Hardys Chronicles Twice Lost Langhorne Creek Pinot Grigio 2014 $16
During the nineties our major companies, and some private investors, planted broad acres of vines at Langhorne Creek to feed the wine-export boom then underway. With ample water, a warm climate, tempered by nearby Lake Alexandrina, the area produced healthy yields of high quality fruit – which, of course, is exactly what attracted investors there in the first place. Generous, soft, varietally pure red wine remains the area’s real specialty. But white wines perform well, too, albeit without the distinction, in my view, of the reds. Hardys pinot grigio delivers fresh, clean, pear like varietal flavours on a soft and refreshing palate.
Tim Smith Barossa Mataro Grenache Shiraz 2013 $24.50–$28
Former Yalumba winemaker Tim Smith struck out on his own in 2002, following a trip to France’s Rhone Valley in 2001. In his 2013 vintage three-variety Rhone-inspired blend, Smith used a smaller proportion of firm, spicy mataro (also called mourvedre) than he did in the 2012, though it remains the dominant variety at 45 per cent of the total. Floral, soft grenaches contributes 33 per cent and rich, earthy shiraz 22 per cent. It’s perhaps a tad fuller bodied than the 2012, but continues in the highly aromatic style, with rich, juicy, spicy, mid-palate fruit and assertive but smooth tannins.
Mount Horrocks Clare Valley Semillon 2013 $30
Stephanie Toole’s semillon provides the full body and texture of an oak-fermented white but unique flavours, far removed from our usual oak-fermented tipple, chardonnay. Semillon’s unique lemon- and lemongrass-like characters come through in both the aroma and flavour and give delicious vigour and life to the deep, satisfying palate. Though fermented and matured entirely in oak barrels, it’s the fruit flavour, finesse and texture that appeal most of all, meaning the oak barrels did their job without intruding. O’Toole makes her wines from 10-hectares of vines in the Clare Valley. Her semillon comes from the Watervale sub-region at the southern end of the valley.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 11 October 2014 in goodfood.com.au and 12 October 2014 in the Canberra Times