Reviews

James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion 2015

Rating: 5 Stars

Beechworth Shiraz 2009 - Has retained excellent hue; the bouquet has fragrant spice and pepper overtones to the predominantly red fruit aromas, the medium-bodied palate a revelation as it delivers a surge of juicy fruit flavours, with just the right amount of tannin to provide structure, quality oak an extra layer of flavour, albeit subservient to the fruit. Diam. 14.2% acl, Rating 95 To 2024 $55

Beechworth Shiraz 2005 - First tasted almost 5½ years ago, and retains the fruit weight and freshness then commented on, the colour now spectacular for its age, the spicy, mouth-watering red fruits still flooding the palate. Its drink-to date of ’18 now goes out to ’23. The wine remains available, albeit at an increased price. Cork. 14.2% alc. Rating 94 To 2023 $95

 

Review by Robert Parker (June 2010)

2006 Star Lane Vineyard Shiraz

A Syrah Dry Red Table wine from Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
Rating: 90   |   Drink 2010 - 2018

The 2006 Shiraz gives a deep garnet-black colour and notes of blackberry, tar, earth, pepper and hung meat on the nose with some cumin. The medium to full body has nice, clean, crisp acidity running through it with medium-firm fine tannins and a long finish. This Shiraz is approachable now and should continue to be delicious to 2018+. A fairly new, family owned Beechworth operation, Star Lane Vineyard's Brett (viticulturist) and Liz (winemaker) Barnes get a helping hand from Giaconda's Rick Kinzbrunner, which can't hurt! These early releases are already looking very impressive.

 

Review by Robert Parker (June 2010)

2006 Star Lane Vineyard Merlot

A Merlot Dry Red Table wine from Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
Rating: 92   |   Drink 2012 – 2020

There's not a lot of great Merlot in Australia, but this 2006 Merlot is predicting that Star Lane could be up there amongst the best. Very deep garnet coloured, the nose gives aromas of ripe plum, cloves, loam, black olive and a touch of gaminess. With a nice backbone of high acid and firm, fine grained tannins this medium to full-bodied wine reveals good concentration with nice weight and balance, giving a long finish. You can consider drinking this wine now but it's worth cellaring it a little longer to enjoy from 2012 to 2020+. A fairly new, family owned Beechworth operation, Star Lane Vineyard's Brett (viticulturist) and Liz (winemaker) Barnes get a helping hand from Giaconda's Rick Kinzbrunner, which can't hurt! These early releases are already looking very impressive.

 

Ralph Kyte-Powel - Uncorked

Rating: 5 Stars

Melbourne 'Age', Jan 09

Star Lane Shiraz - 2005

Star Lane is a new star of the Beechworth district. Made with generous help from the regions master winemaker, Rick Kinzbrunner, its meaty-rich, earthy and complex, with a core of stewed dark berries and plums, robed in palate is seamless and beautiful integrated with big ripe tannins underneath.

Ageing Drink over 8 years
Food Ideas Wild mushroom Risotto, Tea Smoked Duck

 

Max Crus - Grape Expectations

Star Lane Shiraz - 2005

Food & Wine, Jan 09
Best of 2008

The best shiraz was a draw between Star Lane and Tintilla’s Patriarch 2005 which scored 9.3/10 respectively.

 

Tony Keys - Key Notes – October 2013

This week's duet:  
Star Lane Vineyard Beechworth Merlot 2010: I'm not a lover of merlot, as is well known, but if more were like this I could be converted. There is a hint of violet on the nose and it's rich but not cloying across the palate, with enough points of interest emerging as it travels to engage the mind as well as the senses. 95 points, perhaps more as it ages a year or two, and worth its $55.
 
Star Lane Vineyard Beechworth Shiraz 2010: Beechworth is a producer of an individual style of shiraz. A hint of spice lifts the richness and other flavours to quite a height, which in turn invokes great pleasure. 96 points and worth $55.

 

Huon Hooke - TASTINGS – Indulge Yourself

Good Living, Dec 08

Star Lane Beechworth Shiraz 2005

A wine of depth and character from a new producer: slightly wild, funky and loaded with personality. Gripping tannins, very concentrated and long; good cellaring potential. Now to 15 years plus. Why $70? Well here’s a clue: Giaconda’s Rick Kinzbrunner helped out. 95/100
Food Meaty casserole

 

Greg Duncan Powell – Full Bottle

Star Lane Shiraz - 2005

This minimal intervention-Shiraz from Beechworth shows lots of complexity and style. It tastes handmade but not in a rustic sense and has had some winemaking input from Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda fame. It needs a big glass and lost of swishing.

 

Red To Brown Wine Review

Rated: 4 Stars

RRP: $55 - Drink: 2016-2022

2012 Star Lane Nebbiolo (Beechworth)

Australian Nebbiolo.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it

Edgar Albert Guest

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read or heard that Nebbiolo isn’t really worth pursuing outside of Piedmont in Northern Italy. The theory goes that there exists such a unique synergy between grape and terroir there, that nowhere else will be able to produce wine worthy of this King of grapes.
Well I’ve tasted enough good Australian Nebbiolo over the past 5 years or so to state emphatically that this is not the case. SC Pannell, Luke Lambert, Coriole, and Pizzini are all examples of wineries that have produced Nebbiolos that would sit comfortably in a line-up of Langhe Nebbiolo, albeit that the flavour and texture profiles might be somewhat different from a wine from Piedmont. The only question to my mind is whether Australia will end up producing profound, long lasting Nebbiolo such as one gets with top Barolo and Barbaresco. This is as yet unanswered. I am, however, increasingly of the view that Australian Nebbiolo is like Australian Pinot Noir of twenty years ago or so. Another decade or two will likely see a handful of vineyards and wineries making great Nebbiolo.

To the wine at hand, the 2012 Star Lane Nebbiolo. Somewhat pale and translucent in colour as per the variety. The nose is initially somewhat closed but it opened up over the course of a couple of days to reveal cherry, tar, and a note of orange peel. There’s nice fruit on the palate, but all within a medium bodied Nebbiolo frame. That orange peel note, along with some appealing bitterness puts me in the mind of a Negroni. No bad thing. Oak is there but unobtrusive. The overall balance of the wine is excellent and it finishes with proper, drying tannin and a lovely earthiness.  On day one I had it at 3.5 Stars, but my last glass on day 2 was impressive enough to give it a nudge. 4 Stars, and a wine that needs a few years in the cellar yet.

 

Nick Stock – Good Wine Guide 2013

2009 Star Lane Shiraz

This is a very complex and convincing wine, with alluring spice and minerally notes on the nose, plum and rich dark berry fruits. There's lovely composure here, and the oak is nicely cut in. The palate has a ball of fleshy plum fruit as its centrepiece, quite ripe in this warm year, a slice of chocolate flavour threaded in and a fine, juicy tannin texture through the finish.

 

Philip White – Adelaide Independent News

August 2014

Beechworth Star Lane Vineyard Quattro Vitigni 2012

Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Merlot and Shiraz makes the Quattro. It's a moody, midnight sort of a drink in search of the Kinda Blue Miles Davis. It has a very pretty blueberry and blackcurrant waft, like the perfume of a black satin evening dress I once helped a clever person from. It's sufficiently overt for me to recall that crunchy, abrasive sound of grosgrain. So that's a very encouraging start. It's lithe and slick and satiny of texture, too: more satin than silk. And it's black of flavour, not red or purple. It's on that crossover point where sinister mystery becomes satisfying reassurance. The tannins are velvety, not to stretch the fabric metaphor too hard. So it's blended after the "super" Tuscan style, at a fraction of their price. And it'll give many of those arrogant, loftily spendish aristocrats a proper run for their money. It's slender enough to handle veal without overwhelming it, but if, like the writer, you're more along the lines of your aged ox, an osso bucco wouldn't kill it either. In fact, it's athletic enough to kill the ox if proper restraint isn't shown.

$28; 14.2% alcohol; screw cap; 92+ points

 

Gourmet Traveller, April/May 08

25 Magic Merlots

Tasting Panel: Peter Bourne, Nick Bulleid MW, Andrew Caillard MW, Oeter Firrestak, Huon Hooke, Sophie Otton

We tasted 79 wines and came up with the top 25, which Star Lane came in at 16th. It is a complex wine combining red plum and cedary oak, with bottle age beginning to add developed flavours.  Hooke thought it was “ripe and true to variety.  Understated and complex, with dark and red fruits, earth and tobacco and hints of forest floor, all in a nice balance. Soft yet with depth of flavour. I liked the plump, soft structure and the attractive ripeness of level, which suggests a good link between region and variety.” Drink now or over the next 3 years 90/100

 

5 Stars
5 Star Winery
James Halliday's 2015 Wine Companion
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