemon sorbet finish with fruit, leafy tannins and no oak. A solid, tasty viognier with pleasant oak.
88 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213317
Mr. Riggs
2013 Shiraz
Nearly opaque indigo color. Bright, tropical aromas of coconut custard, blueberry pie a la mode, and chocolate mint with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a delightful, medium-length craisins, spiced apples, nuts, and menthol-mint finish with firm, woody tannins and light oak. A firm, concentrated shiraz that needs some time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213126
Jacob’s Creek
2015 Classic Pinot Grigio
Pale straw green color. Bright, clean, citrusy aromas and flavors of nectarine, apple, and bubblegum dust with a soft, crisp, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, relaxed citrus rind, leaves, and minerals finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A dry crisp pinot grigio.
87 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213060
Ferngrove
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark black ruby color. Lively, fruity, earthy aromas of chocolate dried berries, soil in a clay pot, peppery spices, and fresh eucalyptus leaf with a glycerous, lively, sweet medium-full body and a tingling, medium-length grilled cranberries, coffee grounds, cacao nibs, and gravel finish with clunky, barky tannins and moderate oak. A firm and somewhat challenging red.
87 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213058
Ferngrove
2012 Shiraz
Indigo color. Delicate aromas and flavors of mocha buttercream, chocolate berries, and melted toffee with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, easy pomegranate, blood orange, and nuts finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak.
87 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213067
Sidewood
2014 Estate Bottled Pinot Gris
Bright medium golden straw color. Bright, fruity, smoky aromas and flavors of toasted herbs, grilled peaches, pickled melon, and rubber sap with an even, vibrant, dryish medium body and a tingling, engaging, brisk apple, citrus, and nuts finish with fruit, soft tannins and no oak. A very nice and savory pinot gris.
87 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212885
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 Pinot Gris
Bright pale silvery emerald straw color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of warm peach cobbler and lemon chiffon with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length cream, nougat, and nectarine skin finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A very pure and lively pinot gris that is sure to please.
87 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213319
Mr. Riggs
2014 "The Deliquent" Shiraz
Deep purple color. Bright, attractive aromas of chocolate covered berries and graham crackers and spiced nuts with an tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length menthol mint, nougat, and marinated beets finish with chewy, firm tannins. A bright attractive shiraz with lots of zesty spice.
86 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213059
Ferngrove
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Yellow color. Aromas and flavors of roasted nuts and peppers, grilled fruits, and matchstick with a supple, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, interesting, relaxed lemon, kiwi tart, and melon sorbet finish with silky tannins and a suggestion of oak. A smoky, savory sauvignon blanc.
86 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213323
Mr. Riggs
2014 "Watervale" Riesling
Bright light golden yellow color. Bright, fruity, rubbery minerally aromas of ripe green apples, petrol - kerosine, lime pith, and gravel with a lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, breezy finish with fruit tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212893
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 Chardonnay
Brilliant yellow straw color. Delicate, woody aromas and flavors of toasted balsa, smoked nuts, and pickled melon with a supple, crisp, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, easy pear, grilled lemon, and singed wood finish with chewy tannins and light oak.
86 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213065
Sidewood
2013 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir
Bright medium burnt sienna color. Delicate, earthy, fruity rubbery inviting aromas of spiced cherries, cherry taffy, green twigs, and dried leaves - turned earth with a crisp, dry full body and a peppery, delightful, brisk finish with fine, fruit, firm tannins and light oak.
86 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212883
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 St. Andrews Riesling
Pale emerald straw color. Bright, citrusy aromas and flavors of lemon custard, green apple, and nougat with a soft, tart, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, breezy nectarine skin, lime, chalk, and gum finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A nicely structured riesling that will shine with seafood.
86 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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