Mitchell Clare Valley – Riesling 2008 $22, Peppertree Shiraz 2006 $25, McNicol Shiraz 2000 $40
Keep the 2008 rieslings rolling. They’re delicious. And with Andrew and Jane Mitchell’s there’s always an extra textural richness to go with the pure, delicate varietal flavour. Lap it up while you can. The reds, too, are distinctive, combining Clare richness with an elegant structure. We loved the vibrant and fruity 2006 Peppertree at a recent tasting – the first bottle to be emptied afterwards. And the McNicol is rare treat: a mature, warm, inviting red that combines freshness with the mellow, earthy flavours that come with age. For screw-cap doubters it’s proof that reds mature perfectly under this seal.
Pikes Clare Valley – Traditionale Riesling 2008 $23, The Merle Riesling 2008 $38
The 2008 rieslings continue to show their credentials with these two rippers from Neil Pike. Neil writes that he sees the 2008s as “the best riesling wines we have made since the fabulous 2005 vintage”. ‘Traditionale’, sourced from Clare sub-regions Polish Hill, Watervale and Sevenhill, provides pure, soft, delicate drinking right now – it’s great value. “The Merle”, from Pike’s vineyard in the cooler Polish Hill sub-region, presents a more intense, taut face of Clare riesling – a wine of exceptional finesse and delicacy with long-term cellaring potential as well as drink-now appeal.
Teusner Barossa Valley – Riebke Shiraz 2007 $22, Joshua GSM 2007 $27, Albert Shiraz 2006 $47
Kym Teusner’s ‘entry’ red, named for the Riebke brothers, grape growers from Ebenezer in the northern Barossa, delivers the pure, drink-now pleasure of fragrant, spicy, soft shiraz. Its cellar mate, Albert, puts considerably more oomph in the Barossa experience with its dense, crimson-rimmed colour and matching deep, ripe, concentrated flavours, laced sympathetically with charry oak. There’s a savoury element and it’s tannic, but in the soft Barossa mould. Magnificent is not an exaggeration. Joshua combines grenache, mourvedre and shiraz in a slightly lighter coloured blend that leads with the distinctive, slightly musky perfume of grenache and charms with the fine, savoury, spicy magic of the blend.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008