Sunday, March 17, 2013

Briar Ridge 2012 Trio

For those days when you just want a wine that is cool, clean, crisp and refreshing, I give you the Briar Ridge Trio; a blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon and chardonnay from the Hunter Valley and Orange regions of New South Wales. Unwooded and weighing in at a modest 12% alcohol, this is not a wine that encourages contemplation or evokes images of terroir. It is what it is, a very enjoyable drink that demands nothing of the imbiber other than pleasure. It's a light, earlier drinking style in which all the elements have gelled brilliantly. $18.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Caillard 2011 Mataro

Clever chap, Andrew Caillard. He's a master of wine, auctioneer, author and all-round wine boffin. He not only made this lovely wine in conjunction with family members, he also painted the pretty picture for the label. I tasted this alongside several far more expensive premium reds and it shone with its super dark fruit complexity. “Exquisite” was my one word tasting note. It is a triumph from a very difficult vintage in the Barossa; spicy, supple, briary, tangy and very drinkable. One to seek out - and a terrific partner for a traditional roast lamb en croute. $44.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Topper's Mountain 2012 Gewurztraminer

Remote Tingha in rural New England, northern New South Wales, may seem an unlikely source of top-notch gewurztraminer but the world of wine is full of surprises and this was a pleasant one. This has much in common with its Alsace counterparts; it has the telltale musky and Turkish delight bouquet and flavours, smoothness and silkiness on the palate and a refreshingly fresh palate with lashings of spice lychee notes and tingly acid. The alcohol level is just 12.6% and this would be just lovely with some sauerkraut, or - alternatively - some fiery Asian stir-fry dishes. $35.