Monday, July 26, 2010

Fraser Gallop 2009 Chardonnay

What an exceptional wine this is for the price. Winemakers Clive Otto and Kate Morgan have used all the tricks in the book; barrel fermentation, wild yeast, time on lees and battonage, but the high quality fruit also shines through. This is a complex but elegant wine - always a difficult trick to pull off. It's beautifully structured and well balanced, with flinty minerality, citrus elements and nuttiness all coming together in a most appealing package. A class act, quite Burgundian in style, and a fabulous food wine. $30.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Zonte's Footstep 2009 Lady of the Lake Viognier

The team behind Langhorne Creek winery Zonte's Footstep are not afraid to push the boundaries and they've come up with a winner here; one of Australia's most appealing viogniers for well under 20 bucks. Along with the customary apricot characters of viognier you'll also discover flavours of citrus peel, juicy pear and nectarine and Asian spice, some crisp acidity and plenty of oomph. This wine is anything but shy but it does offer that great intangible; drinkability. Pair it with anything from gnocchi to fish and chips. $18.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Domain Day 2009 ‘G’ Garganega

Robin Day was once chief winemaker for Orlando. Today he's downsized to a small vineyard at Mount Crawford, on the cool fringe of the Barossa, making "seriously good cool-climate wines" in boutique quantities. Day is experimenting with varieties like lagrein, saperavi and garganega, a white Italian grape that is used in the classic Italian wines from Soave. This is a distinctively dry white with plenty of palate intensity on the melon/white pear/straw side of the flavour spectrum. It's downright delicious. Don't expect any help from the back label, however. Day writes: "Years of writing descriptions for back labels have left me convinced that this energy is more gainfully employed in growing grapes and making wine." $20.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mitchell Harris 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Fumé

John Harris, formerly of Domaine Chandon and now the winemaker for Mount Avoca in the Pyrenees region of Victoria, also makes tiny parcels of wine under the Mitchell Harris label. There are only 100 cases of this beautifully textured wine, so you'll need to be quick off the mark if you wish to snap any up. Low in alcohol at 12%, this is a very modern Australian style of savvy blanc, made using wild yeast fermentation and oak maturation, it has restrained citrus and tropical fruit flavours but also excellent backbone and length. A wine for savouring. $19.95.