Sunday, January 23, 2011

Clonakilla 2009 Hilltops Shiraz

Clonakilla is a family winery, established in 1971 at Murrumbateman, outside Canberra. Winemaker Tim Kirk is the man who put shiraz viognier blends on the map in Australia and his success with that combination sometimes tends to overshadow the other wines in an impressive portfolio; like a terrific 2010 riesling and this comparative bargain basement red made from fruit grown in the Hilltops region outside Young, which is producing some stunning shiraz grapes. This is a generously proportioned wine with plenty of richness and flavour (dark plums, currants and spice) but also with nicely balanced cedary oak, some elegance and definite aging potential. $30.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ten Minutes by Tractor 2008 Wallis Vineyard Chardonnay

One of the very best chardonnays I’ve tasted over the past 12 months, this is a wonderful cool-climate wine from the Mornington Peninsula; lean and stylish, elegant like a catalogue model but with enough meat on its bones. The bouquet tells the story with grapefruit, minerality and a hint of funk. The palate is elegant and poised, with beautifully focussed citrus fruit flavours, crunchy acidity and impressively layered texture. Oak is a mere bit player. This is a wine for supping and savouring – and it is superb with roast pork dishes. $55.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lark Hill 2010 Gruner Veltliner

And now for something completely different. Gruner Veltliner is the workhorse white grape of Austria, producing wines that range from vibrant everyday quaffers to textural wines of real complexity. It's a relatively new variety in Australia although Hahndorf Hill in the Adelaide Hills and Lark Hill at Bundgendore outside Canberra are leading the charge impressively. This is quite a spicy, peppery white wine, maybe midway between riesling and chardonnay in terms of fruit profile and texture with green apple, generous tropical fruit salad flavours, figgy, with some bright, zingy acid along with the spice and talcum elements. Very appealing. $45.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mitolo 2010 Jester Sangiovese Rosé

The rosé revolution is in full swing this summer thanks to wonderful savoury and dry wines like this brilliant little offering from a reliably good McLaren Vale producer. This has nothing at all in common with the fairyfloss/bubblegum rosés of the past - it's a serious drink in its own right; pale pink in colour with raspberries and cream flavours alongside hints of spice and earthiness. This is made from sangiovese, a variety which produces stunning rosés, and is nicely balanced with just 13.5% alcohol. Grab a bottle and join the revolution. $24.