Upstream in Winecurrent

Vintages Release: Date TBD

****1/2 drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
d’Arenberg ‘The Hermit Crab’ Viognier – Marsanne 2016
McLaren Vale $17.95 (662775) 13.3% alcohol
Aromas of honeyed pit fruit and nutty notes introduce a medium-bodied, generously textured, creamy-smooth palate-bathing flow of white nectarine and ripe apricot nicely balanced with tangy lemon curd and Key lime pie adorned with piquant ginger. The finish is lengthy, dry, crisp and refreshing. Pour alongside roast chicken, pork or poached lemon sole. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now 
d’Arenberg ‘The Money Spider’ Roussanne 2016
McLaren Vale $21.95 (656710) 12.7% alcohol
A quite nose of floral notes with wisps of tropical fruit aromas open this mid-weight Roussanne—only free-run juice used without malolactic conversion. Flavours of melon, tang-laden lemon-lime and hints of grilled pineapple race over the palate with great élan. It finishes in a blaze of racy grapefruit with soft pith infusing the tangy finish and aftertaste. Pour with prawn ceviche or freshly shucked oysters. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now 
d’Arenberg ‘The Stump Jump’ Chardonnay 2013
Fleurieu Peninsula, McLaren Vale $14.95 13.3% alcohol
This is very good value. Seeing only a brushstroke of seasoned oak, this dishes up a lip-smacking, crowd-pleasing Chardonnay tang. Aromas of green apple, citrus and mineral notes make way for a light-on-its-feet stream of crisp, green apple, racy lemon curd and a spoonful of lively salinity streaking across the palate infusing the crisp, clean and refreshing finish. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
d’Arenberg ‘The Custodian’ Grenache 2014
McLaren Vale $19.95 (713040) 14.4% alcohol
An involved, lively nose of piquant spice, pencil shavings and dark berry fruit aromas set the table for a smorgasbord of rich, luscious flavour—boysenberry, kirsch liqueur and rich black cherry—mingling with racy passionfruit, tangy red currant and black licorice in an irresistible sweet and tang, yin and yang tasting experience. It’s mid-plus weight and value-laden with a lingering, juicy finish. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 cellar 
d’Arenberg ‘The High Trellis’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
McLaren Vale $19.95 (943456) 14.2% alcohol
Floral notes, perfumed exotic spice and notions of iodine aromas on the nose, this sports a full-Monty rush of palate-coating flavour with briary berry, tang-laden pie cherry and crunchy red currant to the fore. This medium-plus bodied, nicely textured Cab has miles to go as it’s quite taut and firmly underpinned by still-evolving tannin—twist caps 2020 to 2025 and pour with grilled-rare, well-seasoned striploin. The price-quality balance tips in your favour. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
d’Arenberg ‘The Footbolt’ Shiraz 2014
McLaren Vale $19.95 (984021) 14.5% alcohol
This punches well above the price, is well structured and showcases good balance and complexity. Aromas of earthy/mushroom, piquant/peppery spice and dark berry fruit abound. A delicious flow of ripe, bramble berry and spice-laden black plum flavour coats the palate decorated with espresso roast and dark bittersweet chocolate. It’s medium-full bodied with good mouthfeel and a balanced lengthy aftertaste layering on notions of grilled savory herbs and oodles of juicy tang. Aerate/decant three hours before serving. (Vic Harradine)

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
d’Arenberg ‘The Laughing Magpie’ Shiraz - Viognier 2012
McLaren Vale $29.95 (936971) 14.4% alcohol
This showcases persistent purity of fruit, excellent fruit and tang balance, exceptional value and oodles of charm. Aromas of dark berry fruit, exotic incense and spice cake introduce a tapestry of palate-bathing flavour with black currant, cassis, and boysenberry compote interwoven with red currant, racy pie cherry and baking spice. This is medium-plus bodied with good mouthfeel and a lengthy balanced finish. (Vic Harradine)

***** cellar 
d’Arenberg ‘The Dead Arm’ Shiraz 2013
McLaren Vale $54.95 (430512) 14.6% alcohol
Rich and complex, dense and fruit-laden, this opens with lifted aromas of grilled savory herbs, earthy/gamy notes and red and black cherry/berry galore. It’s fully-fruited, full-bodied, fully textured and full of elegance and charm. A palate-coating surge of flavour showcases dark plum, ripe mulberry and wisps of cassis adorned with sweet vanilla, black licorice and notes of minerality and gamy bits overshadowed by a firm tannin underpinning and framed by excellent tang. Twist tops 2019 to 2026 after careful cellaring. (Vic Harradine)

• The following single-vineyard Riesling earns its ‘gun metal’ handle from the grey-coloured stones in the vineyard.

****1/2 drink now 
Hewitson ‘Gun Metal’ Riesling 2015
Eden Valley $25.00 12.0% alcohol
This offers an involved nose of flinty/mineral notes along with floral, citrus and orchard fruit aromas. Early-morning, hand-picked fruit was hurried to the winery contributing greatly to the crisp, refreshing flavour—Key lime and flinty mineral notes streak across the palate infusing the lip-smacking finish and aftertaste. Pour with seafood ceviche or grilled calamari. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink now 
Hewitson ‘Lu Lu’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Adelaide Hills $23.00 12.0% alcohol
With fruit sourced from one of the highest—approximately 650 metres—coolest spots in the Adelaide Hills, it dishes up aromas of tropical fruit, savory herbs and floral notes. It races over the palate with great élan, tangy lemon-lime, wisps of grassy notes and white grapefruit with all persisting the long, long, mouth-watering finish. Built for sipping on its own of food pairing, give it a try with mussels steamed in white wine or pan-seared scallops under a squeeze of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

• The ‘Belle Ville’ in the following Hewitson wine refers to a property in Provence as well the two grape varieties in the wine that are also favourites in the Provençal region—a Grenache/Cinsault blend.

****1/2 drink now 
Hewitson ‘Belle Ville’ Rosé 2016
Eden Valley $25.00 12.5% alcohol
Strawberry and floral aromas waft from this stylish Rosé—it showcases depth and character throughout. A heavenly textured mouthful of black currant and ripe red raspberry bathes the palate decorated with piquant spice and ruby-red grapefruit tang. This is gorgeous sipped on its own with enough oomph to pair perfectly with a deli platter or roast chicken with potato salad. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Minimal Intervention’ Sangiovese was certainly that—it saw no oak, did not undergo malolactic conversion and was naturally settled then bottled without fining or filtration.

**** drink now 
Hewitson ‘Minimal Intervention’ Sangiovese 2015
Barossa Valley $25.00 14.0% alcohol
A lively juicy nose of red cherry/berry fruit is precursor to a tang-laden stream of crunchy, red fruit—cherry, cranberry and pomegranate—mingling with piquant spice and savory herbs. It’s medium weight with good mouthfeel and a lingering crisp, dry aftertaste. Sip on its own or pour with pasta in tomato sauce or Swiss steak.

• The following Hewitson ‘Miss Harry’ is a delectable southern Rhône Valley blend—Grenache, Mourvèdre, Shiraz, Cinsault, Carignan—sourced from dry-grown, old-vine fruit with some Grenache +100 years of age, and overall averaging 70 years of age.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Hewitson ‘Miss Harry’ 2014
Barossa Valley $25.00 14.0% alcohol
This red blend—Grenache, Mourvèdre, Shiraz, Cinsault, Carignan—opens with lively aromas of savory herbs, floral notes and wisps of cherry. A medium-bodied, well-textured, creamy-smooth flow of ripe red berry fruit—strawberry, raspberry and crunchy passionfruit—adorned with cassis and oodles of spice blankets the palate. This showcases purity of fruit, complexity and absolutely delicious. There’s good structure from soft-grained tannin and a balanced and beautiful, lengthy finish. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Ned and Henry’s’ Shiraz is named for the owners’ two sons.

****1/2 drink now 
Hewitson ‘Ned and Henry’s’ Shiraz 2016
Barossa Valley $28.00 14.0% alcohol
Aromas of piquant spice, sweet vanilla and dark cherry/berry fruit precede a rich and luscious surge of bramble berry and black plum compote enveloping the palate with excellent spice, tang and acidity providing interest and good balance. It’s medium-full weight with textured mouthfeel and a lingering, lip-smacking aftertaste layering on complexity, structure and soft-grained tannin. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Old Garden Vineyard’ is sourced from single-vineyard Mourvèdre vines that are recognized as the oldest in the world.

***** drink or cellar 
Hewitson ‘Old Garden Vineyard’ Mourvèdre 2013
Barossa Valley $88.00 14.0% alcohol
Fruit for this 100% Mourvèdre was sourced from vines planted in 1853—put another way, at 2013 harvest, vines were 160 years of age. Savory herbs and black cherry abound on the nose providing introduction to a luscious palate-bathing outpouring of ripe mulberry and wisps of cassis decorated with dark bittersweet chocolate and notions of black licorice—absolutely delectable. It showcases deft balance, complexity, persistent purity of fruit and a lengthy finish. (Vic Harradine)

• The following is Hewtson’s flagship Shiraz seeing 24-months maturation in premium French oak barrique.

***** drink or cellar 
Hewitson ‘Falkenberg Vineyard’ Shiraz 2014
Barossa Valley $88.00 14.0% alcohol
Aromas of earthy notes, dark berry fruit and cedar provide segue for a tang-laden river of red fruit—pie cherry and raspberry—interwoven with briary berry, black plum and savory herbs and spice. This is medium-full bodied with excellent texture and a long, bold and balanced finish and aftertaste infused with fennel and mocha. It has structure, with depth, complexity and pure fruit flavour from cork pop to last drop—it was tough to spit this. Aerate/decant two hours, pouring now to 2025. (Vic Harradine)

• Fruit for the following Rockford 2015 Riesling was hand-harvested from premium, hand-pruned, old vines growing in cool-climate Eden Valley—it’s released 12 months later than most Eden Valley Riesling gaining weight and complexity in the process.

****1/2 drink now 
Rockford Eden Valley Riesling 2015
Eden Valley $23.50 12.5% alcohol 
Perfumed aromas of tropical fruit, floral notes and minerality waft easily from this medium-weight, creamy textured gem. It races over the palate with great élan, Key lime and lemon curd persisting through the crisp, clean finish and aftertaste. There’s plenty of Wow! factor here with racy tang and lip-smacking acidity throughout. Pour with steamed mussels or pan-seared fish under a squeeze of fresh lemon. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Semillon pays homage to three growers from which fruit was sourced—the Matschoss, Sibley and Kalleske families.

**** drink now 
Rockford ‘Local Growers’ Semillon 2014
Barossa $22.50 12.2% alcohol 
Fruit for this was picked at the peak of ripeness—aromas of tropical fruit, stone fruit and floral notes are underpinned by flinty/minerality. Bracing acidity, delivered through lemon-lime and grapefruit tang, streak over the palate persisting through the mouth-watering finish and aftertaste This is medium-plus weight with good mouthfeel. There’s a bit of oak ageing here also contributing to the weight. Pour now with fish or seafood or give it another three years pouring with roast pork or chicken. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Alicante Bouchet, aka Alicante Bouschet, has been a staple in the Rockford portfolio for more than thirty years. This grape is unusual and is known as a ‘teinturier’ grape due to its red flesh. Virtually all wine grapes—red, black or white—have white flesh. This wine was crafted using saignée method (loose translation – bleeding)—in saignée, the wine remaining after the ‘bleeding’ is often made into a red wine.

****1/2 drink now 
Rockford Alicante Bouchet 2015
Eden Valley $20.50 10.1% alcohol 
This value-packed, off-dry, Rosé-styled beauty offers an alluring nose of savory herbs, peppery spice and ripe strawberry aromas. Red fruit flavours abound with cranberry and pie cherry to the fore supported by ripe mulberry and black berry fruit. It’s particularly well balanced with sweet and tang perfectly proportioned on the palate and throughout the lip-smacking finish and aftertaste. This pours exceptionally well slightly chilled with bruschetta or a deli platter of smoked meat, spicy black olives, soft, smelly cheese and baguette. (Vic Harradine)

• The must—grape skins, and seed from the preceding Alicante Bouchet saignée, Rosé-styled wine—was utilized in the following wine, hence the ‘Frugal Farmer’ moniker.

**** drink or cellar 
Rockford ‘Frugal Farmer’ Grenache/Mataro/Alicante Bouchet 2015
Eden Valley $22.50 12.6% alcohol
Sprigs of herbs and red cherry/berry fruit aromas herald a racy, tangy stream of red currant, black currant and ripe black plum. There’s good mouthfeel and plenty of tang from twist top to last drop in this red blend—it’s medium bodied and finishes lengthy. Pour with red pizza or pastitsio. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Rockford ‘Moppa Springs’ 2012
Eden Valley $28.00 14.4% alcohol
This Grenache-dominant, red blend dishes up sexy aromas of exotic spice, floral notes and dark berry fruit. A broad swath of rich and luscious flavour blankets the palate with ripe briary berry and cassis interwoven with peppery spice and savory herbs. It’s mid-plus weight with heavenly texture and a boatload of style and charm. It finishes dry, balanced and bursting with crunchy lively fruit flavour. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Rod and Spur is 2/3rd Shiraz and 1/3rd Cabernet Sauvignon named for the hard-working growers who spend the cool winters hand-pruning vines in the traditional ‘rod and spur’ method.

**** drink now 
Rockford ‘Rod and Spur’ 2013
Barossa Valley $34.50 14.2% alcohol
Bright and lively red cherry/berry aromas mingling with spice and herbs set the table for a smorgasbord of flavours—spice, mint and earthy notes interplay with blueberry, pie cherry and black plum compote bathing the palate infusing the finish and aftertaste. This is medium bodied with a boatload of fruit flavour and tang on the lingering finish. Pour with pasta in tomato sauce or Swiss steak. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Rifle Range’ Cab from Rockford is sold in an interesting, proprietary, uniquely shaped bottle.

****1/2 cellar 
Rockford ‘Rifle Range’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Barossa Valley $45.00 13.6% alcohol 
Aromas of incense, rose petals and baking spice suggest an involved, complex Cabernet Sauvignon and it delivers that in spades. A tight and taut stream of black berry, eucalyptus and black currant interplays with earthy notes, pipe tobacco and dark bittersweet chocolate. It’s medium-full bodied with firm structure and good depth and a lingering aftertaste underpinned by perceptible tannin.

• You’ll find the following Rockford ‘Basket-Press’ Shiraz listed in the top tier of the über-premium ‘Langton’s Classification of Australia’s Fine Wines’ placing it with 20 other wines as the most highly sought-after Australian wines on the open market. It spent 24 months maturing in wood and further 18 in bottle before release. (Vic Harradine)

***** cellar 
Rockford ‘Basket Press’ Shiraz 2013
Barossa Valley $63.00 14.1% alcohol
This evocative Shiraz showcases owner, Robert O’Callaghan’s dedication and single-minded focus on delivering the best wine, from the best fruit using traditional thinking and methods. It showcases persistent purity of fruit—black plum and mulberry compote mingling with red berry fruit and pie cherry—deft balance, structure—ripe, soft, fine-grained tannin, texture—creamy smooth, weighty—and complexity. It’s medium-full bodied with a lengthy finish and aftertaste. Pop corks 2020 to +2030. (Vic Harradine)