96
★★★★★

2019 Argiano Solengo Rosso Toscano, Tuscany, Italy, A$150 

Bold and ripe blueberry, as well as ripe dark cherry and cinnamon plus clove and liquorice too. Exuberant fruit intensity with espresso and dark chocolate, along with some herbal elements. So suave and mouth-filling with ripe dark berry, dark plum and mulberry. Supply formed full-ish body. Just so well integrated and balanced. Ripe tannins are fresh through the finish. Impressive. Drink over the next decade or more. 

96
★★★★★

2008 Maison Mumm Cuvée Lalou, Champagne, France, A$300

A very complex Champagne with striking aroma soft baked bread and almond as well as spiced red fruits and a succulent blood orange feel. Six terroirs and seven plots. Disgorged in 2021. There’s a smooth and glossy plush feel to the texture, with light honey, dried apricot and more. So much fruit, reliable structure and power, not confronting. Finishes concise and bright with lemon citrus flavours. So complex and layered. Drink over the next decade. 

96
★★★★

2019 Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhône Valley, France, A$202 

The consistently great form of this wine in recent vintages continues and the warmth of 2018 has been well navigated to capture richness and retain freshness as well as structure and shape. Rich and concentrated with aromas and flavours of ripe dark cherry, plum, toasted spices and dark chocolate. Some bracken, too. The palate has supple and silky flesh with attractively fresh acidity. Powder fine tannins set the finish evenly. Very drinkable now, try over the next decade. 

94
★★★★

2017 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, A$106 

Feels comfortingly traditional and shows an attractive restraint. In the glass, there are tawny edges with notes of cedar and fresh leather on the nose, as well as blueberry and some liquorice. Forest wood and sap, too. The palate is ripe and smoothly honed with red and dark cherry, and plum fruit flavours. Acidity sits below the ample ripe fruit flesh. Very drinkable and plush with good fruit intensity through the finish. 

94
★★★★

2018 Isole e Olena Cepparello, Tuscany, Italy, A$198 

Intense red cherry, some rose and dried forest wood as well as black tea and leafy elements, clove and cinnamon and a slate-like stony edge. The palate holds an elegant line with medium body and supple sweeping tannins that carry gently tart red cherry fruits in a pure, fresh mode. Softly ripe. Drink or hold. 

93
★★★★

2019 Famille Brunier Vin des Pays
du Vaucluse Le Pigeoulet, Rhône Valley, France, A$44 

Such a dangerously drinkable red with ripe dark berries, plum and chocolate. Spices and hints of graphite. The palate has supple rich dark berry and plum fruits. Smooth and sweeping tannins. Fleshy with focus. Silky and glossy. Good value. Sweet spot. Grenache, carignan, syrah and cinsault. Drink now. 

92
★★★★

2019 Argiano Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, A$45 

Good value drinking, this is medium-bodied with just the right sense of strength and drinkable appeal. Gently tawny in the glass, the nose is spicy and earthy, with red cherry, dried red plum and anise, as well as tobacco and dried roasting herbs. The palate finds a supple thread with more dried red fruits and a ripe, soft feel to the tannin. Drink now. 

92
★★★★

2020 Famille Brunier Mégaphone, Ventoux, France, A$58

Another accessible and well-executed red from Famille Brunier. So much fruit here, this is bathed in dark berry, blackberry and blueberry fruits. All about the purity and very clear-cut tannins holding an impressively crisp edge. Acidity fires just right and the result is deeply flavourful and mouth-wateringly fresh. Drink over the next five years. 

92
★★★★

2020 GD Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy, A$55

The sheer deliciousness of this agile, drinkable nebbiolo is hard to fathom. Aromas of rose and dark spices, red berries and cherries are entrancing in the glass. A wine to cavort for the aromas alone. The palate dances and weaves around, there’s a succulent core of red cherry fruit and a dusty sheen of tannin that floats and then settles gently on the finish. Drink over the next five years. 

92
★★★★

2019 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, A$58 

An elegant, pure, spry and drinkable Chianti, this has such purity of cherry fruit aromas and flavours and a quiet, svelte wrap of fine tannins. There’s a lot to like about this wine in terms of elegance and refinement. Versatile and pure, with a brand of restraint that is often forgotten in this part of Italy. Drink now. 

92
★★★★

2019 Le Volte dell’ Ornellaia IGT, Tuscany, Italy, A$64

Just so satisfying in terms of style and value, this is the third wine of the Ornellaia estate, and is a blend of merlot, sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon. It showcases the way in which merlot thrives here, with red plum and violet, as well as redcurrant aromas and flavours. Tannins are just sinewy enough, yet smoothly arranged and resolved. Strong value here. Drink or hold. 

92
★★★★

2018 Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Télégramme, Chateauneauf-du-Pape, France, A$118

Second wine of Vieux Télégraphe and always a strong value proposition from a family of wines that are in very good form. Aromas of redcurrant, red plum, rosehip and forest wood, as well as raspberry and subtle stony notes. Very pure and fruit-driven. The palate holds real intensity and depth with ripe red and dark plum, liquorice and black cherry. Tannins are smoothly resolved and wrap evenly. Drink over the next eight years.