Friday, October 24, 2014

Billy Button 2014 "The Versatile" Vermentino

Billy Button is the brand new label from talented former Boyntons Feathertop winemaker Jo Marsh, who is based in Victoria's chilly Alpine Valleys - with a cellar door in Bright. Her first releases have a definite Italian accent; vermentino, verduzzo and friulano, alongside a cracking riesling made using fruit sourced from the nearby King Valley. All rated 90+ with the vermentino and riesling my favourites, each scoring 94/100. This take on a Sardinian white grape variety that's taking Australia by storm is both lively and textural; dry and extremely food friendly. Well worth seeking out. By the way, Billy Buttons are the native daisies that you find on the mountain ranges over summer. $25.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Maxwell of McLaren Vale 2013 Four Roads Old Vine Grenache

It had been some time since I tasted the wines from Maxwell Wines in McLaren Vale, and the quality across the board came as something of a revelation. The wines are not short of flavour or structure but come with a deft touch, lacking the brute force of the some of their local siblings. I particularly enjoyed this premium grenache, which offers excellent value for money. There is bright jubey fruit intensity (think dark cherry and ripe raspberry) from 80+ year old vines, but also some earthiness and well-integrated French oak. There is plenty of length and depth here, but also immediate drinking appeal. Excellent buying for medium-term consumption. $24.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pikes 2014 Traditionale Riesling

This is the 30th anniversary release of a Clare Valley icon - a wine that has been relentless in its excellence for many years. The Pikes make a classic Clare style; powdery and floral on the nose with Granny Smith apple notes; crisp, dry and refreshing on the palate with brisk citrus notes, bright acid and river pebble notes/zingy minerality. Lean and clean with just 11% alcohol, this is absolutely brilliant in its youth and can be a "go to" wine for summer enjoyment. A lot of experts will tell you to cellar this, but for me it is just too delicious in its youth to bother waiting for development. I'll give it 96 points.