Sunday, October 29, 2017

La Prova 2016 Pinot Nero

Sam Scott is producing some excellent wines under his La Prova label, and this is a pinot noir with a vague Italian accent that shines at its very moderate price point. Made from Adelaide Hills fruit, it has been hand-picked, wild fermented with 35% whole bunch material, unfined and unfiltered. Hands-off, you might say. There is some sweet cherry fruit here, hints of forest floor and some appealing charcuterie notes (maybe salami as this is pinot nero). The end result is serious, but delightfully easy to drink. Pair with old-fashioned roast chook and some mushroom risotto.   

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Oliver's Taranga 2017 Chica Mencia Rosé

Mencia is one of the intriguing red wine grapes of Spain; planted mainly in the north-west of the country. It has characteristics in common with cabernet franc, often producing appealing lighter reds. There has been a revival of interest in the grape in recent years and it has also found a happy home in sunny McLaren Vale, where Oliver's Taranga were the first Australian winery to plant mencia. Here it is used in a fresh and dry small batch rosé that's full of spunky savoury notes and would pair brilliantly with a cheese and charcuterie platter. Winemaker Corinna Wright also makes a "joven" style red made from mencia that's designed for early drinking. $25.   

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Alkoomi White Label 2017 Semillon Suvignon Blanc

A batch of new releases from Frankland River winery Alkoomi arrived together, so I tasted them in a block. The 2017 riesling was very good, the chardonnay impressive, the sauvignon blanc excellent and this traditional West Australian blend topped the lot. All four wines are ridiculously good value given the RRP of $15 a bottle. You don't get a lot for that nowadays. A 68-32% blend, this is a terrific summer quaffer with bright fruit and plenty of palate length. Sessionable, too with lemon zest and nectarine flavours to the fore and lime sherbet notes on the finish. Well worth 90/100 and investing in a case for the warmer months ahead. $15.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Katnook Founder's Block 2015 Shiraz

Coonawarra, and Katnook Estate in particular, is better known for cabernet sauvignon than shiraz, but this shone brightly in a blind tasting alongside some more expensive, and more fashionable, cooler-climate shirazes. The truth is shiraz can often out-rate cabernet on the Limestone Coast and this is a prime example with fresh dark berry fruits to the fore with liquorice and subtle pepper playing solid support roles along with classy French oak. This is a wine that is affordable enough for everyday drinking but boasts terrific palate structure. Warm and generous, but in perfect balance, this easy to drink, even easier to enjoy. A solid 92/100. $20.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tim Adams 2017 Clare Valley Riesling

I have been accused of reviewing too many rieslings, to which I can only plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the court, your honour. Young, fresh, vibrant rieslings are among my favourite wine styles; and they don't come much more impressive than the 2017 Clare Valley releases which are uniformly stylish and offer superb value. Clare rieslings are best enjoyed while young, or after being given several years of bottle age. This one is a good each way bet if you can restrain yourself right now. From one of the region's leading producers, it has vibrant citrus fruit characters and strict acidity. Only free-run juice was used to ensure fruit intensity. Enjoy a glass or two after work, well chilled, or pair it with just about any seafood dish. Delish. $22.