Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thompson Estate 2012 SSB

Thompson Estate is a small family-owned operation in Margaret River located right next door to regional pioneer Vasse Felix. Former Leeuwin Estate winemaker Bob Cartwright makes the wines and he's hit a home run with this delicious 60-40 semillon sauvignon blanc blend that has undergone partial barrel fermentation in French oak barriques to add mouthfeel and complexity.  There is nothing oaky about this at at all, however. It is fresh and crisp and delightfully balanced with nice interplay on the palate between tropical fruit and citrus notes. Delicious drinking. $30.   

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shadowfax 2012 Minnow

Close your eyes and you could easily believe you were drinking some delightfully rustic red from the south-west of France. It's actually made from fruit grown at Werribee, midway between Melbourne and Geelong, and is a blend of carignan, grenache, cinsault and mataro fruit with bright red fruit notes, some delicatessen savouriness, considerable lightness of being and plenty of zingy acid on the finish. It's food friendly, weighs in at just 13% alcohol and is extremely drinkable. Unusual but very attractive in a light/spicy way. I like this a lot. $28. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Paringa Estate 2009 The Paringa Pinot Noir

Made from small quantities of the best fruit possible from Paringa Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, and only made in years when wine quality reaches a required level of excellence, the Paringa is the flagship of Lindsay McCall's range of much-lauded pinots. It's a wine on the more macho side of the pinot spectrum with 14% alcohol and spice and dark cherry on the nose, leading to ripe dark fruit and savoury undertones on a palate that boasts extremely impressive architecture and tremendous length. This is full on, even at four years of age, and I'd recommend giving it another three or four years in the cellar to enjoy at its best. $90.    

Monday, June 10, 2013

De Bortoli 2012 Vat 7 Chardonnay

There is some remarkable value to be found among Riverina producers nowadays and this chardonnay; a blend of fruit from Yenda, the King Valley and the Yarra Valley is a prime example. A thoroughly modern chardonnay that has spent 10 months in older oak, it is a nicely composed  fruit-driven style with both structure and some creamy texture (thanks to battonage in the winery) along with stone-fruit flavour and some impressively brisk acid on the finish. Early picked fruit and some clever winemaking make this a much better bet than its modest price tag would indicate. Check it out. $12


Monday, June 3, 2013

Patritti 2012 Adelaide Hills Arneis

Patritti is a family winemaking operation established in 1926 with what is now a massive range. The Patritti winery is in Dover Gardens and has been swallowed up by Adelaide suburbia but fruit is sourced from several South Australian regions with the family vineyards in McLaren Vale. This vibrant little Adelaide Hills arneis (a northern Italian grape) has to be one of the best wine bargains around right now. It is elegant with plenty of freshness and length - and extremely food friendly. It has amazingly impressive architecture for a wine that retails for just $14. Yes, you read that right. $14.