Riposte The Dagger Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2012 $20–$22
A visit to the Adelaide Hills in late July turned up some lovely reds and whites from the 2012 vintage – a very favourable season following the cold, wet 2011 season. Winemaker Tim Knappstein sources fruit from various parts of the hills and makes his wine at Wicks Estate – where we tasted Wicks 2012 alongside Knappstein’s Riposte 2012. They’re similarly priced and both offer clear varietal flavour and satisfying, ripe, juicy fruit. The unoaked Knappstein wine, however, seems a little tighter on the palate with attractive savoury character as well as fruit.
Tscharke Matching Socks Barossa Valley Touriga Nacional 2012 $21
Sixth generation Barossa vigneron, Damien Tscharke, recently opened a unique cellar door in the Barossa’s Marananga sub-region. Tscharke and his German wife, Eva, imported pre-cut timber from Germany then assembled the building, comprising cellar door, mezzanine pottery gallery (Eva makes the pots on site), four-metre underground cellar and bed and breakfast facility. Tscharke makes traditional Barossa styles but also works with less well-known varieties, including savagnin, montepulciano and this pretty red, made from the port variety, touriga nacional. It’s a rich, soft red with flavours reminiscent of summer berries and Christmas cake.
Redbank The Long Paddock Victoria Chardonnay 2012 $9.50–$12.95
Redbank is part of the Hill-Smith family portfolio, which also includes well-known brands such as Yalumba, Heggies and Pewsey Vale. The Redbank brand is Victorian based, drawing fruit from the King and Ovens Valleys and, for lower priced wines like The Long Paddock, from warmer Victorian regions as well. In Yalumba’s hands the cross-regional blend delivers high quality at a fair price – especially when the retailers chop into it. The 2012 offers attractive melon and peach varietal flavours in a full-bodied, smooth textured style.
Copyright Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 25 August 2013 in the Canberra Times