Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Moondarra 2017 Conception Pinot Noir

Moondarra maestro Neil Prentice is not short of courage. He brought his Gippsland wines to Hobart in Tasmania - the hottest pinot noir region in the country right now - and showed them against some of the best of Apple Isle at the Mould+Pinot Palooza event. Good news for Prentice: they more than held their own. This is a very pretty, medium-bodied pinot that shows cherry and strawberry characters after the fruit (one-third whole bunch) is hand-picked and processed on site. This is wild fermented, undegoes pigeage (foot stomping), and is then aged in Troncais oak. The Moondarra team recommend pairing it with peking duck, but is also goes very well with blue cheese. Versatile then. Funky with some bitey minerality, but also silky on the finish. Unfined, unfiltered and just a little bit French accented. It is also “accidentally vegan”. $50. www.moondarra.com.au/

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Cullen 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot


Cullen's flagship Diana Madeline Bordeaux blend now costs $150 a bottle - if you are able to lay your hands on any. This wine is known as the "junior Diana Madeline" and costs considerably less. The cabernet grapes come from the ‘old block’ - planted over 50 years ago in 1971. This is a seriously delicious blend of 78% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot that can be enjoyed immediately, while its sibling benefits from a stint in the cellar. Biodynamically grown and made, this spent seven months in 30% new French oak barrels and offers classic dark currant and chocolate flavours along with impressive tannin structure. Pair with roast lamb. We did, and were well rewarded. $45. www.cullenwines.com.au/

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Domaine de la Combe 2019 Reserve Personelle Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie


My experience has always been that Muscadets, the thrilling white wines of the western Loire region outside Nantes in the far west of France, are best enjoyed in their youth. At three years of age this reserve release  from Domaine de la Combe comprehensively disproves that theory. The wines from this domaine are wild fermented in stainless steel with minimal preservatives added. No malo. In addition to the a lively salinity and green apple and mineral characters, there is also bright acid and some interesting layers of texture from a year spent maturing on lees and a further year in bottle before release. Imported by Red + White and best enjoyed with crustaceans at La Cigale in Nantes. In Australia, maybe pair with fresh oysters or a Moreton Bay bug or two. $35. www.domaine-combe.com/

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Amon-Ra by Ben Glazeter 2020 Shiraz


A seriously swashbuckling Barossa shiraz from Ben Glaetzer, a member of one of the Barossa's foremost winemaking families. It is a full-flavored red that pulls off the difficult trick of being both macho and sensitive, with an astutely judged balance of power and poise on the palate. Amon-Ra is considered to be the king of all Egyptian gods and is the Glaetzer flagship. The fruit is from 50-130-year-old vines in Ebenezer and this represents a high-quality vintage in which production was low. A serious wine with a cheeky wink, with plum and dark berry flavours to the fore, this deserves to be enjoyed at a dinner party, or with very close friends. Glaetzer says it will cellar for well over 20 years. For those on a tighter budget, little brother Bishop by Glaetzer offers distinguished drinking for a third of the price. $100. https://glaetzer.com/