Upstream in Winecurrent

Vintages Release Date: TBD

• The following Paxton white wine is an easy-going blend. It’s labeled ‘The Guesser’, with a challenge and double entendre. It invites you to ask friends to guess the blend—it’s Pinot Gris/Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay—and it also pays homage to the days when owner David Paxton worked in shearing sheds in rural Australia. The ‘Guesser’ sorted and cleaned fleece, categorizing them in terms of quality.

****1/2 drink now 
Paxton ‘Organic – The Guesser’ 2016
McLaren Vale $18.00 12.5% alcohol
Aromas of stone fruit, melon and citrus provide pleasant entry to a medium-bodied, nicely paced and well-balanced wash of fruit and tang bathing the palate with ripe tropical fruit and racy, clean lemon curd. It’s good value, finishing crisp and refreshing, lip-smacking good. The perfect wine for quaffing, it also pairs well with roast chicken, pork or grilled seafood. (Vic Harradine)

• Fruit for the following Paxton 2016 Pinot Gris was sourced from night-harvested vines averaging 17 years of age. Grapes were whole-berry pressed with no crushing/destemming then racked and fermented in stainless steel with regular lees stirring over one month before being lightly filtered and bottled.

****1/2 drink now 
Paxton Pinot Gris 2016
McLaren Vale $20.00 12.5% alcohol
Alluring aromas of honey, sharp mineral notes and lemon zest leap from this mid-weight, fully textured beauty. A gorgeous river of palate-coating nectar—tropical fruit, melon and ripe pear—persist through the lingering, lip-smacking finish. There’s good purity of fruit, deft balance and plenty of stylish charm. The price-quality balance tips in your favour. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paxton ‘Thomas Block’ Chardonnay 2015
McLaren Vale $25.00 13.5% alcohol
Baking spice, buttery notes and apple aromas waft from this delightful Chardonnay. It was fermented with wild and cultured yeast then aged 10 months in French oak barriques, 10% new. It’s medium-bodied with very good mouthfeel and a boatload of flavour with orchard fruit, spice and racy citrus notes to the fore. It layers on a ginger and oaky snap on the finish. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink now 
Paxton Shiraz Rosé 2016
McLaren Vale $20.00 12.5% alcohol
This slightly off-dry Rosé sports just enough yin and yang, sweet and tang to make it a delightful sipper as well as a wonderful match for a spicy Asian dish. Aromas of wild strawberry and red raspberry replay on the palate with gusto, decorated with piquant spice and tangy ruby-red grapefruit. It finishes in a blaze of fruit flavour and tang—lip-smacking good, balanced and beautiful. (Vic Harradine)

• Fruit for the following Paxton 2016 Grenache was sourced from hand-picked, single-vineyard, 10-year-old bush vines. It was matured 6 months in French oak barrique before bottling.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paxton Grenache 2016
McLaren Vale $35.00 12.5% alcohol
This showcases persistent purity of fruit, good structure and complexity. Aromas of black raspberry, piquant spice and earthy notes set the table for a surge of ripe, juicy fruit—mulberry and black currant interwoven with dark bittersweet chocolate and plenty of juicy tang. It’s medium weight with generous texture and a lingering, balanced finish and aftertaste. Ready to drink now, pour with grilled rack of lamb. (Vic Harradine)

**** drink or cellar 
Paxton Graciano 2015
McLaren Vale $30.00 13.0% alcohol
This Graciano is produced according to biodynamic processes and principals. Aromas of mixed spice, black plum and savory herbs provide segue for a tang-laden river of red currant, rhubarb and briary berry streaking across the palate with great élan. It’s medium weight with good mouthfeel and long, lip-smacking aftertaste. There’s an underpinning of fine-grained tannin, easily ameliorated with a three-hour aeration/decant. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Paxton 2015 ‘Quandong Farm’ Shiraz is sourced from Paxton’s first single-vineyard site to be converted to biodynamic practices and is now NASSA certified as bio-dynamic.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
Paxton ‘Quandong Farm’ Shiraz 2015
McLaren Vale $19.95 14.0% alcohol
Aromas of red cherry and dark berry fruit mingle with espresso coffee notes on the nose of this rich, luscious Shiraz. It sashays across the palate with obvious confidence—bold and assertive flavours of ripe fruit, delectable tang and crunchy acidity blanket the palate persisting through the finish and aftertaste. Medium bodied and nicely textured, it delivers dark berry fruit flavour and piquant spice interwoven on the dry, mouth-watering tang on the fade. Simply delicious. (Vic Harradine)

• Fruit for the following Paxton 2015 Tempranillo was fermented in small-batch, open-top fermenters for 10 to 14 days. It was hand plunged and pumped over during that time then pressed to seasoned and new French oak barriques for 6 months of maturation before blending and bottling.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paxton Tempranillo 2015
McLaren Vale $25.00 13.0% alcohol
This lively, juicy red is ready to drink and will also reward careful, short-term cellaring. Piquant spice and red berry fruit open the gates for a lively, juicy stream of crunchy red fruit flavour streaking across the palate—currant, pie cherry and freshly picked raspberry. It finishes balanced on a pin with good red fruit acidity and brushstrokes of ripe mulberry and kirsch liqueur. It’s sleek, medium weight and nicely textured with a lengthy, mouth-watering finish. Pour with prawn and chorizo paella. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Paxton ‘AAA’ references owner David Paxton’s earlier career in the woolsheds where the best-grade wool was classified and stamped, triple A. The Shiraz for this Shiraz/Grenache blend was carefully selected from special pockets within the ‘Gateway’ and ‘Jones Block’ sites.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paxton ‘AAA’ 2015
McLaren Vale $19.95 14.0% alcohol
This 60% Shiraz / 40% Grenache blend hustles from the glass with lifted aromas of savory herbs and ripe, dark berry fruit. It envelops the palate with complex and structured, persistent purity of fruit with ripe mulberry, briary black berry and dark juicy cherry interlaced with espresso roast. This is medium-full bodied with generous texture and a balanced and beautiful, lip-smacking aftertaste. Pour with crispy pork bellies or smoked, grilled, crispy-skinned duck breasts. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 100% Shiraz, Paxton 2015 ‘MV’, was sourced from four of Paxton’s bio-dynamically farmed vineyards—the ‘MV’ refers to McLaren Vale and mixed vineyards. This was matured in used and new French oak barriques for 12 months before blending and bottling.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paxton ‘MV’ 2015
McLaren Vale $19.95 14.5% alcohol
This 100% Shiraz is value-laden, absolutely gorgeous and flirts with 5 stars. Aromas of savory herbs, piquant spice and red and black cherry/berry fruit abound. A dazzling palate-bathing wash of ripe black plum, mulberry and black Bing cherry joins with excellent tang, structure and deft balance persisting through the long finish and aftertaste. It showcases luscious tang, fine-grained tannin, purity of fruit and plenty of oomph. Pour now after a two-hour aeration/decant and on to 2024 with grilled lamb or grilled beefsteak. (Vic Harradine)

• 100% Shiraz from century-old vines in the single-vineyard Jones Block was sourced to make the following. Wine matured 24 months in French and American oak barriques, 20% new, before bottling and a further 12 months settling in bottle before release.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Paxton ‘Jones Block’ 2014
McLaren Vale $40.00 14.0% alcohol
This 100% Shiraz, from 100-year-old vines, showcases racy, tang-laden, savory-infused aromas and flavours throughout. Red cherry/berry fruit aromas interplay with baking spice, oak and grilled herb aromas on the nose of this juicy red. Crunchy red fruit flavour blazes across the palate—red currant, passionfruit and pomegranate—juxtaposed with riper dark cherry and Christmas-cake spice. It’s mid-plus weight with good mouthfeel and lengthy, tang-laced finish. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 2012 Paxton ‘EJ’ was sourced from Shiraz ‘Tri-Centenary Vines’ – vines that span three centuries. The vines in the following are +125 years old. The EJ pays respect to owner David Paxton’s mother, Elizabeth Jean, who celebrated her 100th birthday in 2007. It was matured 18 months in French oak barrel then bottled under screwcap—not fined and with light filtration.

***** cellar 
Paxton ‘EJ’ 2012
McLaren Vale $100.00 14.5% alcohol
This limited-release, flagship Shiraz is sourced from vines planted in the late 1800s. Aromas of floral, gamy and cigar box notes swirl and mingle with dark berry fruit on the nose of this venerable red. It’s firmly structured and well balanced with plenty of life left in the bottle. Red berry fruit, black currant and cassis flavours interweave on the palate persisting through the aftertaste joined by good tang and firm tannin underpinning. This’ll reward careful cellaring 2025 to +2035. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Sidewood ‘Estate’ Sauvignon Blanc reflects winemaker Darryl Catlin’s three golden rules: 1) Pick fruit in cooler temperatures at moment of optimum maturity 2) press ASAP—the following wine was pressed within approximately one hour 3) use only free-run juice fermenting with ambient, aka wild, yeasts.

****1/2 drink now 
Sidewood ‘Estate’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Adelaide Hills $20.00 12.5% alcohol
Aromas of tropical fruit, gooseberry and piquant spice abound. This single-vineyard, sustainably farmed beauty delivers a medium-bodied, creamy-textured surge of tang-laden lemon curd and white grapefruit interlaced with green apple and wisps of honeydew melon bathing the palate persisting through the lengthy, lip-smacking finish. Clean, refreshing and full of value, it pours well on its own or alongside chèvre, grilled fish or prawn ceviche. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Sidewood 2014 Mappinga Sauvignon Blanc was sourced from single-vineyard vines at almost 400 m in the cool-climate Geographical Indication (GI) of Adelaide Hills. Fruit was hand harvested and hand sorted with only free-run juice being barrel fermented then matured 10 months in French oak barrique, 60% new.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Sidewood ‘Mappinga’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Adelaide Hills $35.00 12.5% alcohol
This limited-production gem showcases depth, complexity and plenty of lip-smacking tang. Aromas of savory herbs, citrus and piquant spice set the palate for a swashbuckling surge of Key lime, lemon curd and white grapefruit intertwined with grilled savory herbs, mixed spice and notions of tropical fruit and crisp, green apple. It’s medium bodied with creamy smooth mouthfeel and a lingering, crisp and refreshing aftertaste. (Vic Harradine)

• All fruit for the following 2016 Sidewood ‘Estate’ Pinot Gris was selected from fully ripened grapes from their Oakbank vineyard then chilled 24 to 48 hours before being whole-bunch pressed. Free-run juice was partially barrel fermented with ambient yeasts in seasoned French oak barriques and left on its lees.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Sidewood ‘Estate’ Pinot Gris 2016
Adelaide Hills $20.00 13.0% alcohol
Copper-hued and bursting with flavour, only free-run juice was used. There are lifted aromas in this medium-bodied, fully textured Gris—honey-tinged melon and sharp, citrus zest. It races across the mid palate in a blaze of tang with lemon-lime and blood orange to the fore persisting through the finish and aftertaste with wisps of tropical fruit and grapefruit pith. Pour with pan-seared fish under a squeeze of fresh lemon. This is very good value. (Vic Harradine)

• The following Sidewood ‘Estate’ 2016 Chardonnay was gently whole-bunch pressed before partial barrel fermentation and ten months maturation in French oak barrel, 20% new.

****1/2 drink now 
Sidewood ‘Estate’ Chardonnay 2016
Adelaide Hills $22.00 12.5% alcohol
This Chardonnay punches above the price with free-run juice from three Chardonnay clones harvested at various times to capture specific flavours. Its complex flavours and persistent purity of fruit mark it as special. Apple, pear and baking spice aromas launch a full-bodied, well-textured flood of flavour—Granny Smith apple and bracing lemon-lime mingling with tropical fruit and white nectarine. It finishes balanced and beautiful. (Vic Harradine)

• Fruit for the following 2015 Sidewood ‘Mappinga’ Chardonnay was handpicked at approximately 12 Baume—equal to 21.6 Brix—hand sorted, whole-bunch pressed and barrel fermented then matured ten months in new and one-year-old, French oak barriques.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
Sidewood ‘Mappinga’ Chardonnay 2015
Adelaide Hills $35.00 13.0% alcohol
Aromas of nutty notes, citrus and baking spice—ginger and nutmeg—provide segue for a medium-plus bodied, gorgeously textured river of palate-coating nectar. Stone fruit—white nectarine, yellow plum and hints of mango—interweave with delicious tang—lemon curd and Key lime pie to the fore. The replays on the finish and aftertaste make for a balanced yin and yang of ripe fruit and tang… simply wonderful. (Vic Harradine)

• Sidewood’s über-talented winemaker, Darryl Catlin, was turned loose here to create something special—mission accomplished… in spades. Meticulously hand-picked fruit for the following Sidewood ‘Owen’s’ Chardonnay was whole-bunch pressed and wild-yeast fermented in a new 400 L puncheon and a mix of new and old barriques, all French oak, followed by partial malolactic conversion and ten months maturation. The Chardonnay clone, from which fruit was sourced, is known as ‘Mendoza’, often in Australia as, ‘Gin Gin’.

***** drink now 
Sidewood ‘Owen’s’ Chardonnay 2015
Adelaide Hills $45.00 13.0% alcohol
This limited release—less than 100 cases—is complex and concentrated, elegant and stunning—it was difficult to spit. Baking spice, ripe pear and pit fruit aromas usher in a complex and concentrated deluge of palate-enveloping flavour—lemon curd, oaky and nutty notes interlaced with apple and pear persisting through the racy finish and aftertaste. This offers great value, deft balance and plenty of oomph. Good to go now and on to +2023. (Vic Harradine)

• The following 2016 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir from Sidewood was sourced from four sustainably farmed vineyards with ‘Entwine Australia’ accreditation. The Pinot Noir fruit consists of two clones—Abel and Oberlin. Fruit was chilled 24 hours and fermented in small batches—separate whole bunch and non-whole bunch—then matured in French oak barriques for 10 months.

***** drink or cellar Exceptional Value! 
Sidewood ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir 2016
Adelaide Hills $30.00 12.5% alcohol
The price-quality ratio in this skews well in your favour. Highly perfumed aromas of exotic incense, savory herbs, gamy notes and forest floor abound. A tang-laden swath of flavour cuts broadly across the palate persisting through the lengthy, dry finish—savory herbs and mocha mingling with racy pie cherry, rhubarb and beet root underpinned by light brushstrokes of soft, supple tannin. Pour alongside smoked and grilled, crispy-skin duck breasts. (Vic Harradine)

• The following single-clone—777—beauty was handpicked, hand sorted, foot trodden and fermented with partial whole bunch and whole berries by wild yeasts in small, open-top fermenters then matured eight months in French oak barriques, only 10% new.

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Sidewood ‘777’ Pinot Noir 2015
Adelaide Hills $35.00 12.5% alcohol
Aromas of grilled savory herbs, earthy/mushroom notes and red cherry set the table for a smorgasbord of flavour—pie cherry, briary berry and replays of savory herbs—bathing the palate with great élan and gusto. This is medium weight with good mouthfeel, purity of fruit and plenty of tang. It finishes dry and mouth-watering good. Pour with pan-seared salmon, roast chicken or pasta in tomato sauce. (Vic Harradine)

****1/2 drink or cellar 
Sidewood Estate Shiraz 2015
Adelaide Hills $26.00 14.5% alcohol
This estate-grown Shiraz was hand harvested and aged 16 months in French oak barrique. It showcases bright, juicy red berry fruit, complexity and charm. Savory herbs, red berry fruit and spiced black plum herald a rich, lively, balanced and beautiful stream of briary berry, pie cherry and gorgeous acidity coating the palate, persisting through the mouth-watering finish and aftertaste. Drinking well now and on to 2022. (Vic Harradine)

• The following ‘Mappinga’ Shiraz from Sidewood is their flagship red with only premium fruit from small plots selected for early-morning, hand-picking by winemaker Darryl Catlin and team. After hand sorting at the winery, ¾ of the fruit is pressed with ¼ added to the fermenter as whole berries for partial carbonic maceration. Once the temperature-controlled fermentation is complete, it’s matured in French oak barrique, 35% new. Sidewood’s 2013 Mappinga Shiraz was voted ‘Best in the World’ by Decanter’s World Wine Awards. There are many awards that await the 2015.

***** drink or cellar 
Sidewood Estate ‘Mappinga’ Shiraz 2015
Adelaide Hills $60.00 14.5% alcohol
This elegant Shiraz makes a dramatic statement with persistent purity of fruit, complexity and full-on texture and flavours. Highly perfumed aromas of red and black berry fruit, mocha and savory herb precede a balanced-on-a-pin, smooth and mellow wash of ripe black currant, black plum and racy red cherry. There’s structure from soft, fine-grain tannin and a lip-smacking lengthy finish. Pour now after a two-hour aeration/decant and on to 2026. (Vic Harradine)