This is only the second release of the Italian variety nebbiolo from Yarra Valley winery TarraWarra Estate but winemaker Clare Halloran and her team seem to have the variety nailed stylistically. Perfumed and delicately structured, this is a very good alternative to pinot noir or gamay for those who err to the lighter side of the red wine spectrum. This has an attractive rose garden bouquet leading on to bright red fruit notes and hints of Italian deli goods. There is some impressive architecture here along with the pretty fruit; it is a wine with lovely balance. Drink now with a charcuterie plate, or cellar confidently. $35. www.tarrawarra.com.au.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
The Howard Park label is a byword for world-class cabernet sauvignon from both Margaret River and the Great Southern at various price points. In 2016, the Leston vineyard in Margaret River just edged out the Scottsdale vineyard in the Great Southern, but it was a desperately close run race. The key to this wine's immense appeal is balance; there are ripe plum and berry flavours but cedary oak, mint and spice notes all play key roles in what is a complete package. There is plenty of length here, potential longevity, too, but most of all you get a whole lot of quality for your cash. $50. www.howardparkwines.com.au.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
American-born Gerald Naef makes a range of intriguing wines from his home (literally in his garage) winery in cool-climate Orange in Central Western New South Wales. I had his stellar 2016 Riesling ($25) ready to review before I came across this complex and beguiling 2015 chardonnay, which I preferred just a tad to its bigger reserve brother. Thanks to Orange's high elevation and volcanic soils you'll find all the classic chardonnay characters here; citrus, stone fruit, peaches and cream and hints of nutty oak. Naef says: “I don’t think there is another region in the world that necessarily produces better chardonnay than Orange, there are just stylistic differences." This is a perfect match for roast pork or chicken dishes and is swashbucklingly stylish. $35. www.patinawines.com.au.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Joch Bosworth and Louise Hemsley-Smith produce a range of wines with real personality under their Battle of Bosworth label, which highlights organic fruit and old-style wine-making techniques. The Heretic utilises Touriga Nacional and graciano, two Iberian grape varieties that would previously have been used in fortified wine production, blended with a little shiraz, McLaren Vale's local hero. This is a medium-bodied wine of immediate appeal; stylish with spice and oak hints but based on quality fruit picked early enough to retain all its vim and vigour. It pulls off the trick of being both a wine of substance, and elegance. I like this a lot - and it is extremely food friendly. $28. www.battleofbosworth.com.au.