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Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

ara-SVPNNew Zealand’s Marlborough region has SO much more going for it than just Sauvignon Blanc, it has the potential for elegant and charming Pinot Noir too.  Whereas Central Otago, with its many sunlight hours, produces bold, vivacious Pinot, I find they are too often too high in alcohol. There is much to love in the drinkability of the Marlborough Pinots.

The Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from grapes sourced from the Wairau Valley in Marlborough.  Fresh raspberry, black cherry and dried herb notes are supported by the richness of some finely honed vanilla oak.  Ten months in mostly old oak has given this pinot some polish and extended the finish. As it moves through the mouth, it takes a more earthy and herbal tone.

To get the best out of this wine, it needs to open up so either decant it or leave the bottle open for an hour before serving.  Give it this time and it will become a richly perfumed crowd pleaser for a good price.

Quickie review «A gently perfumed and persuasive pinot that becomes more earthy on the palate.»

Country of Origin: New Zealand  Date: November 2017    Price: AUD20+ /GBP12  Drink: now – 5 years   Needs food: no   Source: purchase

 

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d’arenberg The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2015

darenberg-BF-wmAgain, the Osborn family reminds us all to not take wine so seriously with a name that will make the uninitiated blush. They are known for catchy, sometimes really weird, names for their wines and this one is no different. Of course, there is a totally sane reason for such a seemingly irreverent name. Botrytis cineria or Noble Rot is part of the Botryotinia genus and without this particular mould this wine would not have its characteristic marmalade twist, nor its viscosity. Fuckeliana is a tip of the hat to one Karl Fuckel, a German botanist and mycologist.

The BF is an Adelaide Hills blend of two of the white Sauternes powerhouses, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. And at 231 grams per litre of residual sugar, it is indeed a luscious little sweetie featuring intense apricot, marmalade, ginger spice, honeysuckle and honeyed orange. The fresh hit of acid does its job of balancing that sweetness and ensures Read More

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Yalumba ‘The Y Series Viognier’ 2016

yalumba-Y-viognierThis is always a cleverly crafted dry, white wine and you get a whole lot of value in your glass. Yalumba have established themselves as the Australian champions of this grape and this is just one version amongst a storybook full of viognier expressions from the Hill-Smith family. This expertise is apparent at all levels from this wine to The Virgilius.

The ‘Y Series’ Viognier has all the classic hallmarks of the variety along with some wild ferment characters. Ripe apricot tart with some spiced pastry crust is served up with some grapefruit, ginger and white flowers aromas. It has a richly perfumed nose, attractive and evocative. Read More

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Patritti Section 181 McLaren Vale Grenache 2015

0472A27E-AF67-4E4B-8D47-059DD1D1FC17Section 181 refers to the single vineyard that is the source for these Grenache grapes. Section 181 Branson Road, Tatachilla, a vineyard Giovanni Patritti purchased in 1960 and planted with varieties such as this dry grown Grenache.  This old vine red expresses typical McLaren Vale regional ripeness, boldness and generosity in its raspberry, red plum and cherry fruit supported by vanilla, cinnamon and a handful of dried herbs.

Ripe tannins wraps around fresh acid and a fuller body. Once this wine settles on the tongue there is plenty of intensity and the fresh red fruit lingers on. This is a wine that has a story to tell, it will just take some time for it to hit its stride. It is good drinking now, but certainly it will do well with some cellar time and once you taste it, Read More

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Flavabom Field White 2016

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This is a tasty four varietal field blend from and really is a showcase for showing just what the Riverland in Australia can create with their traditional, and old vine, varieties. Muscadelle, Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Semillon are varieties that have a deep history in the area and this dry white tells the story of each, backed by a gracefulness that comes with vine age.

A sweet savoury perfume reaches out from the glass. Being from Riverland, ripeness comes easier than some Australian regions and here it is portrayed in the fulsome floral, peach, and just picked nectarine character. Having some time in French oak has given this Flavabom some spiciness to flesh it out. Soft acid adds curves and silk to the rich palate that firms towards the savoury, spiced nuts and fruit finish.

This is a lush wine that is playful but sticks around long enough to leave an Read More

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