Sunday, January 29, 2012

Curly Flat 2009 Chardonnay

Wow! This is an extraordinarily impressive chardonnay from Philip Moraghan's outstanding vineyard site in Victoria's Macedon Ranges - one of the coolest in the country. I left this for a few months after release and tasted it against some Premier League domestic rivals and it was a clearcut winner in top-class company. It's a lovely wine with just 13% alcohol by volume and has some stone fruit and nutty characters counterbalanced by brisk citrus. Comparisons are odious, but this is certainly Burgundian in style, crisp but at the same time supple with a beguiling complexity. Pair it with roast pork. $48.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crittenden Estate Los Hermanos 2011 Saludo al Txakoli

Rollo and Zoe Crittenden from Crittenden Estate are having a lot of fun with their range of Los Hermanos "The Siblings" wines that focus on the various styles of the Iberian Peninsula. Made from petit manseng grapes grown in the high country of the King Valley in Victoria, this wine doffs its cap to the Txakoli wines of the Spanish Basque region, which are often enjoyed late at night with snacks known as "pintxos". This is a very different style for Australian drinkers, a spritzy but savoury dryish white that is a beautiful food match with anything from gazpacho to anchovies. It's also a great lunchtime wine with just 11.5% alcohol. Try it with tapas. $25.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bay of Fires 2010 Pinot Noir

It is easy to see why this pinot noir from the Tamar Valley in Tasmania does so well in wine shows. It's a beautifully put together wine, aromatic, without a hair out of place - the Barbie doll of pinots, certain to be admired on all occasions. It's a wine with both poise and elegance, using top-notch fruit from around the state. Whole bunch pressing has added complexity and oak integration is spot on. You'll find sweet red berry fruit characters and dark cherry on the palate, some intriguing spice notes and some supple tannins. I just wish it had ruffled its hair a little, but that is nitpicking given the quality and drinkability. $40.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Domaine Begude 2010 Terroir 11300 Chardonnay

Here is a wine for lovers of Chablis who cannot always afford their passion. Made by James and Katherine Kinglake in the beautiful Aude Valley between Carcassonne and Limoux, it has all the steely minerality you would associate with Chablis, along with crisp citrus, some honeyed stone fruit and great length. The award-winning vineyard has been organically farmed for the last 30 years and wine has been produced on the estate since the 16th century. The name reflects the local postcode. None of which would mean a jot if the wine wasn't so darn good. I love the intensity, the texture, the structure, the brightness and the fact it is just so refreshing. Just lovely. $27. Imported by Marcus Gniel from Ce Soir Wines.