Friday, September 29, 2023

Hutton Vale 2019 Shiraz


The Angas family has been farming at Hutton Vale, in the heights of South Australia's Eden Valley, for seven generations, dating back to 1843. Their vineyard is adjacent to those of the Henschke family and has consistently produced excellent fruit. Made by consultant Kym Teusner, this is bold, but balanced and just edging into its drinking zone. A 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, released at the same time, is equally impressive. The shiraz spent two years in new (30%) and seasoned French oak hogsheads prior to racking and blending. While this is rich and sumptuous right now, careful cellaring will undoubtedly pay dividends. Pair with a lamb casserole or tajine for maximum pleasure. $75.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Chandon 2017 Vintage Blanc de Blancs


No matter what style of sparkling wine you prefer, the Chandon range will deliver. This one found particular favour with my wife, a lover of blanc de blanc styles, and while this has spent five years on lees, the driving force is still the fresh, citrusy chardonnay fruit from the cool Whitlands region in north-east Victoria. This is blended with parcels from the Macedon Ranges and Yarra Valley to produce a delightful aperitif style characterised by grapefruit and lime zinginess, allied to plenty of persistence and length. Winemaker Dan Buckle suggests pairing with sushi and sashimi. $48.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Longview 2023 Queenie Pinot Grigio


This is a quintessential summer wine with its lively fruit flavours and brisk acid finish. Fair and square on the grigio side of the Pinot G spectrum, it is designed for immediate enjoyment with either seafood or poultry dishes. We paired it with spicy fishcakes. The fruit comes from the Saturno family vineyard in Macclesfield in the Adelaide Hills, where the cool climate favours the bright, crunchy and high acid grigio style. Disturbingly drinkable and best enjoyed chilled before quaffing. $23.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Clandestine Vineyards Break Free 2023 Petite Blancs

Here is a little gem for adventurous wine drinkers; a most unusual blend that certainly hits the target for enjoying well chilled on warmer days. The Petite Blancs is largely made from Swan Valley chenin blanc that is stabilised in stainless steel with Margaret River chardonnay and Frankland River gewurztraminer skins before being fermented using natural yeasts. The end result is just a little funky, just a tad spicy, with hints of floral aromatics and some delightful vivacity on the palate. It ticks a whole lot of hipster boxes and is vegan friendly with minimal additives and no fining or filtering, but for me the main appeal is its plaintive "drink another glass" message. This would go well with Asian dishes, light lunches or early suppers. $38.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Curly Flat 2022 Chardonnay

For over 30 years now, Macedon Ranges icon Curly Flat has been producing outstanding pinot noirs. The quality of those wines tends to overshadow some equally excellent wines made from other grape varieties, like this terrific new-release chardonnay. This wine is all about purity. Served chilled it has the same palate impact as drinking from an icy stream. Estate grown, made and bottled, this is a model of cool-climate intensity with grapefruit and nectarine notes enlivened by wild yeasts and lees stirring. Malolactic fermentation adds interest, too, and the wine has terrific length and texture after 14 months in quality oak. Pair this with a banh me roll, or a traditional pork roast. Lovely stuff. I took a sneak peek as this will be released on November 1. Get on the mailing list. $50 at cellar door.