Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Clonale by Kooyong 2015 Chardonnay

Glen Hayley was handed one of the least enviable tasks in the Australian wine industry when he was named the successor to Sandro Mosele, who had churned out world-class chardonnays and pinots for Kooyong and Port Philip Estate on the Mornington Peninsula over the past decade with apparent nonchalance. On the evidence, however, of Hayley's solo debut releases, this excellent chardonnay and an impressive 2015 Beurrot Pinot Gris ($30), Kooyong has not missed a beat in the change-over. This is one of Australia's best-value chardonnays; a blend of quality fruit from vineyards at Tuerong and Balnarring that hit just the right balance between cool-climate citrus and stone fruit flavours, along with hints of struck match and flint. It is tight and enticing with plenty of length and there is a whole lot of serious drinking pleasure here for $32.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

MSV 2012 Greenock Shiraz

It has been a couple of years since I took a long at the bold reds produced Murray Street Vineyards in the Barossa Valley - and I was most impressed by the power and concentration. This single vineyard shiraz was the stand-out for me; coming from one of the prime sub-regions. The vines are largely dry grown, resulting in fruit that has great complexity and depth. Everything about the wine says quality; including the ultra-heavy bottle. This has spent 18 months in new and older French oak, but the quality fruit is still the star of the show, along with red soil elements, spice and minty notes. Powerful but extremely well balanced. $55. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pauletts 2015 Polish Hill River Riesling

There is an erudite, but extremely annoying, fellow called Ralph Kyte-Powell, who writes informative wine reviews for The Age newspaper. He's frustrating because my palate so often coincides with his. It is not unknown for us to review the same wines in the same week. I'd had this superb value riesling from Pauletts in the Clare Valley marked to be posted today for a couple of weeks. Then I open Mr Kite-Powell's column in Tuesday's Good Food section and he'd gone ahead and reviewed it - and was similarly enthusiastic. Great minds, maybe, or perhaps both lovers of bracing young Clare rieslings. This has oodles of zingy lemon and lime sorbet character and is clean and fresh. It would pair well with peri-peri pan-fried John Dory (as well as the Thai fishcakes Mr Ktye-Powell recommends). Go ahead and try it. We can't both be wrong. $23.           

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mount Pleasant 2015 Elizabeth Semillon

I was going to write about this is as one of the great white wine bargains in Australia - but that was looking at the $20 recommended retail price. Then I saw that you can snap it up for $13.99 in a batch of six at Dan Murphy's - and that is virtually giving it away. My advice: snap up a case of this Hunter Valley classic right now. That's because, despite the daggy (but historic) label, this is a wine that is a double threat. It is delicious right now in its youth, slinky and lemony, zingy and fresh with some flinty hints. Unoaked; it is all about the fruit. But if you don't drink it all over the final few weeks of summer then put a bottle or two away in the cellar for five years or so. It will metamorphasise into something altogether different; richer and more savoury. Right now, it is a lovely young thing, low in alcohol at 10% and full of vibrant enthusiasm.$20.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Villebois 2014 Sancerre

Some sauvignon blancs are impossibly tarty; offering a sloppy kiss of passionfruit and green herbs and a lack of sophistication. This wine from the French sauvignon blanc heartland of Sancerre is the exact opposite, flirtatiously offering a subtle brush of the lips, full of knowledge and sultry hidden promise. For this is a wine that blossoms with food; emerging from its shell when paired with oysters and other crustaceans. It is made from 100% Loire sauvignon blanc, grown on clay soils with both flint and stone, that give it the characteristics of the region; minerality and intensity. Made by Thierry Merlet, who spent two vintages working at Petaluma, this is vibrant and fresh. Drink now and enjoy chilled with someone you'd like to get to know better. $55.