Sunday, August 25, 2019

Trentham Estate The Family 2019 Vermentino

There's a new look for what used to be labelled La Famiglia wines from Trentham Estate. The range has now been anglicised to The Family - but remains a homage to newer grape varieties from Italy. I was particularly taken by this delicious vermentino. It is a very food-friendly young offering; pale, lifted and fresh with citrus flavours and a vibrant acid backbone. You could happily quaff a few glasses of this on its own but to be seen at its best it should be paired with some grilled garlicky prawns. $18.    

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Golden Grove Estate 2018 Nero d'Avola

It has taken a while, but the wineries of the Granite Belt in Queensland (freezing in winter, warm in summer) are starting to produce wines with a wow! factor. This is a case in point, made by Ray Costanzo at Golden Grove Estate in Ballandean. Its is a modern take on the ancient Sicilian grape Nero d'Avola, with bright red fruits on both nose and palate. Naturally fermented, this has oodles of soft, sweet fruit, but is also impressively poised with the fruit combining impressively with fine-grained French oak. This a pleasure to drink and would work a treat with Italian meatballs in tomato sauce. $30.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Margan 2018 Ceres Hill Semillon

What a stunning semillon, estate-grown and estate-made by Andrew Margan and his team at Broke in the Hunter Valley - semillon central. This is released later than most other Hunter semillons, losing its aggressive acid edge but retaining some delightful lemon/grapefruit flavours, It is made from vines that are now over 30 years old and are producing impressive fruit intensity. This is delightfully aromatic with citrus notes and vibrant minerality. It is crisp, refreshing, and very, very moreish. We paired this with Thai chicken and cashes and it proved an excellent combination. $35.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Hurley Vineyard 2017 Garamond Pinot Noir

I think this individual vineyard pinot from Hurley Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula is my favourite pinot of the year so far. Made entirely from fruit grown on a tiny three-acre vineyard, it is a wine of poise and panache, a tribute to the great wines of Burgundy. It is appealingly perfumed, with power allied to charm; a rare combination. Matured in French oak casks for 20 months, unfined and unflitered, this is a savoury and delicious - and comes in individually numbered bottles. Superbly stylish. $72. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

10X 2018 Chardonnay

10X is the entry level range for 10 Minutes by Tractor, one of the star wine producers on the Mornington Peninsula. This is a classic cool-climate chardonnay without an extravagant price. You'll find all the traditional varietal characters; citrus and white stone fruit, bright acidity and zingy minerality but with a solid backbone structure. Lightly toasted oak, just 20% new, plays a solid but unobtrusive support role in a wine that is impressively chilled. We are fortunate to be able to buy wine of such quality for $30.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Zema Estate 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

How good is this? A delightful new-release cabernet from one of the best producers in Coonawarra that hits the market just as it is hitting its peak. The Zema family are committed to quality across their range, but this offers superb value for a quintessential Coonawarra cabernet with juicy dark berry and fruit characters, an enticing softness on the palate with some French oak making a guest appearance without stealing the show. Complex, beautifully balanced and ridiculously easy to drink. Cellar if you must but it is damn good right now. $30.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Nepenthe Pinnacle 2018 Gruner Veltliner

Gruner Veltliner is an Austrian white wine grape that is rapidly finding favour in Australia and has been adopted as a project by several wineries in the cool Adelaide Hills. From a vineyard in Hahndorf, this is the first "pinnacle" release from Nepenthe. It is a crisp, vibrant yet pleasingly textural single-vineyard wine with floral elements, white spice but mainly crisp, lively fruit flavours with plenty of length. It was fermented in big format oak and matured in oak for four weeks but this is all about the quality fruit. Pair with pan-fried scallops. $32.