Monday, August 27, 2012

Domaine Begude 2011 Terroir 11300 Chardonnay

I loved the 2010 vintage of this import from near Limoux in the spectacular Aude region of southern France but the 2011 is, if anything, even more impressive with a tightrope balance between bright fruit flavours and elegance. On the second sip I wrote on Twitter that is was a wine that had "empty bottle" written all over it. And so it proved. It's made by British couple James and Katherine Kinglake and has the flinty notes and citrus you'd associate with Chablis, alongside some New World sweet fruit. it's a blend of mainly stainless steel-fermented fruit and some barrel fermented. The 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. Once again, the wine is imported into Australia by the canny Marcus Gniel of Ce Soir wines in Healesville. $25.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tapanappa 2010 Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

The latest Tapanappa pinot noir release from winemaking veteran Brian Croser's Foggy Hill Vineyard - a cool site at 350 metres above sea level on the Fleurieu Peninsula - is both exquisitely balanced and scarily Burgundian. It's a medium-bodied wine, concentrated, but with everything exquisitely in place. Matured in French oak barriques (30% new), it has dark cherry, brambly and savoury notes on the palate, some fleshy nuances despite 10% whole bunch input and plenty of length on the finish. It is the vinous equivalent of a supermodel at Cannes: cool, calm and collected. And, joy of joys, it is bottled under screw cap. $50.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oliver's Taranga Vineyard 2012 Small Batch Vermentino

Vermentino is starting shine in warmer Australian wine regions. The late-ripening Italian grape produces whites of vibrancy and freshness in good vintages - and this new release from Corrina Wright at McLaren Vale family winery Oliver's Taranga is among the best Australian vermentinos I've seen. Wright says 2012 was a cracking vintage all round in the Vale, but this  has an X-factor that gives it extra appeal. It may be light, crisp and refreshing, but it also has real interest on the palate. Buy a case for summer. $24.