Getting to know Gruner Veltliner! An Austrian and a few Aussies …..

Even five years ago, Australian Gruner Veltliner was unheard of outside the circle of the wine trade. Yes, that is correct, Australian …. not a typo at all.


paracombe-GVWhile there is the rare kangaroo on the loose in Austrian paddocks, the same can no longer be said about Gruner Veltliner, a grape traditionally at home in Austrian vineyards, being grown on Australian soil. It can be said that since posting ‘A Tale of 3 Gruners…..’ back in 2015, Australian wine drinkers are getting spoiled for choice.

Canberran pioneers of this grape, the Carpenter family released the first vintage of their Lark Hill Winery Gruner Veltliner in 2009 when their vines were just 7 years old. Each new vintage that I have tasted of this biodynamic wine, I am impressed by its polished nature and the faceted floral fruit that sits happily amongst the more savoury elements. The current vintage is 2017 (AUD49).

Hahndorf Hill Winery from Adelaide Hills released the first vintage of GRU in 2010. Recently, lovers of this wine will have noticed a new addition to the Hahndorf Hill Gruner Veltliner story. Fermented in stainless steel, Hahndorf Hill Winery White Mischief (AUD24) is all about pure fruit expression; zesty citrus and stonefruit. A fruity, fleshy dry wine that quickly makes friends. Read More

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The Bold and the Elegant – the latest must haves from Paracombe

Nestled into the Adelaide Hills, such a short drive from the heart of Adelaide, the Drogemuller family make wines from their Paracombe winery, named after the township of the same name, with an eye for detail and freshness. While they produce a range of elegantly textured, fragrant and fruity whites and bold juicy reds, these four Read More

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The latest from Wirra Wirra

Here are two recent releases from Wirra Wirra:


Wirra wirra14 Collage

Woodhenge Shiraz 2012 ($35) – Rich black fruit characters up front with olive, cinnamon spice and caramel chocolate in support.  A very gluggable wine with fine tannins that will softly shape your mouth and finish it on a smile as the length lingers. A bold juicy and full bodied red that shows generosity and complexity but is not just for big red lovers. Good drinking now or after a sojourn in the cellar.

The 12th Man Chardonnay 2013 ($31) – A chardonnay that you can share with friends with or without food. Ripe fruit with a creaminess that slinks across your tongue followed by crisp by a sweep of soft acid that keeps the length in line.  The complete package is well integrated, fleshy but not plump. Don’t serve this one too cold, the subtle oak needs a more relaxing temperature of around 8 degrees.

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Bird in Hand Nest Egg Joy 2007


The top fizz from the Bird in Hand team made from Pinot Noir in the traditional method with 18 months on lees. I love the packaging, the bottle has sensuous lines and the labelling is uber stylish. The wine inside is comparable to popular branded Champagnes around the similar price.

The tight nose and texture of this wine adds to its allure.  Ripe berries and cream meld with lightly toasted brioche and nougat. The bubbles are fine and creamy and the finish is dry and crisp. Joy should not be reserved only celebrations, but it has enough character to enjoy with seafood and lightly flavoured starters for a special dinner.

Bottled Joy!! Who could ask for more.

Date:  31 May 2014   Price:  $75    Value: $$   Drink: Now – 3 years

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Wine of the Month: Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2012

I have now tasted this wine several times and looking back on each note, I now realise that each one has the word impressive in it.  To my mind it is a benchmark for elegance in Australian Shiraz.

The blueberry and cherry fruit is kept lively with a sprinkle of pepper. The oak stays low key merely providing a smooth canvas, allowing the purity of the detailed fruit to shine.  Powdery tannins and a long length of fresh fruit complete the mouthful. Impressive is certainly a word that will come into your mind too when you. This is a wine to enjoy today or this fruit will continue to evolve in the cellar.

Date: July 2013 & January 2014  Price:  $44   Value: $$$   Drink: Now  – 7+ years

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