Monday, January 28, 2013

Swinging Bridge 2011 Reserve Chardonnay

The wines from Swinging Bridge, which sources fruit from both Orange and the Central Ranges, are invariably offer both high quality and good value - but this is one of the best I've seen, a cracking, thoroughly modern Orange limited-release chardonnay (in provenance, not colour) that more than held its own alongside a Chablis from a very reputable producer. The elegance and balance underline the quality cool-climate fruit used in a wine that has beautiful texture with hints of citrus, stone fruit and minerality, along with restrained oak that plays a judicious support role. Lovely stuff. $32. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

La Prova 2012 Aglianico Rosato

La Prova is the name of a new range of wines from Adelaide Hills winemaker Sam Scott. The label means the trial, or experiment, and the range features Italian grape varieties. I was very impressed by both the pinot grigio and this pale rosé made from aglianico grapes. It doesn't pay to be colourist when it comes to either rosé or pinot noir; some of the palest wines are the most textural and savoury. Such is the case here, with this plump, tangy and dry number that went brilliantly with some Lebanese dishes. $23.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Soumah 2012 Yarra Valley Savarro

Soumah is a funky new producer based at Gruyere in the Yarra Valley (the name stands for South of the Maroondah Highway). This is its third release of savarro, the rather peculiar name it chose for its savagnin after it turned out that what Australians thought were albarino grapes were not (a long and complicated story). Fortunately there is nothing either funky, or peculiar, about the wine, which is made in the style of Northern Italian pinot grigio; fresh, crisp and clean and ideal for drinking young - and appropriate as savagnin dates back 10 centuries to the Alto Adige region, where pinot grigio also thrives. As Australians increasingly look for alternative grape varieties, I suspect this will be extremely popular - and most punters won't give a damn that there is no such grape as savarro. To cut a long story short, I very much like the citrus and gentle spice notes of this unwooded wine and recommend drinking it chilled. Lots of it. $26.