Saturday, September 17, 2016

Seppelt 2015 Drumborg Pinot Meunier

The realtively obscure pinot meunier grape has been planted at the cool Seppelt Drumborg vineyard since 1966, and is a key component in sparkling wine production, regularly making up 10% or more of the Salinger blend. It creates a fascinating dry table wine in the style of gamay and winemaker Adam Carnaby is delighted with this rare release, which is unashamedly fruit driven and matured in mainly large format older oak. It is a red that can be chilled for a few minutes, like releases from Best's Great Western and Oakridge, and would be a very good choice to match with a spring picnic. Downright delicious. $36.        

Vinaceous 2016 Impavido Vermentino

Looking for a delicious "drink now" white wine that doesn't demand too much contemplation? You've come to the right place. This is made from an Italian grape in a fresh and vivacious style by the "non-traditional" duo of marketer Nick Stacy and winemaker Mike Kerrigan. It is their second vermentino release using from Mount Barker in Western Australia's remote Great Southern region. This is unwooded, very fresh with lively acidity. It is aromatic and pure - like a fruit salad exploding in your mouth. A versatile wine that will come into its own on warm summer days. $22.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Michael Hall 2015 Sang de Pigeon Pinot Noir

Michael Hall is a British-born craftsman who was trained as a jewellery valuer and took up wine later in life. This new release underlines he has taken to his new vocation like a duck to water; an elegant pinot in the style of village Burgundy rather than the heavy metal style that is much in vogue. This is a structured but elegant wine that offers excellent value and features a blend of Adelaide Hills fruit from high-altitude Kuitpo and Piccadilly. Three-quarters was open fermented and 25% barrel fermented with 8% whole bunch adding structure. The blend was matured for 11 months in almost entirely older oak. The end result is bright, crunchy and deliciously drinkable with an ultra-dry red berry finish. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Angullong 2016 Pinot Grigio

The wines from Angullong, outside of Orange in the central west of New South Wales, just get better and better. This is a well-priced white that spells summer enjoyment. It is vibrant and fresh with lively cool-climate characters; and is made in the brisk, refreshing Italian style. It is long and lean with a nice balance of citrus and tropical fruit salad flavours and finishes with brisk, attention-grabbing acid. There is no winemaking artifice here; it is unoaked, clean and ready enjoy. A wine for sipping chilled on the back porch, or perhaps paired with salads and picnics. $20.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Langmeil 2012 Jackaman's Cabernet Sauvignon

I was a bit late getting to this wonderfully intense old vines cabernet sauvignon from the Barossa, made largely from fruit from vines planted in the 1960s. It's been out there in the stores for a while but would make a wonderful (and affordable) Father's Day present for any red wine lover. It is dark and varietal with impressive structure. The winemaking regime involved open ferments, basket pressing and two years in French oak, and it is bottled unfined and unflitered. Downright delicious. $50.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Evans & Tate 2015 Time and Place Dry Red

The Evans & Tate brand, now under the ownership of McWilliam's, is home to a bewildering number of labels. This is a new one on me - and it certainly punches well above its price category. Plush, medium-bodied and versatile, this is a terrific midweek, or casual dining, option. The primary blending components are cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz (the breakdown is not given) but I do like the softness and immediate approachability that make this a good choice for a barbecue, or to take out to the local Italian to accompany pizza or pasta. It is not complex, or challenging, but it certainly offers great value for money. $13.   

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Erin Eyes 2016 Pride of Erin Reserve Riesling

Wine industry veteran Steve Wiblin has gone through a very rough trot with illness recently but the quality of this new-release reserve riesling must bring a smile to his lips. Made using fruit from a single vineyard at Penwortham, this is a glorious each way bet in that it is succulent and enticing in its youth with brisk citrus flavours and bracing acidity but has the classic Clare Valley structure to suggest it will cellar brilliantly for a decade or more. This is only the second reserve riesling Wiblin has released under his new label - which he started after the sale of Neagles Rock. He's worked for some of the biggest names in the business but it must be artisanal wines like this that give him the greatest pleasure. Top notch. $35.