August 9, 2018
2016 Montalto Estate Shiraz – 96 points
Both clean as a whistle and chocked with savoury character. Coffee grounds, black cherries, black pepper and wood spice flavours mount an enthusiastic campaign through the entirety of the palate. Tannin is fine-grained and spice-shot. Clovey aftertaste works a treat in context. Pure excellence.
2016 Montalto Estate Pinot Noir – 96 points
Very good colour, full, bright and clear. There is no shortage of complexity on the bouquet or palate, and absolutely none on the supple, perfectly balanced palate. Cherries and plums have decided on a truce from the word go, each contributing an equal share to the long, medium-bodied palate. Exotic winemaking practices developed by Simon Black are used, although not especially obvious here.
2016 Montalto Estate Chardonnay – 95 points
Once the complex bouquet has sent its message, the palate takes it to another level with a compelling range of funky characters, the sort you might find from some makers in Burgundy. Flavour and texture play an equal role in this impressive wine.
2016 Montalto Pennon Hill Chardonnay – 95 points
Clear varietal expression a la Montalto, with its subtle interplay between the fruit and its bandmaster Simon Black. The grapefruit component to the palate isn’t overblown, it’s an important part of a wine that has as much complexity as drive.
Scintillating quality and value. This crackles with flinty, minerally character and pops with white peach flavour. It’s balanced, stylish and elegant, and drives long through the finish. You can ask for little more.
2016 Single Vineyard Tuerong Block Chardonnay – 95 points
Grapefruit pulp, white peach and pear. This chardonnay rockets straight for the stars. Add oatmeal and nougat-like influences and you have a thoroughly convincing wine; it powers around every corner and finishes strong.
2017 Pennon Hill Pinot Grigio – 94 points
Flushed with pear, barley and lemon flavours, bushed with musk and spice, juicy with acidity. Tip top pinot gris.
2016 Red Hill Block Pinot Noir – 94 points
Sweet fruit, lively acidity, mandarin notes, toffee, redcurrant, cranberry; there’s more colour and movement here than at a ’70s swinger’s party. It feels light on its feet throughout, flitting through spice and wood smoke and fennel-like nuances.
2017 Pennon Hill Pinot Noir – 94 points
It’s clearly from an excellent season. This is perfumed, juicy, varietal and incredibly drinkable. It begs the word more-ish. Sweet-sour cherries, fresh strawberries, an infusion of woodsy spice and foresty notes. It all works beautifully.