Monday, 17 July 2017

Logan Wines’ 2013 Apple Tree Flat Merlot - NSW Central West

 
ONE TO NOTE: THOSE who compile the figures tell us that the second-most popular red wine in the world today after Cabernet Sauvignon is Merlot, with sales in Australia putting us amongst those making it the current hit that it is.

With a velvety softness on the palate and less tannin than Cabernet, Merlot has an ability to prove a great match with just about any food – just dodge anything highly spiced, or fish or leafy greens.

This wine proves perfect with grilled lamb chops, roast chicken, pork loin with a mushroom sauce, tomato-loaded Italian dishes, casseroles it can also be tossed into during cooking, barbecued steak, and beef or veal burgers.

And one label ideal with all of these is Logan Wines' 2013 Apple Tree Flat Merlot from the Central West of NSW, where altitude and cool climate see it develop abundant yet soft flavours of blackberry, plum and black olive, and which winemaker Peter Logan sums up as "a deliciously fruity, soft and fun mealtime drop."

Only query is the price – some buffs wonder if at just $13 it's not perhaps a little under-valued?


[] AT just $13 a bottle, some Merlot buffs wonder if this one's perhaps a little under-valued considering its quality and flavour.

 

Tim Adams’ 2017 Clare Valley Pinot Gris


TUCKER TIME RED AND WHITE TWOSOME

David Ellis

THERE were plenty of reasons for smiles in South Australia's Clare Valley this 2017 vintage, amongst grape-growers because of highest prices they'd enjoyed for years – coupled with above-average quantities of fruit off their vines – and amongst winemakers in having fruit they've lauded as the best in three decades.

Plus there'll be smiles to come amongst wine buffs too, as the outstanding wines of this vintage start coming onto the market.

And one you'll find already on the shelves is Tim Adams' 2017 Clare Valley Pinot Gris, a drop of outstanding structure, flavour and acid profile, and reflecting a vintage that Tim ranks in the Top Five in his 40-odd years as a winemaker and vigneron.

With rich and robust fruit characters on the palate and bright acidity, pair this one with fish, prawns, lobster or oven-roasted chicken.

And at $22, there's reason to smile at the price, too.


WINESPEAK:  When a winemaker refers to a wine as being "Big" they're not referring to the bottle size, but to the wine being high in alcohol content, or in intensity of flavour.



[] HERE'S a drop that makes for a great pairing on the table with fish, prawns or lobster, or with oven-roasted chicken.
 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Ross Hill's Phil Kerney - pick a pair of Pinnacle pinots


By John Rozentals

I wrote a few weeks ago about Orange's Brangayne having two vineyards — one decidedly higher and cooler than the other.

They're certainly not the only ones in the district adopting this approach. Ross Hill also has two vineyards — their 'home' vineyard at Wallace Lane, high on the slopes of Mt Canobolas, and the Griffin Road Vineyard, on the milder north-western edge of Orange as you head along the Mitchell Highway towards Molong and Dubbo.

If winemaker Phil Kerney didn't have the Griffin Road Vineyard at his disposal, the only red in Ross Hill's premium Pinnacle Series would be a pinot noir.

That's the only red variety that Phil and Ross Hill's owners reckon will ripen at Wallace Lane, and hence it's the only red variety planted there.

But the Pinnacle Series label carries four reds, of which the 2015 vintages have just been released — the two I've reviewed here plus a 2015 Shiraz and a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter already having sold out.

They formed a very solid quartet, which will expand to a quintet if Phil Kerney gets his way, by the addition of a pinot noir made 100 per cent from the Griffin Road Vineyard.

That should make for a highly interesting comparative tasting — two pinots made by the same hands from vineyards separated by a couple of hundred feet in altitude.

Visit www.rosshillwines.com.au.

CAPTION: Phil Kerney … wants a pair of pinots in Ross Hill's Pinnacle Series.

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Cabernet Franc


Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Cabernet Franc ($45): Meets all the Pinnacle Series requirements by being made 100 per cent from a single estate-owned vineyard, in this case Griffin Road, a vineyard I often pass on trips between my Molong home and Orange. Cabernet franc is a bit of a freak at Griffin Road, easily qualifying for its own individual guernsey. I really like the power and length of this wine, as well as its perfumed, herby characters. Visit www.rosshillwines.com.au.

- John Rozentals



Huntington Estate 2016 Chardonnay - Mudgee, NSW

WINE OF THE WEEK

Huntington Estate 2016 Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay ($24): The Mudgee district has a proud history with chardonnay and, in fact, claims to have been the birthplace for the variety in Australia. This is a richly flavoured, complex dry white which spent eight months sitting on yeast lees in barrel. Its fruit flavours are primarily in the stonefruit sector of the flavour wheel but there's a hint of old-fashioned chardonnay oakiness there as well … and I like that. Visit huntingtonestate.com.au.

- John Rozentals

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Pinot Noir - Orange, NSW

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Pinot Noir ($40): Made from 100 per cent Wallace Lane fruit, this is a quintessential cool-climate pinot, showing subtle flavours and a medium-bodied, sinewy structure rather than beefy muscle. It's a spicy, food-friendly wine that I'd love to try in Beijing or an Australian Chinatown with the best Peking Duck. Visit www.rosshillwines.com.au.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Topper’s Mountain 2012 Wild Ferment Tempranillo

WINE OF THE WEEK

Tempranillo really seems to have taken off in Australia — and for the very good reason that the variety is making some exceptional dry reds. This is a firmly structured dry red with excellent balance of fruit, oak and tannin. The fruit lies predominantly in the dark-plum spectrum, but there are spices too, principally of the Middle Eastern persuasion. But for me the main feature lies in the long flavours of an elegant, firmly structured wine … and then there's the elegant package you'd be proud to display on your table at the local bistro. Suggested retail: $32

Visit www.toppers.com.au.

John Rozentals

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