Thursday, March 30, 2023

Clandestine Vineyards 2022 Pinot Grigio


What a great all-purpose white wine for enjoying over whatever sunny days remain this season. Vibrant and refreshing, this made from grapes grown at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills and to my palate is very much on the grigio side of the spectrum, with just a hint of gris texture; which adds interest but does not detract from the basic refreshing nature of the wine. Unwooded with aromatic notes and bright acid on the finish this is made for Nick and Trudy Stacy by consultant winemaker Ben Riggs, who has shown a deft touch with fruit that was picked in two batches, one early and one at full ripeness. Pair this very well priced wine with a Vietnamese glass noodle salad with spicy chicken and herbs. $25.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Centare 2021 Old Block Chardonnay

Centare Vineyard - previously known as Coranderrk Estate - had somehow flown under my radar until recently. This excellent Yarra Valley chardonnay made me sit up and take notice, however, and it was no surprise to discover the wine was the work of excellent winemaker Nicole Esdaile. If Burgundy floats your boat then you will very much enjoy this sassy but elegant chardonnay which has tremendous drive and poise with bright, fresh acid and classic cool-climate chardonnay flavours. Wild fermented and matured in oak puncheons and with 20% having undergone malo, this is the product of a very good vintage. Ripe, but impressively balanced with citrus, stone fruit and brioche notes in harmony, this marks Centare as a label to watch. $70.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Alamos 2021 Torrontes


Torrontes is the signature white grape of Argentina, but rarely grown anywhere else on the globe. It thrives in the high-altitude, cooler region of Salta, which is where the fruit for this wine has been sourced by leading producers the Catena family. If you like your white wines bursting with youthful flavours and bright, zesty acid then this will be a very nice surprise. Fragrant and crisp, it would pair brilliantly with spicy dishes, maybe a Cajun pan-fried fish or some prawn tacos. Terrific drinking now, and probably best enjoyed within a year or two of release. Around $20. Imported by Negociants.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Port Phillip Estate 2022 Essay


Love the crispness and freshness of this gamay from Port Phillip Estate and outgoing winemaker Glen Hayley, who will be sorely missed. Port Phillip Estate normally only uses estate-grown fruit, but this is a one-off exception to that rule. The grapes were sourced from David Lloyd - a pioneer of the grape variety on the Mornington Peninsula - before he sold up and moved to Tasmania. The wine was made in very small quantities using whole bunch, French oak and malo. You could easily chill this for a few minutes on a warm day, or just enjoy its tangy, bright fruit at room temperature. Its red fruit drive paired well with a chicken and mushroom pie, $44 at cellar door.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Gundog Estate 2022 Indomitus Rosa

Matt Burton produces several excellent ranges of small-batch wines from the Hunter Valley, Canberra and Hilltops regions, specialising in different styles, particularly shiraz and semilon. This is an excellent wild fermented rosé made from nebbiolo and sangiovese grapes grown in the Hilltops of New South Wales. Tasted blind you'd swear it was the product of a hip young European producer. Pressed after 12 hours on skins, juice is then fermented cloudy with naturally occurring yeast in old oak puncheons. The wine then spends several months on skins, developing texture and palate appeal. There is a whole lot happening here - all of it good. Pair with some Lebanese dishes for maximum impact. $45.