The Mulligan family has been farming in the Penola region for over a century and Barry and Glenys Mulligan planted grapes on their St Mary's property, 15 kilometres out of town, in 1986. Unfortunately when the boundaries for Coonawarra were re-defined a few years back, their land was ruled to be outside the Coonawarra appellation despite being on a limestone ridge covered in the classic terra rossa soil. The wines are thus labelled Limestone Coast but are quintessentially Coonawarra in character. An old style, but delicious, wine made using open vat ferments, hand plunging and a basket press, this is a wonderfully atmospheric red that has a real sense of place. You'll find both power and finesse here - along with immediate drinkability. Lovely stuff. $30. www.stmaryswines.com.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Stephen Pannell has an impeccable winemaking pedigree. A member of the family that founded Moss Wood, he's worked for Wirra Wirra and BRL Hardy among others as well as doing vintages in Burgundy, Bordeaux and Barolo. He's a winemaker whose counsel others in the industry actively seek out. He makes superb high-end grenache, nebbiolo and shiraz but this wine is noteworthy because it is so slurpable, so immediately appealing and so ridiculously drinkable that it is hard to resist. A blend of two Iberian Peninsula grape varieties, it leaps out of the glass with its positivity. If you like wines that reflect juicy, concentrated fruit rather than serious structure then I guarantee that you'll love this wine. Pair it with a barbecue, a burger or just a night in front of the TV. A lusty, luscious red from the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. $25. www.scpannell.com.au
Saturday, August 10, 2013
With many of their their wines named after popular rock songs, Claymore Wines in the Clare Valley run the risk of having their vinous output labelled as curios or oddities. The fact is the wines themselves are very good and have no need of such gimmicks. The standout right now is this new-release 2013 riesling - a classic Clare offering at a very down-to-earth price. With grapefruit and lemon zest aromas, this is all about delicate lemon and lime juice flavours on the palate and crisp, zingy acidity. It's long, it's cool and very drinkable - I'd match it with pan-fried flathead fillets, but it would also be great as after-work refresher. Lovely stuff. $18-20. www.claymorewines.com.au.
Friday, August 2, 2013
There are so many great Australian chardonnays out there in the marketplace right now; with a smorgasbord of styles to choose from. Cannibal Creek Vineyard, in the foothills of the Black Snake Ranges in the West Gippsland, may not have the kudos of the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula, but what's in the bottle is a damn fine. There is some nutty oaky goodness on the nose but the palate is all about elegance and balance with 30% new oak impressively integrated and adding structure rather than overt flavours. There's a lovely minerally linearity, sensible restrain (just 13% alcohol) but most of all a refreshing drinkability to this wine. Quite lovely and well worth $28. www.cannibalcreek.com.au.