Mitchell Clare Valley McNicol Riesling 2007 $35–$48
Jane and Andrew Mitchell’s McNicol riesling comes from a high-altitude Clare Valley vineyard. They write, “[it] has never been irrigated and neither herbicides nor pesticides have been used”. They say the vines “work for a living, rather than having it all handed to them” and as a result produce wine that is “simply too powerful to be released in its youth and needs time in the cellar”. The McNicol could well be the most beautiful riesling you ever try: stunningly fresh at eight years, amazingly powerful and varietal, yet mellowed by time, and with a long life still ahead.
Hay Shed Hill Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014 $18.05–$20
Many Margaret River producers ferment and mature some or all of the components of this signature regional blend in oak barrels. The practice lends body, backbone and texture (and sometimes oak flavours) to their wines. At Hay Shed Hill winemaker Michael Kerrigan opts for a more riesling-like approach, aimed at capturing the pure varietal fruit characters of the two varieties. Fermentation of the finest cut of juice in steel tanks at low temperatures delivers a strikingly pure wine, with pungent varietal character, reminiscent of torn pea shells and fresh-mown grass.
Turkey Flat Butchers Block Shiraz Grenache Mataro 2013 $19
Turkey Flat is one of the Barossa’s must-visit vineyards, with rows of gnarled old vines planted in 1847 and a range of beautifully made estate-grown wines. Butchers Block (owner Christie Schulz’s entry-level red) combines the valley’s three signature red varieties shiraz, grenache and mataro. The proportions vary each season and in 2013 shiraz leads at 48 per cent, followed by grenache (28 per cent) and mataro (24 per cent). They’ve been making this blend for a while now, so it’s a highly polished, harmonious blend presenting the lovely, sweet ripeness of the warm 2013 vintage. Fragrant, gentle, juicy, spicy and soft, it’ll put a smile on any face.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 26 April 2015 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times.