Krinklewood Vineyard Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2003 $25
This is a delicious example of how top-notch grapes and sensitive winemaking produce a first-class wine that’s truly expressive of the variety and region. Suzanne and Rod Windrim grew the fruit on their biodynamic Krinklewood vineyard at Broke in the lower Hunter Valley; Jim Chatto made the wine at Monarch Winery. It’s a full but delicate chardonnay of striking varietal purity and stunning freshness — enhanced by a subtle nutty flavour and textural richness derived from fermentation and maturation on lees in barrel. It’s screw cap sealed and at three years combines a mature integration of fruit and barrel flavours with drink-me-now vivacity. Available through Candamber, Vintage Cellars or phone 02 9969 1311.
Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne NV $60
The Ginger Room at old parliament house offers Gosset at $15 by the glass – a delightful way to rediscover Champagne from this great, but not widely distributed, old Ay-based producer. Having been stung by a tricked-up NV from one of the major producers at Christmas it was a delight to taste a beautifully fresh example of the real thing, based on the classic rich but delicate blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier from top vineyards. Distributor David Burkitt says it’s available at Georges Liquor Stable and Benchmark as well as at The Ginger Room.
Margan Hunter Valley Semillon 2005 $18
Andrew Margan sources this from a low-yielding Broke vineyard planted by Lindemans in about 1970. It’s notably more fragrant than the semillons of nearby Pokolbin and a tad fuller on the palate, too. But it has similar, taut acid backbone, and lemon-like varietal flavour. The combination of delicate, lemony fruit, low alcohol (about 11 per cent) and bracing acidity is at odds with the prevailing Aussie ‘fruit bomb’ style. A pleasant tartness in the finish adds to its appeal with food. And, of course, it has the ability to age for many years, even decades, given correct storage. Cellar door phone number is 02 6574 7216.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2006 & 2007