Robert Stein Mudgee Riesling 2008 $25
A few sips on one of those recent 40-degree days and it was first in best dressed for the rest of the bottle. It’s an irresistible and exceptionally brisk, refreshing riesling, weighing in at just 11.5 per cent alcohol and with the refreshing qualities of fresh, chilled lime juice. The label doesn’t give the precise origin – and the website seems to be mute as well – but the high acidity and intense, fine, lime-like varietal flavour suggest a cool region – perhaps from one of the more elevated sites in the vicinity of Mudgee. It’s won several trophies and gold medals and it’s available from the winery at www.robertstein.com.au
Grosset Piccadilly Chardonnay 2006 $46, Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2006 $57, Clare Valley Gaia 2006 $52
Some time back Clare Valley based Jeffrey Grosset spread his wings to include in his range a couple of wines from the much cooler Adelaide Hills – a little further south of Clare on South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges. His barrel fermented chardonnay is in the modern taut, zesty complex style and has the capacity to mature gracefully for four or five years. Grosset’s pinot is deceptively velvety, juicy and easy to drink now. But from past experience will take on more complex earthy, gamy flavours with a few years bottle age. Gaia -– a cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot blend – is my favourite of the three. It’s powerful but smooth with the pleasing astringency of cabernet. Should age well in the long term. See www.grosset.com.au
Main Ridge Estate Mornington Half Acre Pinot Noir 2006 $62, Acre Pinot Noir 2006 $52
Nat and Rosalie White are just about out of these two ultra-fine, intense pinots so they’re rationed to three bottles a customer. But if you’ve a taste for fine, ethereal, pure pinot noir, then this is as good as it gets in Australia – see www.mre.com.au. And the 2007s, due for release in May are another notch up in quality. Indeed, in two days of tasting at Mornington recently it became clear that Australia is right up there with the best of the new world producers. We now have pinots of the highest calibre, coming from Mornington, Yarra Valley, Macedon, Gippsland and Tasmania.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009