Turkey Flat Butchers Block Barossa Valley White 2013 $20–$22
The Rhone varieties marsanne, viognier and roussanne seem well suited to the warm, dry Barossa Valley, producing in 2013 a notably fleshier Turkey Flat blend than the also loveable 2012. The wine offers texture and savouriness, with underlying apricot-like flavours typical of warm-grown viognier. Christie Schulz says she sourced the grapes from vineyards in the Barossa’s Bethany and Stonewell sub-regions. Each variety received its own treatment before blending, including oak maturation for the marsanne component. It’s a delicious and more-ish wine, one of a growing number of similar blends out of the Barossa.
Mawson’s The Vickers Limestone Coast Chardonnay 2013 $15.95
In the export boom of the 1990s, Yalumba’s Robert Hill-Smith joined the scramble for broad-acre viticultural land in Wrattonbully – an undulating limestone formation sprawling 40 kilometres along the Naracoorte tableland and touching Padthaway to the north and Coonawarra to the south. The vineyard, named for Douglas Mawson, is now home to Hill-Smith’s Mawson’s brand. The wine benefits from Yalumba’s long-term work with chardonnay. It captures the appealing, melon and stone fruit flavours of the variety, woven with the texture of skilled oak fermentation and maturation. It delivers richness without heaviness at a modest 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Printhie MCC Orange Shiraz 2012 $36
Printhie shiraz comes from the company’s Phalaris block towards the lowest, warmest point of the Orange district. Even so, MCC 2012 sits at the cooler end of cool-climate shiraz styles. It’s highly aromatic – combining bright, strawberry-like character, overlaid with the spice and white pepper indicative of very cool growing conditions. The latter often points to green, unripe flavours in shiraz. But Printhie just makes it over the line – the white pepper, acidity and fine, firm tannins balancing delicately with the vibrant fruit flavour. We found warmth and comfort in a bottle on a recent cold, wet night at Orange’s recent food week.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 4 May 2014