Monday, June 23, 2014

Peter Lehmann H&V 2014 Verdejo

Verdejo (not to be confused with the Portuguese grape verdelho) is a white grape variety that has long been grown in the Rueda district of Spain. The grape originated in North Africa and was introduced to Spain in the 11th century. There have been very few verdejos in Australia to date, although Trentham Estate released a fine example in 2013. Verdejo thrives on sandy, well-drained soils and is grown by the Peter Lehmann group at Vine Vale. I believe the variety has a huge future here, much preferring it to other alternative white varieties like arneis and fiano. This is a stylish effort with tight structure, bright citrus and stone fruit notes and a very dry finish with some refreshing acid. A wine for enjoying well-chilled in its youth. $22. www.peterlehmannwines.com. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hewitson The Mother Vine 2012 Shiraz

Dean Hewitson can always be relied upon to produce wines full of interest and appeal - and this one has a great story behind it. The reason I'm recommending it, however, is its sheer drinkability. I taste tested it alongside several other very good shirazes, and this is the wine that accompanied our veal cutlets, and the bottle that ended up empty. It is made in tiny amounts from a "s√©lection clonale" from just one ancient shiraz vine planted in 1853. Back in 2008 Hewitson harvested the buds from the old vine and grafted them onto existing 25 year-old roots at Dorrien in the Barossa Valley. He now has a single vineyard, 0.8 hectares in size, all from the one mother vine. The fruit is matured for 20 months in new and seasoned French oak barriques and the end result is a wine of impeccable balance. $50. www.hewitson.com.au/

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Raidis Estate 2013 The Kid Riesling

If you are looking for top Australian riesling then the Clare and Eden valleys would be your first port of call, maybe followed by the Great Southern in Western Australia and Tasmania. Coonawarra would be a fair way down the list, but Wynns Coonawarra Estate has always produced a fine riesling and this is a very impressive offering from passionate young couple Steven and Emma Raidis, who are making some very good Coonawarra wines at reasonable prices. This is fresh and zesty, floral on the nose with stone fruit and citrus on the palate, varietal, and very food friendly, Chill it, pair with some pan-fried flathead fillets, and you will have a veritable feast on your hands. $20. www.raidis.com.au.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dawson & James 2011 Pinot Noir

This is just the second Tasmanian pinot noir release from wine industry veterans Peter Dawson and Tim James, who have well over 60 years of combined experience and source their fruit from the Ellis family's outstanding Meadowbank vineyard at Glenora in the Derwent Valley. Their project to produce fine Tasmanian wines won instant acclaim with the debut 2010 releases and this is an outstanding follow-up from a 2011 vintage on the Apple Isle that was nowhere near as problematic as on the mainland. This is a pinot for sipping and savouring; beautifully balanced thanks to judicious oak selection with bright fruit, complexity and depth of flavour, $58. www.dawssonjames.com.au.