WHEN you are growing vines on land whose characteristics can best be summed up as austere, and with its harshest areas almost pure rock, you can expect crops to be pretty minimal.
Such is the case with the St Mary's Vineyard that the Mulligan family planted to vines outside the township of Penola in South Australia's south-east back in 1985 – even though Mulligans have lived on the land there for over 100 years.
But what this vineyard may lack in large quantities of fruit, it has sufficient of the region's famed Terra Rosa soil over a limestone sub-base to make up for in fruit quality, and with a just-released 2012 St Mary's Pinot Noir proving a surprising gem for those of us who enjoy this lovely food-friendly red.
A soft and elegant wine, this one's got wonderful balance of ripe fruit and soft tannins, with flavours of black cherry, plum and subtle confectionery. At $35 it's a rewarding drop to enjoy with a late Sunday brunch of bacon stuffed mushrooms. (If you can't find it locally, go onto www.stmaryswines.com for the name of your nearest dealer.)
|REWARDING match chilled with
seafood or pork – and a nice price too.
ONE TO NOTE: STILL in South Australia, Howard Vineyard near Nairne in the Adelaide Hills and just 25km from the Adelaide CBD, has a delightful 2013 Clover Pinot Gris from a region that produces some of Australia's best examples of this varietal.
Situated some 450m above sea level, their Schoenthal vineyard enjoys a long, cold ripening period that's perfect for acid development and fruit intensity. With a nice citrus zing and crisp acidity this is a lovely food wine: match it nicely chilled with seafood or pork dishes and you'll find it wonderfully rewarding.
Already good buying at $22 per bottle in a 6-bottle pack plus $15 freight, it's even better value with a 25% price discount if you sign up to go their mailing list. Details www.howardvineyard.com
NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com We're also on Australian Good Food Guide http://www.agfg.com.au in main blog.