Yalumba Y Series Pinot Grigio 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $11.95; Galway Vintage Shiraz 2005 $13.95
Yalumba’s on a roll with these mid-priced wines. They offer outstanding value and will almost certainly be discounted below the recommended prices given above. Pinot Grigio is a strong, distinctive expression of the variety with pear-like flavour, crispness and rich texture. Y Series Cabernet is a very youthful and solid varietal sourced from the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and Langhorne Creek. It’s made for early drinking but still captures the soul of cabernet. And Galway is simply a great bargain. It’s a beautifully fragrant, juicy shiraz with typically tender Barossa tannins. The depth of this wine reflects the outstanding vintage.
Thomas Hunter Valley The O.C. Semillon 2007 $20, Braemore Semillon 2007 $25
Former Tyrrell winemaker, Andrew Thomas, specialises in the Hunter’s two distinctive wine styles, shiraz and semillon. Thommo’s new releases express the character of two individual vineyards in the lower Hunter. The O.C. from a vineyard planted near Oakey Creek Road in 1999 is the riper, more forward style of the two. But at a still modest twelve per cent alcohol it has a delicious, fine, delicate, lemony freshness. Braemore, from the sandy flats of Hermitage Road, is even more taut with a lovely lemony/grassy edge. It’s an absolutely stunning, classic of the style. Screw-cap sealed it ought to age for decades. See www.thomaswines.com.au
Chrismont King Valley Petit Manseng 2006 $22
Petit manseng, a white variety grown in Jurancon, southern France, makes what Jancis Robinson calls ‘one of France’s unusually underrated treasures, Jurancon Moelleux’ – a seductively juicy, sweet, long-lived white. This dry King Valley version shows the yeast-lees influence and vanilla-like character of oak fermentation and maturation. But the full, vaguely pineapple-like fruit flavour carries these winemaker inputs comfortably. The result is a rich, fresh, oak-influenced dry white with a flavour all its own and worth trying. Arnold Pizzini’s Chrismont vineyard is located at Cheshunt in Victoria’s upper King Valley, opposite Pizzini Wines, belonging to Arnie’s cousin, Fred Pizzini.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007