Friday, November 26, 2010

Nepenthe 2010 Altitude Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris

There is a good reason for the ballooning popularity of pinot gris - it is a pretty handy style of wine for enjoying chilled on a warm summer afternoon. Adelaide Hills winery Nepenthe has been making pinot gris since 1998 - putting it way ahead of the curve - and has a keen handle on how to make the best of the variety. Around 20% of the fruit for this wine was barrel fermented, adding texture and complexity, but it remains fruit-driven with gorgeous aromatics, nashi pear and crisp green appple flavours and nice zingy acidity on the palate. This was the champion pinot gris at National Cool Climate Wine Show - and offers great value with an RRP of $19.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chapel Hill 2008 The Chosen House Block Shiraz

Here's a wine for lovers of powerful, expressive reds that speak of their terroir. Michael Fragos and the Chapel Hill team from McLaren Vale have come up with an absolute ripper with a lot happening on the palate; which has intense dark berry fruits, powerful (but not intrusive) oak, mocha and chocolate and a hint of toffee. It's a well-balanced, mouthfilling wine with excellent tannin structure. One for the long haul but approachable now. An excellent partner for roast lamb en croute. $50.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Taylors Promised Land 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

You’ve got to love a cabernet that ticks all the quality boxes but retails for under $15. This budget offering from family-owned Taylors offers drikability with a capital D. It’s vibrant and juicy, designed to be enjoyed in its youth, but also has plenty of complexity with dark cassis fruit flavours, hints of mocha and savoury oak in perfect balance. A blend of fruit from Padthaway and the Clare Valley it weighs in at just 13.5% alcohol and would be an ideal wine to have on hand when friends drop around for barbecue. $14.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Capital Wines 2010 The Abstainer Rosé

Talk to many people in the wine industry and they'll tell you the rosé revolution is on the way. It's been coming for a couple of years now with an increasing number of producers opting to make savoury, dry rosés rather than the liquid fairy floss that used to abound. There can hardly be a more appropriate style of wine for an Australian summer day than this delightfully refreshing number from a rising star winery in the Canberra region. Fresh and crisp, this has definite berries and cream character with a hint of fresh herbs. A really lovely wine for enjoying chilled with a picnic, sushi or Middle Eastern cuisine. $18.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hurley Vineyard 2008 Hommage Pinot Noir

Hurley Vineyard is the hobby/passion of Victorian Supreme Court judge Kevin Bell and his lawyer partner Tricia Byrnes - but they make wines with so much personality and light and shade that they put many much bigger producers to shame. Their Mornington Peninsula wines - and they only make three pinots in tiny quantities - are what I often choose to drink when I am supping, not spitting. This is a very pale looking wine, but it doesn't pay to be colourist, because this is absolutely stunning. Beautiful aromas lead on to spice, silkines, structure, ripe fruit and fine tannins. My bottle was empty after what seemed like just a couple of sips - always a compelling argument that you have just enjoyed something special. $50.