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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-GV

While 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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Louis Latour Duet Chardonnay Viognier 2014

imageWhile wines from the Ardeche are still relatively unknown, Latour have been active in this French region since 1979. The large region on the western banks of the Rhone sits between the St Joseph, Cornas and the white only St Peray as northern appellation neighbours and to the south, the Cotes du Rhone appellation vineyards that are found on the western bank of the River. More familiar with making fine wine in Burgundy, Latour sought to expand its expertise, particularly that for producing Chardonnay, to Ardeche. The Duet, produced since 2002, takes on that Burgundian grape and adds the overtures of the Rhone native, Viognier. Read More

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Taylors deliver as Promised

Taylors-Promised-Land-cabmerlThe Promised Land is the Taylor family’s $15 (and often under) range and for this price point this bunch is vibrant and fresh. And put simply…. good drinking, whether your favourite would be the velvety Cab Merlot or the zesty Riesling. There is also an unwooded Chardonnay for those who love the fruitier, less savoury expression of this variety.

The back label also features a groovy temperature indicator which does an adequate job of telling you when you wine is in ‘the zone’ to drink. It sure is a conversation starter!

Taylors Promised Land Cabernet Merlot 2015 – Blueberry, cassis, violets and nutmeg abound from this wine. Juicy fruit backed by some velvety tannins and good length. A fun wine.

Taylors Promised Land 2015 Shiraz – Lushly coloured with plums, liquorice and pepper. The mid weight palate ends on a peppery note with soft enough tannins that you can give this wine a good chill. Read More

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Two of the latest from Shaw Vineyard Estate

shawmerlotCanberra’s Shaw Vineyard Estate is a must visit cellar door on your next trip to Murrumbateman, even if just to take in the tranquillity of the gorgeous gardens surrounding the cellar door, or to have lunch and coffee, or to taste through their quite extensive range of wines. Here are two of the most recent releases:

The Shaw Estate Range Merlot 2013 has plenty of offer in the rich chocolate and plums and there is some dried sage to lighten the nose. The mouth is rich and powdery, medium bodied and the plum fruit lingers. A Read More

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Billy Button The Mysterious Malvasia 2015

billybuttonmalvasiaBilly Buttons happen to be among some of my favourite yellow flowers so I was immediately intrigued when I saw this label and this feeling of anticipation was only increased when I saw the grape variety. Malvasia Istriana is still relatively rare as Australian white wine, being a common grape variety in Meditteranean countries, particularly Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. According to the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory, 2016 just four wine producers have owned up to using the variety in a wine. It is a new addition to Jo Marsh’s Billy Button label and I think it has to be a keeper.

The redolent stonefruit, melon and floral fruit hangs along a fine citrus backbone and pulls at the senses. That ripe fruit adds weight in the mouth and leaves you in no doubt about this wine’s fragrant personality. A spicy cream flows from the mid palate and finishes off with long crisp honeysuckle and ginger freshness. A wine to enjoy now, not just on a warm afternoon, but any season, any time.

Date:  29/02/2016   Price:  $    Value: $$   Drink: Now – 2 years

Note: Pronounce this as Mahl- vah-ZEE-a

 

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