Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Louee 2010 Nullo Mountain Pinot Grigio

The fruit for the wines under this label is grown in the wilds of Nullo Mountain outside of Rylstone in Central Western New South Wales on a vineyard that sits at an altitude of 1100 metres above sea level and has a unique terroir. Louee winemaker David Lowe says he’s aiming to reproduce wines in the same style as rieslings from the 1970s; low in alcohol with fresh acidity and ageing potential. This may be a pinot grigio but it has the same clarity and natural acidity as many good rieslings and has been picked at just 11% alcohol. Quince and pear aromas and flavours dominate and the finish is decidely crisp and dry. Stunningly good. $25.

K1 by Geoff Hardy 2008 Chardonnay

I'm overwhelmed by the number of quality chardonnays that cross my desk each week. The new ABC rule should be "Always Buy Chardonnay" given the excellence across the board of recent vintages. Nonetheless, this Adelaide Hills wine stands out from the pack; a cool-climate wine of style and finesse with aromatic attributes leading onto a pure palate in which crispness and linearity are more evident than the French oak and malolactic fermentation. Fresh green apples and citrus are dominant aromas with savoury, brioche notes aiding and abetting the bright fruit and clean acid finish. $35.

Friday, March 11, 2011

1er Yarra Valley 2009 Chardonnay

A classic cool-climate chardonnay in the modern Australian style from winemaker Franco d'Anna of Hoddles Creek fame. The label suggests a homage to Burgundy and while this wine is determinedly Australian in many ways, it certainly has echoes of Chassagne-Montrachet, too. It's a modern wine with a complex but appealing bouquet leading to white stone-fruit and citrus notes, length, intensity and purity. Lively minerality leads the way on the palate with oak playing very much a support role. This is, quite simply, a delicious chardonnay with beautiful balance. If I'd have had a second bottle on hand I have no doubt I would have finished that as well. $35.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Elefante 2009 Tempranillo Shiraz

Spain (and neighboring Portugal for that matter) is producing some terrific wines that fly under the mainstream radar. This is a thoroughly modern red blend from the Castilla region with lots of smart, bright fruit and some impressive earthiness as well. It's a ripe, full-bodied wine that has some appealling berry flavours tempered by good tannin structure. The label is as bold as the contents of the bottle and what is amazing is the price: at $12.99 this puts a lot of domestic reds to shame.