I took this to lunch with a few friends who enjoy a glass. Two out of three loved it, the third appreciated the style but it was a bridge too far. That’s one on the long list of things I like about this wine – it’s unique and interesting.
It’s cloudy (unfiltered) but don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with this wine. In fact it’s all right and better than alright. It’s wicked good.
The nose is a warm, a swirling ginger and spiced orange melange with subtle oak characters a result of having spent 10 months in barrel. It’s soft and rubbery and the palate is alive. Oh that texture, smooth.
There is a beautiful burnt orange and spice feature that lingers long, way back in the palate for some time after this is guzzled. Bloody beautiful. Sensational. Pair this up with baked fish, Moroccan spices and cous cous or an orange and walnut salad and watch the sparks fly.
Michael and Susan Papps are passionate about the Barossa and are doing exciting things in this special part of the world. If you get a chance, swing by and sample some of their homemade produce (food and wine) and experience these progressive wines in situ.
Summer, winter, whenever – a wine for all seasons. Get some and get amongst it, this is brilliant.
Region: Barossa Valley
As is the case with many Wirra Wirra wines, this has an interesting name and story inspired by the quirky character of founder Greg Trott. He was prone to wandering off and not returning for quite some time, seemingly oblivious to what all the fuss was about.
I like his style and could easily imagine myself wandering off amongst the rolling Adelaide Hills with a bottle of this tucked under my arm, and / or in ma belly.
Easy to stash too – it’s so light with an almost clear colour. Aroma is alive with gooseberry and lantana but it’s the kiwi and passionfruit that dominate.
The palate has a structured texture that finishes crisp, dry, full of flavour and long enough, with a clean finish. In fact it’s quite a crisp finish with some mouthwatering pucker.
Perfect for sunshine swigging and a safe bet to crack whenever chicken, meaty fish and fancy salads (think quinoa, kale, iceberg lettuce – yes, it’s so naff it’s back) need company.
And nothing pokes out, which makes it great for hiding.
Region: Adelaide Hills
From the boys at Chapel Hill comes a blend of Verdelho, Savagnin and Roussanne; an interesting blend of southern Rhone whites with a focus on texture I assume. It works.
A subtle, floral nose with the slightest smear of apricot jam on buttered toast. There’s some nuttiness but it’s all pretty restrained. Plenty going on once you tuck in however. It’s a round, fuller texture with some ginger spice on the finish.
Lively and a little sparkly. It’s like that guy at the party who ‘dances on the inside’. He’s having a good time but you wouldn’t know it. Underestimated and a little misunderstood.
A wine drinker’s wine and drinkability plus. Some sticky soy glazed chicken and it’s game on.
Region: McLaren Vale
8.5% crafted for lighter alcohol.
Is it savvy? Whatever, it’s smashable. Whoops, I accidentally liked this! Chill it hard and smash it harder. It won’t bring on the wobbly boot either, so enjoy that third glass at lunch.
A very restrained nose, dig deep for some honey and lemon. There’s a slight earthy / funky / dirty character to it as well. The palate is clean and lean. A lithe, slippery texture but it’s not heavy. There is some citrus and the faintest hint of fruit sweetness on the finish.
In a blind tasting I may have rattled on about it being fascinating but I’m too self-conscious to publish that. Low alcohol, low calorie sauvignon blanc is by no means a sexy or cool wine but who cares. It’s good.
Website: Summer Light Facebook Page
There is a whole lotta love for The Lane wines in my world. I visited last year, had a tour through the winery and subsequently fell in lust with the Block 14 Shiraz; a recent Trevor Mast Trophy winner at this year’s Royal Melbourne Wine Show for best Shiraz. What a gong!
The other variety Adelaide Hills does so well is Chardonnay and The Lane are pretty handy with this too. This features a sublte nose with green honeydew. It’s restrained.
A soft texture; it’s clean and balanced. Give it time if you’re pulling it straight out of the fridge and lemon and baking spice unravel, it just requires a little patience, so don’t be in a hurry, you won’t want to rush this. Stylistically, it’s tending towards the more lean end of the spectrum without compromising expression of fruit and texture.
It’s pretty and precious. I’d come back to this again and again, gentle gentle.
Region: Adelaide Hills
Hello tropical fruits. Rockmelon and pineapple feature in what is a beautiful aroma. A fuller style on the swig but not overblown. Rather, it’s athletic and muscular, healthy. If it had hair it’d be thick, wavy and glistening; bouncing around as it does on shampoo ads.
Opulent in style but carries it nicely without being too flashy. A nice dry finish and good length. The softest texture; it’s bloody gorgeous.
Right in the pocket for my kinda chardy. Get some.
Region: Mt Barker
I tried hard to like this more. There’s some pleasing nutty oak characters on the nose. It’s pretty mellow and far from leaping out of the glass – well balanced but not particularly exciting.
Soft peach and apricot characters provide texture on the palate. Perhaps a little underwhelming or is it subtle? Chill and qwoff, it’ll do the job over lunch.
Region: Hunter Valley
A tidy chardy, me likey. Fresh aromas of citrus and tropical fruits laced with a flinty, sulphur edge. It may sound harsh, it’s not and it softened up after a good swirl in the glass.
There’s a light texture and minerally mouthfeel that all comes together as thought it’s been finely crafted. Some powerful fruit drive is kept in line by a taught structure. It retains a flinty, dry edge with a little acid wash cleanser on the finish.
Edgy, like tattoos back in the 80s. Unlike chardonnay in the 80s this is fresh.
The more I drink, the more I like.
Region: Margaret River
This is a wickedly good wine; riesling lovers gather ’round, nice and close. From an organic vineyard comes a wine so pure and expressive, it commands attention, albeit with a whisper.
The aromatic intensity comes on slowly as you dig down through the layers of apple juice, an array of citrus fruits and a little honey.
The palate is a pin-hole, drilling down a lean line of acidity. It’s intense and immediately bracing upon first swig then the lemon juice is softened by precise fruit, balanced beautifully to create a soft, rolling finish. It goes long too.
It’s easy to get a bit carried away by this wine; it’s deceptively complex. It’s also just so bloody good to drink.
Think / drink / pontificate / chug… choose your own adventure and get carried away to wherever your happy place is.
Oh, those summer nights.
Region: Polish Hill
The release of O’Leary Walker rieslings is one I look forward to with mouthwatering anticipation, literally. I enjoy tasting the Watervale and Polish Hill releases side by side to see just how much influence different sites have on riesling. Clearly, riesling is one of those varieties that is expressive of its site. It’s pure – what you see is what you get, there’s no smoke and mirrors.
So, what does this wine have to say about its Watervale origins? It’s lemon sherbet on the nose, sharp and precise. Hang in there, on first whiff it may appear a little simple but this is one variety that takes time. Let it warm up a little from coming straight out of the fridge and it slowly reveals itself.
If you’re looking fruit salad in a glass, this ain’t it. It’s soft but so very dry and crisp. The stony, minerally pukcer may initially define the texture, but there is soft fruit providing some cushioning. The lemon acidity is indeed, searing. It’s light and breezy and craves oysters, as do I when I drink this.
Chill, pour a massive glass and feel healthier for having drunk this. It’s pure.