Monday 7 November 2011


NICE drop to take along to
your favourite Chinese BYO.


David Ellis

WHILE few had anything positive to say about the 2011 harvest in the Clare Valley – and most of the rest of a very sodden South-Eastern Australia for that matter – Koonowla winemaker Andrew Michael says it was one of those times when small proved sound.

"It was certainly a challenging time, particularly for larger commercial producers, but being a small operation we had more 'hands on' time with the vines, and our micro-climate escaped the worst of the weather," he says.

And he is particularly pleased with his 2011 Koonowla Ringmaster Clare Valley Riesling. "It bursts with mouth-filling citrus flavours and has a zesty long acidic finish," Andrew says of this wine that came out of some of Australia's worst vintage weather in recent history, with deluging rain and floods across most South-Eastern growing areas.

At $15.99 this is a good-value drop to take along to your local Chinese BYO.

AND one for not-too-spicy Indian dishes.
ONE FOR LUNCH: ANOTHER small South Australian maker to see the positive side of the 2011 vintage was McLaren Vale's Kangarilla Road.

"Our 2011 Kangarilla Road Primitivo Rosé actually benefitted from the mild summer and that cool, wet vintage," says winemaker Kevin O'Brien. "While McLaren Vale is rightly famous for its reds (such as) Shiraz, it's also capable of producing lighter reds when conditions allow, so we jumped at the opportunity to produce some of the finest Rosé wines we've ever released."

With a palate loaded with zesty rhubarb and a spicy finish, at $22 this is a great companion with not-too-spicy Indian dishes.

Kangarilla Road also produced an excellent Chardonnay from that trouble-some 2011 vintage, one full of lemon and grapefruit flavours. Value at $18.


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