The African Painted Dog – one of the world’s most endangered mammals. Rosé – one of the most endangered wines at long lunches, summer soirées and eastern suburbs bistros. Gipsie Jack is “from two mates”, John Glaetzer and Ben Potts, “to mates” – and has found a way to extend their ethos to support man’s ‘best mate’. Pale onion with blush rim. A timid nose of white strawberries, cranberries, spring blossom, and confectionary strawberries & cream notes. Delicate on the palate, this is all about approachability; strawberry, in various forms, Turkish Delight, and a beguiling sign of fairy floss despite its refreshingly dry finish. 89pts.
2022 Bremerton Verdelho Mollie & Merle
Bremerton’s Mollie & Merle has been selected as the wine to ‘move it, move it’ and bring some haste in supporting the endangered ring-tailed lemur, better known as Madagascar’s King Julien. Translucent, water-like in the glass, this is redolent of citrus zest, lime kaffir, crisp pear, passionfruit, and feijoa. For under $20, Verdelho risks being insipid and uninspiring; this here is not the case. A beautiful equilibrium of acid and fruit weight, suspended by appealing apple flesh texture, light and long. Is it coincidence that the ring-tailed lemur’s tail too is longer than its body? 93pts
2022 Kimbolton Fiano
Less than 70000 giraffes are estimated to roam home in Africa – its population decline has been referred to as a ‘silent extinction’. Thanks to Kimbolton, the sound of Fiano hitting the glass is that vital noise. Pale with a lemon hue. The nose is pure; lemon, grapefruit pith, bosc pear, white florals and a drizzle of honey. This carries onto the palate paired with racy acidity, lemon zest, green apple and an appealing creamed honey finish. Easy drinking and even more reason to advocate Earth’s tallest mammal. 90pts.
2020 Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon
Did you know a group of Zebras is called a ‘dazzle’? Fitting, as Bleasdale’s Cabernet Sauvignon is dazzling at $22. As we let that cringe-worthy comment sink in, there is good reason to why this has become one of SA’s most reliable Cabernets. Every bit varietal on the nose – cassis, sweet mint, dark chocolate, balsamic strawberries, and hints of cedary pine. There is appealing fruit sweetness – black cherries, blackcurrant pastilles, a flick of spearmint, baking spices and mulberry (power of suggestion perhaps?). Thanks to well-integrated tannins, this wine is smooth, charming, and approachable – a vinous Casanova! 92pts
2020 Lake Breeze Bernoota
Supporting the Bongo, Africa’s largest antelope, with ongoing population decline – there is less than 100 animals estimated to be left in the wild. And whilst Lake Breeze’s biggest seller is not in short supply it should be savoured, as value this good is seldom! 60% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet, this true Australian blend has earned a reputation for consistency and reliability. Crimson purple in the glass, it is abundant with aromas – mint slice biscuits, raspberry, blackberry, ribena blackcurrant, a hint of aniseed and balsamic glaze. Medium bodied, this is a vibrant wine with bright acidity – holding that freshness of fruit – and well-handled oak casting a shadow of baking spice and coconut flakes. Whilst, in a world of $6 coffees and rising interest rates, sinewy tannins and good length are reassurance that the dollar can still go far. 92pts
2017 Vineyard Road Shiraz
Supporting the Meerkat, not endangered but a crowd favourite – much like Langhorne Creek’s hero varietal. A meercat like any good Shiraz has a life expectancy of 8-10 years, however in captivity can age up to 20. The same can be said for careful cellaring. A few years under its belt, this wine is beginning to show the graces of age. Crimson with brick red rim. Heady aromas of raspberry compote, stewed strawberries, musky plum, sundried tomato in oil, and roasted coffee grounds. Primary fruit at the fore, its tertiary flavours act like stagehands setting a new scene. Act two shows softened tannins, sweet tobacco character and beef stock savouriness in a wine that is not so ‘simples’. 91pts
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Written by 2022 WCA Wine Media Cadet, Tijana Laganin