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The Courier Wednesday, February 10, 2016 -- PAGE 17
to the occasion
you should try
IN the upper echelons of
super-premium shiraz from SA
-- indeed Australia -- is the Jim
Barry Armagh shiraz, which
commands a hefty $240 price
Jim Barry principal Peter Barry
says "the McRae Wood shiraz
was rst developed in 1992 as
a baby brother to the Armagh
In 1964 Clare Valley pioneer
Jim Barry and his wife Nancy
bought 28ha of prime farmland
from Clare neighbor Duncan
McRae Wood and planted their
rst shiraz vineyard.
"Vintage after vintage, some of
Australia s most renowned reds
are crafted from grapes off this
vineyard," Peter Barry said.
The Jim Barry The McRae
Wood Clare Valley Shiraz 2012
has an earthy bouquet with
black pepper and spice leading
to full bodied, concentrated
avors of blackberry and
satsuma plum with a touch of
It is a good drink now and
needs time in the cellar for
the full expression of its rich
avors. $55 CD.
Adelaide Hills Merlot 2015 $18 CD.
Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2015 $25 CD.
Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2015 $25.
Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2013 $30.
Adelaide Hills Vermentino 2015 $16 CD.
Jimmy's Hat Savagnin Semillon Vermentino
Adelaide Hills 2015 $16 CD.
Hahndorf Hill Winery
Gru Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2015
Adelaide Hills Gruner Veltliner 2014 $25 CD.
La Bise (The Kiss)
Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris 2015 $21.
TOP Note was founded as a "tree change" for
Silicon Valley computer chip designer Nick Foskett
and his opera singer wife Cate. They enrolled in
viticulture and winemaking at the Waite campus of
the University of Adelaide, sold their city residence
and moved into a cottage on a 17ha vineyard at
Kuitpo. They now have a range of four wines, plus a
2014 shiraz awaiting release in winter. A cellar door
is open weekends and public holidays.
The Top Note merlot was harvested in late March
after a dry growing season. This young merlot
shows promise of developing into a ne example
of a variety which is not widely produced other than
in a blend in SA. But it s a good drink now, with a
oral bouquet and juicy red berry fruits on the palate
culminating in a smooth texture in the mouthfeel.
Only 60 cases were made, un ned and un ltered.
The Top Note chardonnay con rms the Adelaide
Hills Wine Show judges comments last year that
the region s best chardonnays "show fruit intensity,
balance and integrated oak". An apt summary.
Simon Tolley is a fth generation grapegrower of a
noted SA wine family, whose vineyard at Woodside
was planted in the early 2000s. These two wines are
the rst under his own label, with a sauvignon blanc
to be reviewed, among others, in the next Courier
wine page on February 24. The Simon Tolley
chardonnay is a bright, fresh youngster gaining body
from barrel fermentation but with ample stone fruit
characters enlivened by cashew and a touch of spice.
Drink now, and keep some in the cellar. The Simon
Tolley shiraz, from a very good vintage, shows the
Hills ability to produce medium bodied shiraz with
a kick of spice among the red berry fruits on the
Patritti is a suburban winery with a busy cellar
door at Dover Gardens where it sells a large range
of wines of good quality and moderate price. The
Patritti vermentino is a white wine widely planted in
Sardinia and in north western Italy where Giovanni
Patritti, the rm s founder, came from. A light straw
color, the Patritti vermentino has whiffs of ripe
peach leading to an appealing palate with smooth
texture and refreshing, long length. Last century,
the Patritti children were chased by Cristiano
Bissacca, better known as Jimmy, who would ing
his wide brimmed hat at them with great accuracy.
The Patritti Jimmy s Hat is a blend of French
whites savignin and semillon and the Italian white
vermentino, with lemony semillon having more
effect on the palate than the rather bland savignin,
while the vermentino contributes texture and length.
Hahndorf Hill Winery was one of the rst, if
not the rst, in Australia to grow and market the
Austrian white gruner veltliner, which winemaker
Larry Jacobs calls Gru. Following its success in the
marketplace, others are now also growing Gru. The
HWH Gru has a distinctive taste of Turkish delight,
nectarine and apple sauce. It goes well with Asian
foods or white meats. The Nepenthe Gruner Veltliner
is a year older than the HWH and was fermented in
French oak and lees stirred for three months both of
which built palate weight. White nectarine and hints
of honey with spice plus a refreshing acdity give this
wine added interest.
La Bise is a warm southerly wind that blows across
Burgundy in the weeks before harvest, disposing
of the cooler more humid air. The best vintages in
burgundy are said to be due to the "kiss of life .
Williamstown-based La Bise owner-winemaker
Natasha Mooney believes that "wines under the La
Bise vineyards label come from vineyards that have
bene ted from the "kiss of life". Pinot gris, named
for the greyish color of the grapes, is called pinot
grigio in Italy. The grapes for La Bise came from the
Kosned vineyard at Gumeracha. Tash says "gentle
handling in the winery retains maximum avor
and texture". The avors are of ripe nectarine and
By Ross Noble
RIESLING is the white wine which rises to
the occasion. It is a great drink on its own,
particularly in summer when you may be
seeking a chilled drink, with nibbles before
a meal or during lunch or dinner when it
becomes a wonderful partner with seafood,
poultry or game.
Many like it as early as the year of vintage
while its freshness is at its peak, others prefer
riesling with some age which can range from
a year or two to maybe 15 as the honeyed
avors which characterise riesling as it ages
begin to take effect.
The color gradually changes to a bright yellow
with green tints, the aromas intensify and the
mouthfeel becomes softer. I have enjoyed
riesling as old as 15--20 years and they were
Riesling today is invariably screwcapped,
capturing the wine s delicacy and residual
freshness but also its distinctive avors as it
ages. Here are some rieslings I have recently
HEADY: Grown bio-dynamically, fermented
in tank and bottled post vintage, the Henschke
Julius Eden Valley Riesling 2015 is named as
a tribute to family ancestor, artist and sculptor
Julius Henschke. Tribute wines are usually
very good -- this is an outstanding example of
Eden Valley s af nity with riesling. Heady,
pervasive perfume of pear, juicy apple and
oral nuances lead to a palate presenting pear
and citrus suggestions, nishing with crisp
minerality. $39.99 CD.
TOP OF THE RANGE: The Henschke
Peggy s Hill Eden Valley Riesling 2015 is
named for a local landmark at the top of the
range between Eden Valley and Keyneton. The
Peggy s Hill riesling has oral aromas with a
hint of lime and avors of lemon and lime into
a refreshing nish. $23.99.
SPRIGHTLY: The Green family has been
growing apples at Lenswood since 1893 and
the Henschke family s bio-dynamic Lenswood
vineyard overlooks the neighboring orchard.
The Henschke Green s Hill Adelaide Hills
Riesling 2015 is a sprightly youngster with
apple skin aromas and lime on the palate amid
crisp natural acidity. $28.99 CD.
FASTIDIOUS: Veteran respected
winemaker Brian Croser says the Tapanappa
Eden Valley Single Vineyard Riesling 2015
was vintaged in the "fastidious fashion" that
he and Con Moshos have "developed over
the past three decades". Winemaker Moshos
"identi ed the 50-year-old Bartholomeus
Vineyard in Eden Valley as a distinguished
riesling site" in keeping with Tapanappa s
distinguished site philosophy, though it is
not owned by Tapanappa. From fruit late
harvested in mid April, the wine "re ects
the austere granitic soil, cool climate terroir
of Eden Valley and is oral and bone dry".
Only 300 dozen were made and while it is a
refreshing, bright young wine now, it is likely
to develop further with say, four or ve years
in the cellar. $29 CD only.
HONEYSUCKLE: The Bird in Hand
Honeysuckle Clare Valley Riesling 2015 is
named for the Honeysuckle shaft at the Bird
in Hand gold mine at Woodside, where the
Nugent family vineyard, winery and cellar
door are located. The wine is made in a semi
sweet style from hand picked grapes and
has oral aromas, concentrated avors of
mandarin and crisp minerality at the nish.
VERTICAL SHOOT: Vertical shoot
positioning in a vineyard just 500m from the
Watervale township captured the "classic
Watervale riesling attributes of lemon and
lime," says winemaker Paul Gordon of the
Richard Hamilton Clare Valley Riesling 2015.
Made in the dry style, the wine re ects the sub
region s ability to produce top class riesling.
A good drink now, it will gain from up to 10
years in the cellar. $20 CD.
MATRIARCH: Mary McTaggart, the
matriarch of the Collett family, planted the
herb garden at the McLaren Vale winery and
riesling was her favorite wine. The Woodstock
Mary McTaggart McLaren Vale Riesling 2015
is sourced from the highest, coolest vineyard
on the estate. Fragrant and full of lime avors,
it is enhanced by oodles of natural acidity.
Winemakers Scott Collett and Ben Glaetzer
say it is ideal with King George whiting.
HIGHER AND HIGHER: Barossa veteran
winemaker Grant Burge, whose wine business
is now owned by Accolade, says "the Eden
Valley area of the Barossa is renowned for
some of Australia s nest riesling styles as
the higher altitude, higher rainfall and cooler
climate" are ideal for riesling and "the 2015
was an exceptional vintage". The Grant Burge
Thorn Barossa Eden Valley Riesling 2015
has citrus blossom aromas and delicious
avors laced with crisp minerality. Ready
now and will develop with medium to long
term cellaring. Great with pan-fried athead.
EXPANSION:The Clare Valley s largest
(400ha) holding of vines is at family owned
Taylors Wines near Auburn. The agship
white wine is the superb St Andrews riesling
at $60 but the budget priced Taylors Clare
Valley Riesling 2015 is an excellent riesling
which is very good value. A blossomy bouquet
leads to a palate of lemon and lime with lively
refreshing acidity at the nish. $19 CD.
WHO said the SA Riverland is
too warm for cabernet sauvignon?
Cadell, on the Murray between
Waikerie and Morgan, is where
Spook Hill Wines is based.
And the Spook Hill Apparition
Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 has all
the characteristics of a top cool
Brooke Blair, a winemaker
recently arrived in the SA
Riverland from western Canada to
take up a job in Berri, was asked
her opinion of the Apparition.
"Yeasty, leathery characters ...
complex primary fruit ... soft and
velvety ... I enjoyed it," she said.
A former winemaker in
Coonawarra, she knows a good
cabernet when she tastes one. A
few years ago she sent a shiraz
she made from the Okanagan
Valley in British Columbia,
Canada, to the International Wine
Competition in London, which
attracts about 3000 entries from
around the world.
It was awarded a gold medal.
There are no rules. Spook Hill
owner-winemaker Jock Gordon
says "as its ghostly name
implies the Apparition, a limited
production wine, will quickly
disappear". Value. $22 CD.
Top Note owners Cate and Nick Foskett in their Kuitpo vineyard.
No rules on reds
Time for 'baby brother'
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