Monday 27 October 2008



YOUR FREE WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning October 27 2008

wine with david ellis

The Hunter Valley's Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard has included an inaugural Semillon and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc in a half-dozen just-released wines from the 2008 vintage, wines not only notable for their excellence but for the fact they came from one of the region's most-forgettable harvests in a century.

"The vintage was almost entirely washed out," says winemaker, Jeff Byrne. "We had the coolest and wettest growing season in a hundred years, we suffered fruit fly, fruit rot and we got very high disease pressures as we were unable to spray because the soil was saturated.

"We made no reds at all from the vintage because things were just so disastrous for our red fruit, but I'm exceptionally pleased with the way our whites and Rosé turned out," Jeff said.

The 2008 Museum Reserve Semillon is an excellent wine at $35 with great depth of flavour, but the '08 Audrey Wilkinson Verdelho is our choice when it comes to value for price.

This one's full of rich passionfruit and tropical fruit characters and has a lovely soft citrus finish… at $19.99 put it on the outdoor table on a sunny day with crumbed fish and chips or a cold seafood salad.

ONE FOR LUNCH:  PETER Logan has finally got the Moscato he's been twice thwarted in making at his Orange, NSW Central Ranges winery.

On the first occasion in 2006 fruit for his inaugural Moscato, a sweet and delicate sparkling wine, was trashed by hail just the day before harvest. Then last year as he was about to send his wine off for bottling, a cellar-hand mistakenly pumped "a heap" of Cabernet Sauvignon into the Moscato tank.

"But the 2008's been worth the wait, with its delicious pear and peach flavours and nice hint of spicy ginger," he says.  We agree: pay $20 and celebrate!  

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[] GREAT drop from one of the Hunter's more forgettable vintages.

[] REASON to finally celebrate.

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