Teusner Avatar 2012I have been an enthusiastic fan of Kim Teusner ever since I met him at a Teusner tasting about 10 years ago and discovered the wines that he crafts – and, yes, crafting is the way to describe how the wines are made. He continues to surprise me in the way that he is able to elicit and develop such elegance into all the otherwise full and robust wines that he produces.

I have some Avatars in the cellar going back 10 years, and so far none of them show any sign of tiredness. Anyway, according to some of the scribes that count, this 2012 may be the best Avatar Kim Teusner has produced. Note that mataro is also the name for mourvedre.

I have made some notes, in my own amateurish style, and follow these with some comments from those that get paid for it. Interestingly, I seem to have had a similar reaction to that of the experts. I promise you my wife Alison and I wrote our notes before we read the others.

By the way, it is not necessary to pay the suggeted retail prices indicated below; head to my favourite online wine retailer, www.winestar.com.au, and you will find this wine for a great deal less.

My Notes

COL – bright red/ crimson with a purple edge.

NOSE – dark cherries, dark ripe plums, savoury spice, hints of chocolate and also something red like strawberry; you can smell that its all going to be in balance.

PALATE – smooth and silken, medium bodied, rich, mouth filling; then spice and the dark cherry/plum/chocolate spectrum. There are really fine but persistant tannins and some acid felt on the tip of the tongue.The finish is savoury and very long.

I’m trying to learn to score in the 100 point system, though yet to find an understandable explanation of exactly how it works. Anyway I’ve some up with a score of 95/100, and again I promise this was prior to reading the following reviews.

FOOD – any strong hard cheese; beef and potato casserole.

This review from James Halliday –

A 40/30/30% blend of grenache, mataro and shiraz from 90-year-old vines, which spent 12 months in used oak. Bright crimson-purple; the aromas and flavours of this beautifully balanced and structured medium-bodied wine have plum to the fore one moment, black cherry the next, supple and ripe tannins providing a discrete framework for this precocious display of fruit. Drink By: 2022; Price: $35.00; Date Tasted: 03 Jul 2013; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 95 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion

This from Gary Walsh –

Well if the 2012 Joshua was the best they’ve yet made, then I reckon this might be too. Grenache 40%, Shiraz 30% Mataro 30%; This may well be about as good as Barossa GSM gets? Serious length. And for all those serious bits, still just so irresistibly yum. You’re having your cake and eating it here. Tasted : Mar13 Alcohol : 14.5% Price : $30 Closure : Screwcap Drink : 2013 – 2020Rated : 95 Points; Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

And Tyson Stelzer –


Kym Teusner considers Avatar his standout wine of an outstanding season. From vines averaging an incredible 90 years of age. The result is an incredible expression of red and black fruits of all kinds, with hints of mixed spice and orange rind, framed carefully in dark chocolate from seasoned French and American oak. It’s all delightfully composed, intricately interwoven with a mesh of finely structured, softly textured tannins, impeccably polished and ready to go. Wow, this is one of the great Avatars. Drink: 2013-2020; Rating: 95 Points; Tyson Stelzer, Wine Taste