Saturday, July 27, 2013

Clonakilla 2013 Viognier Nouveau

This may well the best Australian viognier I've seen. There's no sign of that annoying canned apricot flavour/texture here. Instead you have a wine that is subtle, nuanced, fresh and delicious. Clonakilla winemaker Tim Kirk may be best known for adding a little viognier to his shiraz to create an Australian icon, but he's also a dab hand with the Rhone white variety as a stand-alone varietal. Fermented purely in stainless steel and bottled early, this is wine for enjoying slightly chilled in ts youth. Kirk describes it as having "heaps of flavour without heaviness". I could drink a bucket or two of this. $26.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Langmeil 2010 Orphan Bank Shiraz

Here's a wine for those who like their reds on bigger side of the spectrum; more bulldozer than go kart. Orphan Bank is a testament to Langmeil's commitment to preserving old and rare Barossa vineyards. Ten rows of shiraz planted pre-1860 were saved from a developer's clutches and replanted alongside the original Langmeil vineyard on the banks of the River Para. Deep and inky in colour, this is a rich and powerful wine with sweet fruit, spice and impressive tannins that suggest it will cellar well. $50. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Burnbrae 2011 Chardonnay

Mudgee vineyard Burnbrae - and winemaker  Frank Newman - are probably much better known for their red wines than their whites - but this is a ripping little wine for the price that more than held its own in a tasting bracket that also including big guns like Kooyong and Cherubino, both with considerably higher price tags. This is very modern wine, presumably made from fruit picked early, that looks like a cool-climate wine given its impressive elegance and linearity. Stone fruit aromas herald a palate with well-integrated oak, impressive freshness, restrained alcohol levels (12,8%) and an impressive balance between softness and some crisp acidity. Extremely easy to drink and great with roast pork and crackling. $20.