Summer is coming and with it, a thirst for light, crisp, refreshing dry whites. Aussie semillons, sauvignon blancs and blends of the two are just the shot for slaking the thirst and accompanying summery meals which are big on fish and seafood, salads, cold meats and vegetables.
At this time of the year, it’s usual for wine scribes to pretend there was one wine they tasted in the preceding 12 months that blew their mind, and deserved the accolade ‘Wine of the Year’. It’s always struck me as a faintly ridiculous concept:
Arguably the most important trophy at the Boutique Wine Awards is not for the best wine of the show, but for the ‘best estate grown and produced’ wine. This is an acknowledgement that it takes special effort and commitment to do it all yourself –
If my latest riesling tastings are an indication, the Clare Valley had an exceptional riesling vintage in 2014. The number of superb wines to already emerge on the market is impressive: Pikes (tastings), Wilson Vineyard (tastings), Leo Buring (Leonay – tasting), Grosset (tastings), Mt Horrocks (tastings), Kerri Thompson (Wines by
Fermenting white grapes with their skins and seeds has become a fringe activity in some quarters in the winemaking business, and often the result is a hazy, brown/amber coloured concoction which has no freshness, charm or distinctive flavour and aroma. Trying to make sauvignon blanc
Grosset Gaia Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc, Clare Valley 2011 $74 The colour is glowing medium-deep red-purple and it smells of vanilla, toast and raspberry, with no greenness despite the wet year. Indeed, it’s a triumph: medium-full body and smooth texture, lovely drinkability and balance, with
Riesling… with summer coming up, it’s the wine I’m going to be drinking lots of in the coming months. It’s refreshing, light, low in alcohol, and adaptable with food. Really, riesling should be the wine for everyman and woman: it’s good young, it’s good mature
Having enjoyed innumerable 2012 vintage Australian rieslings, and concluded it’s one of the better vintages of recent times, I got a shock reading the recent Sydney Royal Wine Show results catalogue.
Being the king of the castle can have its problems, as Jeffrey Grosset attests. Grosset is conspicuous for being widely rated as Australia’s finest riesling maker: his Polish Hill (tasting notes), Springvale (tasting notes) and off-dry Alea rieslings (tasting notes) from the Clare Valley are at the top the
Tim Kirk, chief winemaker at his family’s Clonakilla winery at Murrumbateman, is well-known as a religious man, but now it seems he is working his own miracles.