March 26, 2014

Three from Lark Hill

Lark Hill Gruner Veltliner 2013

Not Australia’s only Gruner Veltliner, but one of the first onto the market with a finished wine narrowly beating Hahndorf Hill Winery’s 2010 release by one year with their first offering in 2009.  While I have been enjoying this wine since its first release, it is worth remembering that these vines are only around 7 years old. This 2013 vintage is another good one and I am keen to keep following the maturity of these vines at Lark Hill and to see where the sense of adventure that led the Carpenter’s to grow this Austria grape takes them.  As a variety in Australia, it has not even begun to hit its stride. And thank you to Jancis Robinson for inspiring the development of Gruner in Australia.

Floral and herb nuanced stonefruit prettily meld with cream and some spicy savouriness and minerality.  Offering richness without heaviness, the texture is polished silk that glides across the palate thanks to natural acid and some time in old chardonnay barrels.  Enjoy it with your summer seafood or roast pork salad. ($45)


Lark Hill Pinot Noir 2012

Like most of the wines from Lark Hill, there is a story to go with the root stock for this wine.   The non-grafted MV6 clone was planted at Lark Hill in 1984 and the vines have been rejuvenated through heavy pruning in the years 2007 – 2009. This particular root stock can be traced to the original Busby Pinots which arrived on Australian shores in the early 1800s.

In the cool climes of Canberra, this Pinot takes on fresh strawberry, cherry and pepper with some deeper riper meatiness in support. Elegantly structured, the soft and silky fruit has a long finish with a touch of herbs. ($35)

Note: This wine is just as good on the second night as the first.


Lark Hill Viognier 2013 Dark Horse Vineyard

I tend to be picky and suspicious of Viognier. I am a big fan when this variety retains its fresh acid and some delicacy, I avoid oily and flamboyant versions.  And so Lark Hill’s version deserves your attention having retained some zestiness and balance and is not a massive fruit bomb.

The spicy ginger and stonefruit character is texturally rounded out with some time in seasoned oak. A good food wine that will stand up to Asian and European herbs and spices alike.  If you prefer a fleshier, more honeyed Viognier, put it down in the cellar for a couple of years.  ($25)


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