Monday, December 29, 2014

The Lane Block 1A 2013 Chardonnay

I loved this wine for its freshness; pristine fruit and crisp acidity. It came out top in a bracket of cool-climate chardonnays in the $20-30 bracket and surprisingly turned out to be the cheapest of them all. From The Lane estate vineyards in the Adelaide Hills this is certainly a bargain. It has delightful stone fruit and cashew nut on the nose, leading to a zingy palate with grapefruit, white peach and tight flinty acid with oak very much in a support role but adding texture. A thoroughly modern wine that is quite delicious and would be great with seafood dishes, barbecued crustaceans or old-fashioned roast pork. $20.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Montoro 2013 Pepper Shiraz

The kind folk from the Orange Wine Show sent me a batch of recent trophy and gold medal winners; all of a standard you'd expect from this fast-emerging cool-climate region in Central Western NSW. Among them was this gold winner, a new name to me but from a vineyard that has apparently been planted from two decades. Montoro is situated at 900 metres above sea level, which accounts for the intense black pepper and spice in this really lovely wine crafted by Charlie Svenson and Will Rikard Bell. Think vibrant dark hedgerow berry flavours and savoury sous bois notes. This is unfiltered and unfined, so a little rustic, but all the better for that. A wine with real personality. $38. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chrismont 2014 Riesling

This may well be the best sub-$20 white wine buy in Australia right now. I tasted this new release from Arnie Pizzini's Chrismont winery in the King Valley of north-east Victoria a couple of weeks ago, just prior to its release. Arnie told me the recommended retail price is $18 but you can often find it cheaper, which is just incredible for a luminescent wine that leaps out of the glass with its youthful exuberance. This has all the very attributes of young riesling; it is floral and fresh with dashing citrus notes, zingy acidity and crisp minerality. It can be enjoyed on its own, or with a wide variety of dishes, and is probably best enjoyed while in the full flush of youth. I reckon if you buy one bottle you'll go back for a case. Seriously good. $18.      

Friday, December 5, 2014

Glaetzer-Dixon 2013 Mon Pére Shiraz

The Glaetzer family has been making wines in the Barossa Valley dating back to the 1880s, but Nick Glaetzer has taken a very different road, spending the past decade honing his craft making wines in chilly Tasmania. He's picked up a Jimmy Watson Trophy and a Young Winemaker of the Year award along the way and is soon to open an urban winery and cellar door in Hobart. This new-release shiraz from a fine vintage is a blend of fruit from the Coal, Derwent and Tamar valleys; a north-south blend that is simultaneously intense and finely crafted. It's a wine that is all about cool-climate fruit quality with ripe berry, pepper and spice characters to the fore. This is beautiful right now, sweet/savoury and soft, but I'd put a couple of bottles away for a few years. $50.