Saturday, October 31, 2015

Vinaceous 2015 Impavido Vermentino

This is a quintessential summer wine; full of youthful vigour and vitality. Instant refreshment in a bottle. Winemaker Nick Stacy, whose eye-catching labels have helped build up a cult following, has sourced some excellent fruit from Mount Barker in Western Australia and produced an unwooded white for immediate enjoyment. This offers pristine fruit flavours with a steely minerally core. It is a very Australian take on vermentino; the white grape that is popular in Sardinia and increasingly in the south of France. Not a wine for provoking debate, it is rather a wine for quaffing and laughing and enjoying the sunshine. $22. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mount Horrocks 2015 Watervale Riesling

An absolutely stunning young riesling from consistently excellent Clare Valley winemaker Stephanie Toole, this outshone several more expensive rieslings in a recent tasting. It is made in a classic Watervale style, alive with all the joys of spring; floral on the nose, bursting with energy and driven by fresh citrus zest flavours, brisk minerality and crisp acidity. Pure as mountains stream, it is an estate-grown single-vineyard wine that is certified organic and weighs in at just 12.5% alcohol. I'd recommend snapping up a case for summer-long enjoyment. $33. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tulloch 2014 JYT Selection

Only made in outstanding years (this is just the fifth release since 2007), the JYT Selection represents the best of vintage from the Tullochs, regardless of variety or region. Although this is one of several shirazes from this family-owned and -operated Hunter Valley winery, the fruit on this occasion comes from two cooler-climate regions; the Hilltops outside Young and from Orange. This blend, named in honour family patriarch John Younie Tulloch, is just bursting with bright fruit flavours in its youth but winemaker Jay Tulloch asserts that "it can be cellared for many years". I really enjoyed the fresh red and black berry flavours and the lively natural acidity. For those looking for a Hunter wine, the 2014 Tulloch Pokolbin Dry Red Shiraz ($30) also stars. $40.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Valli Waitaki Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir

Giuseppe Valli, an Italian with a wine-making background, emigrated to New Zealand in the 1870s. Generations later his great grandsons Grant Taylor and and Tim Valli are making stunning wines from vineyards in north and central Otago. This is an absolutely gorgeous pinot noir from Waitaki, the new wine frontier in North Otago. It has complexity and power, savoury and sweet characters and a line of minerality. It's downright delicious and was my favourite of four Valli regional pinots, just edging out another cracker from Gibbston, ahead of Bannockburn and Bendigo, all which were impressive statements of terroir. With both concentration and balance, this is disarmingly easy to drink. It is imported by Negociants and I scored it 95 points. $70.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Giant Steps 2014 Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay

There are some stunning cool-climate chardonnays being produced in Australia right now - and this is up with the very best of them. The 2014 vintage was a tricky one in the Yarra Valley but Giant Steps winemaker Steve Flamsteed and his team overcame all to produce some brilliant offerings; most notably this luminous chardonnay made from fruit grown on label owner Phil Sexton's own vineyard. Flamsteed says the 2014 wines are "rare and very special and we think they are the most honest and exciting wines we have ever made."  From vineyards that are managed biodynamically, this has all the winemaking bells and whistles; partial whole bunch, indigenous ferment, malo, quality oak and no filtration. The end result is stunning; a complex, racy wine with brisk minerality and immediate appeal. I'll give it 95 points - and say it is cracking value. $45.