Friday, August 30, 2013

Champagne Thiénot NV Brut

This was one of the stars of a recent tasting of Champagnes from almost all the major producers - and a real surprise given it comes from a Champagne house that was only founded in 1985. It is part of the Alain Thiénot Group, owner of different brands such as Canard-Duchêne and Joseph Perrier. A blend of 45% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 20% pinot meunier, this has a delightful freshness to it; it was zingy without in any sense being lightweight. Imported into Australia by Halle Aux Vins in Melbourne, this is floral, lively and delicate in the Billecart-Salmon mould; a wine that's perfect for enjoying as an aperitif. $85.   

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mayer 2012 Granite Pinot Noir

Timo Mayer is a loveable, talented eccentric whose wine making is sometimes touched with genius. Best known for his work at Gembrook Hill, Mayer also releases small quantities of hand-crafted, single-vineyard wines (he has just 2.4 hectares under vine) under his own label. He doesn't do back labels, or barcodes and aims to "bring back the funk" to wine. This was one of a stunning array of 2012 pinots that shone ever so brightly at the Yarra Valley Wine Program earlier this week. It is a lovely bright and perfumed wine, like several of its 2012 Yarra counterparts. It is still a tad coltish but it is so full of youthful presence, charm and delicacy that it is almost impossible to resist. Made from fruit grown in the cooler Upper Yarra, this is precise and delicious. I'd snap some up before it sells out - if it hasn't already. $55.   

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Longview 2010 Yakka Shiraz

I'm a huge admirer of the efforts the Saturno brothers have put into their Adelaide Hills vineyards to produce top quality fruit. This a delightful cool-climate shiraz from a very good vintage. Dark and inky,  it boasts black fruit and white pepper on the nose, leading on to a melange of berry flavours,  black chocolate and coffee notes with rich but well-integrated toasty oak and impressive tannin architecture. The 18 months this wine spent in new and old French barriques has added complexity and interest and this will almost certainly cellar well for a decade or more while drinking very well right now. Supple and astutely restrained - a great match for a veal roast. $28.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chockstone 2012 Riesling

First of all, an admission. Not only had I never heard of the Chockstone label, I also knew nothing about A.T. Richardson, the producers, who are based at Great Western in the Grampians of Victoria. It turns out that until 2010 all of Adam Richardson's wines were exported to the US. Now they are available domestically, although in tiny quantities. Only 390 dozen cases of this riesling were made - but it is brilliant, and well worth seeking out. It's dry, but not not bone dry (six grams of residual sugar), taut and tight with citrus and slate notes alongside great acid. It really rocked my boat, and offers ridiculous value at just $22.