Monday, May 29, 2017

Hardy's 2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay

Single-vineyard, or single-site chardonnays are all the rage right now, but two of Australia's benchmark chardonnays are blends of fruit from multiple regions. As is the case with Penfolds Yattarna, the Eileen Hardy draws on fruit from Tasmania, the Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba in New South Wales. The blend, which changes from year to year, worked a treat in the excellent 2015 vintage, producing a wine of both style and substance. There are ripe stonefruit characters, lean minerality, citrus crispness and cleverly judged oak. Named as a tribute to the family matriarch, this will probably cellar for well over a decade. An icon that merits 95/100. $95.    

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yelland & Papps 2016 Second Take Grenache

What's old is new again.Yelland and Papps' Second Take label is designed for wines that reflect Old World winemaking techniques rather than those of modern Australia, where cleanliness is next to Godliness. That means a bit of funk; a few rough edges; a bit of individuality. This is made from old vine grenache, a proven performer in the Barossa, with 61% whole bunch, 17 days on skins and wild barrel fermentation. The end result is fresh and youthful with bright red fruits to the fore. Unfiltered, unfined and vegan-friendly, this is a little bit punk, but more The Clash than the Sex Pistols. Not to everyone's taste, but well worth trying. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Clos Cantenac 2012 Petit Cantenac St Emilion Grand Cru

Global citizen Martin Krajewski is a man with his finger in many wine pies - and with a keen palate to boot. Krajewski, you may remember, worked in partnership with John Duval on an Australian range called Songlines. He recently sold his Chateau de Sours in Bordeaux to multi-millionaire Jack Ma but still owns Clos Cantenac in St Emilion as a well as a share of a new South African venture. This is his "second label" and an outstanding example of new wave Bordeaux. Imported by Robert Oatley Wines, this is a classic right bank blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon that is singing sweetly at this stage of its evolution. Plump and juicy, long and soft with ripe tobacco hints, supple and plush with New World influences, this is excellent drinking and a good intro to affordable Bordeaux. $55.