Monday 10 November 2008



wine with david ellis

A recently-released unwooded Chardonnay from Western Australia's Capel Vale shows both how good wines from that State's cool-climate south-west can be, and just how well some unwooded-styles can stand on their own.

Capel Vale has been quietly building a deserved-reputation for fresh and lively wines from its cool climate areas – Geographe, Margaret River, Pemberton and Great Southern – and sourced fruit for its 2008 Debut series Unwooded Chardonnay from select vineyards across these.

Previous unwooded Chardonnays from Capel Vale proved amazingly popular with buyers (who a few years ago would have shied-off such a style,) and this new release should be embraced just as enthusiastically: it's lifted spicy pear aromas are balanced by a lively palate of citrus and stone-fruit characters, coupled with nice texture and depth typical of cool climate WA Chardonnay.

While at $17.95 a bottle this is a wine that can be enjoyed chilled on its own, savour it best with light dishes such as a Chicken Caesar Salad, or with barbecued Barramundi fillets with tossed salad and oven-baked garlic bread.

ONE FOR LUNCH: PETER Logan did something rather unusual with his Logan Wine's Weemala Pinot Gris 2008: he double-harvested on his NSW's Central Ranges vineyard, picking part of the fruit in its early stage of ripeness, and the other when the fruit was riper, and then blended the two.

The result is an extraordinarily enjoyable wine that's fallen between the fresh style of classic Italian Pinot Grigio and the more textured and riper French Pinot Gris – a lovely aromatic drop with aromas of pears, mandarins and melons, and spicy quince and lemon characters in the mouth.

And as Peter gave it no oak treatment, it shows off with it's purely fruit flavours and aromas; good buying at $17 and a nice partner on the table with seafoods or creamy pastas.

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[] LIGHTEN up: an unwooded Chardonnay for the Chicken Caesar Salad

[] DOUBLE dipping – unusual treatment for tasty NSW Pinot Gris

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