Billy Button is the brand new label from talented former Boyntons Feathertop winemaker Jo Marsh, who is based in Victoria's chilly Alpine Valleys - with a cellar door in Bright. Her first releases have a definite Italian accent; vermentino, verduzzo and friulano, alongside a cracking riesling made using fruit sourced from the nearby King Valley. All rated 90+ with the vermentino and riesling my favourites, each scoring 94/100. This take on a Sardinian white grape variety that's taking Australia by storm is both lively and textural; dry and extremely food friendly. Well worth seeking out. By the way, Billy Buttons are the native daisies that you find on the mountain ranges over summer. $25. www.billybuttonwines.com.au.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
It had been some time since I tasted the wines from Maxwell Wines in McLaren Vale, and the quality across the board came as something of a revelation. The wines are not short of flavour or structure but come with a deft touch, lacking the brute force of the some of their local siblings. I particularly enjoyed this premium grenache, which offers excellent value for money. There is bright jubey fruit intensity (think dark cherry and ripe raspberry) from 80+ year old vines, but also some earthiness and well-integrated French oak. There is plenty of length and depth here, but also immediate drinking appeal. Excellent buying for medium-term consumption. $24. www.maxwellwines.com.au.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
This is the 30th anniversary release of a Clare Valley icon - a wine that has been relentless in its excellence for many years. The Pikes make a classic Clare style; powdery and floral on the nose with Granny Smith apple notes; crisp, dry and refreshing on the palate with brisk citrus notes, bright acid and river pebble notes/zingy minerality. Lean and clean with just 11% alcohol, this is absolutely brilliant in its youth and can be a "go to" wine for summer enjoyment. A lot of experts will tell you to cellar this, but for me it is just too delicious in its youth to bother waiting for development. I'll give it 96 points.