Thursday, January 25, 2024

Yalumba 2023 Vine Vale Grenache Blanc


Grenache blanc is a close relative of grenache noir that is grown mainly in the Rhône Valley and in north-east Spain. It also appears well suited to the Barossa Valley, where its red kin stars. Yalumba has just one hectare of grenache blanc from which winemaker Sam Wigan has crafted this complex, textural and flavoursome wine with white stone fruit flavours to the fore. Very food friendly this one: pair with anything from a vegetable quiche to some Mediterranean dips. A very good choice for anyone looking for an alternative to mainstream varieties but made in tiny quantities - think around 200 cases. $35.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Dog Point 2023 Sauvignon Blanc


I sense the pendulum of public taste is starting to swing back to quality Marlborough sauvignon blanc, which can be a deliciously refreshing summer drink when done well. This is done very well indeed. From one of the star producers in New Zealand, this comes without any of the excesses of some of its cheaper kin. It is a wine of delightful balance - dry, aromatic and dangerously slurpable. Citrus and tropical fruit flavours are to the fore here rather than green herbal notes. There's just a hint of invigorating sea spray. Grapes are selected from eight estate vineyards across Wairau Valley with the fruit whole bunch pressed and cold settled before fermentation. The fruit spends a short time in stainless steel with a portion going through natural ferment. Perfect with fish and chips. $30.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Passing Clouds 2023 Nueva Grenache

The Leith family is this month celebrating 50 years of Passing Clouds, a family-owned and -operated wine business that sources fruit from across Victoria. The business began in Bendigo but the home vineyard and cellar door (recommended) is now at Musk, outside Daylesford in the Macedon Ranges. This is made from grenache sourced from the Riverland and is a smashing "joven" red wine for summer enjoyment, a crunchy (thanks to whole bunch influence), delicious young red that could easily be drunk chilled on a warm day. Joyously juicy, this is bright, fresh and dangerously moreish. $30

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Sparkling Cocktails Blood Orange Mimosa by [yellow tail]


It is a warm summer day and you are in dire need of some zesty alcoholic refreshment. This blood orange flavoured pre-made sparkling cocktail will do the trick in some style. A new release from the team at [yellow tail], this is part of a range that also features a peach-driven Bellini. This was a very nice surprise, not too sweet but with some vibrant fresh orange citrus notes and some positive bubbles. This is a good choice for a beach picnic or a backyard game of croquet. Good fun fizz and only 10.5% alcohol. $18.