Tastes change and develop but some fancies last and generous, amazing value Clare Riesling is a constantly comfortable cushion. This is as rich, full and dry as it should but has a sinuous swerve from lime drenched fruit to sweet herby mineral savour and back. Lovely, comforting and a bargain. Must have a dally in the shade of their Peppertree Shiraz soon.
13% alcohol. Screwcap. $20.
Little bit of old bottle dust to open but relaxed to be nicely clean and pure as it enjoyed some fresh air. The warm vintage perhaps shows in some quite dark cherry fruit and toasted whole meal bread but there’s still a lovely juiciness and mineral length. The twist of granite pucker carries the plum and cherry flavour beautifully. Still fresh for a Gamay nearing a decade of age, although the parts are amalgamating into self possessed composure. What a consistent producer. The ancient font label belies the craft and technique inside. Long way from industrial nouveau.
13.50% alcohol. Cork. $55 approximately in 2011.
Wine obsessed people can be so generous. Catching up with a good friend, they dropped this in my paws with the words, “bought a lot of this, think you should take one, it’s looking good at the moment”. Well, they’re correct as well as very kind. Bottle development smells of caramel with dusty pot pourri, dark cherries and earthy tar. Same in the mouth with a structure that’s melded fruit, tannin and acid into a seamless whole that runs on polished rails. Can’t see this particular bottle getting any better, others may, others not, such are the venerable. It’s surely a delicious pointer to the way a 2008 Barolo might be going. This is the sort of thing that just makes you want to raid the cellar and share, soon, eh? Thanks.
13.50% alcohol. Cork.
A long term love of Shiraz from the Grampians and Great Western has led to a few vintages of Rory Lane’s wine being held captive in the dark, cool cave. This 2012 blend of three vineyards is just over medium bodied and more of a supple sinewy gymnast than the hot vintage musclemen. Perfumed with Aussie bush, woody stems, dark boysenberry and smoky oak. The flavours draw evenly and long with more spiced cherries and cane berries floating on those whole bunch savoury tannins and well integrated acidity. All the parts make a delicious resolved whole with some age. Lovely narrative arc in flavour, Rory of the Story.
13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $21.99 at the old and missed King and Godfrey.
Gentle, fine and unassuming, it’s not until this hits the back of the tongue that some just ripe fruit intensity kicks in. A pale greenish yellow colour shows how slowly this is developing. The smells are lime and ripe lemon with a touch of toast and turps. Some background sweet herbs too. Delicate for an Aussie white, it demands paying attention as you could miss the lovely fruit build as it warms in the mouth. Don’t glug or you’ll miss it. Perhaps another bottle in a couple of years?
12.50% alcohol. Screwcap. About $13 thanks to retail lunacy a few years ago.
Another bottle at the end of May 2020, not quite two years, and still bright and ageing with grace. The fruit is more expressive and fattening up well in the mouth. As well as the citrus flavours, some white peach and green mango emerged as it aired. The turpentine note only pops up on opening and fades as the fresh fruit starts to flex. One of those vintages that’s taking time to speak up. Particularly marked by some fine, natural acidity. Another bottle in a year or two, no rush.
More like 93 or 94 points now.
Opened with a blast of fruit, seaside ozone and caramelised yeasty pastries in the background. Deep fruit flavours of icing sugar dusted raspberries for width and crystallised citrus for length. Finishes with deliciously mouthwatering acidity and a gorgeous touch of sweet brown spices. Perhaps that’s the oak? Not sure it’s noticeable if you didn’t know it was there? Really clean and full of impact from the first sip. Just got better as the bottle disappeared. The sort of natural fruit richness that’s starting to make tasty globally warmed Champagne seem a good deal.
12.50% alcohol. Cork. Not sure how much, generous friend indeed.
Really fresh, pure and crunchy red fruits with the flowers and bass of Nebbiolo stretching the spectrum of flavour. A blend it seems of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto with tiny bits of Freisa, Albarossa and surprise, Pinot Noir. First day of cracking the screwcap and the Nebb shows most, bit of a dull red colour and rusty flavour. Three days later, no hint of oxygen causing any damage. The colour actually deepened to bright red and the other components filled out the middle with beautifully poised, clean, red fruits like cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Some almond, spice and tar too. Mouthwatering acidity and a drag of Nebb tannin. Blimey, the Vajras are making such succinctly delicious stuff now. 2016 a star of a year.
13.50% alcohol. Screwcap, yes! $30 bargain!
When you consider just how much skill and time it takes to produce a bottle of savoury, yeasty flor influenced sherry, then a half bottle for $10 is ludicrously under priced. As unique to the sun blasted dazzle of Andalusia as those from Champagne would claim for their chalky soils but a fraction of the price. The secondary and costly use of yeast to add dimension is a worthy comparison perhaps? Fair to say Barbadillo are one of the largest and most forward thinking of Sanlucar producers and this basic Manzanilla has a fresh purity that shows their seriousness. Nutty, yeasty, olive oil and seaside smells, thence a savoury mouthful of citrus soaked almonds and a touch of sulphide bitterness. Fashion has little to do with a good drink. Must hunt down a 2018 bottling.
15% alcohol, small glass of course. Screwcap, yes. $10, charity.
When it’s a sweaty fan forced summer day a glass of Clare juice is just the salve as the sun at last reluctantly sinks. Lime and toast as expected but something waxy and damp chalk like add depth and intrigue. Good weight of fruit and a crisply engineered structure with fresh but not abrupt acidity. Extra flavour of almost greenish mango as well. Lots of cooling depth to wallow in. 2012 is a delicious vintage, innit.
12.80% alcohol. Screwcap. Around $24 at the end of 2012.
There’s Chardonnay and then there’s Chardonnay that’s Chablis and this is firmly the latter despite being petit. Wonder what makes it so distinctive? Climate, weather, soil, clones, winemaking or all of these? Opens tightly and shyly but over three days the sweet citrus, yoghurt and iodine fruit just kept coming up for air. The acidity is pretty tingly but that’s Chablis and it’s not in any way sour or green, just mouthwatering. The only wish is for a touch more fruit density. A splash on a 2017 premier cru forthcoming methinks! Such a delicious drink.
12.50% alcohol. Screwcap luxe, what a good idea. $28.