Sunday, June 26, 2016
There has been a lot of debate in the wine community as to whether Penfold's has paid adequate tribute to legendary winemaker Max Schubert with the release of its new Penfold's Max's range. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, this white wine really stood out for me; and it is a little-known fact that Grange creator Schubert also did a lot of white wine research while working at Penfold's. This is a brilliant example of modern chardonnay crafted using fruit from the Adelaide Hills, which underwent its grape-growing revival well after Max's time. To be released over the next few days, it is tightly structured with pure fruit flavours to the fore; a classic cool-climate chardonnay. It has little to do with Schubert's legacy but would doubtless please him with its quality. For me, it is a steal at $35. www.penfolds.com.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
The McLeish family has a winning way with semillon; perhaps not a surprise as the husband and wife enterprise has been growing grapes in the Hunter Valley for over 30 years. With quality fruit from Robert and Maryanne McLeish's vines combined with the winemaking talent of Andrew Thomas, the McLeish Estate wines are global award winners; and made in tiny volumes. This is the current release, although soon to be replaced by the 2016, and it is a wine that is very much in the zone, still with youthful, zingy lemon sherbet acidity but without any rough acid edges. And, of course, this is a wine designed for the cellar; the 2007 Reserve sells for $220 a bottle and was named the world’s best semillon at the International Wine Challenge in London. Very stylish and ridiculously good value. 25. www.mcleishestatewines.com.au.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Monday, June 6, 2016
Giant Steps is best known for its single-vineyard pinot noirs and chardonnays, but even at the entry level quality fruit and the skills of Steve Flamsteed and his winemaking team shine through. This an estate chardonnay, made from hand-picked fruit, produced using indigenous yeasts, in a high-tech gravity flow winery with minimal fining and filtration. All of which means diddly squat if you don't get things right; and Flamsteed has. Fruit from three vineyards, given 20% new oak and a month of batonage, has produced a wine that is spot on stylistically. Think bright stone fruit flavours aided and abetted by grapefruit notes, savoury nuances, smoky hints, appealing leanness and lots of length. $35. www.giant-steps.com.au.