Wine review — Tyrrell’s, Pizzini and Grosset

Tyrrell’s Lost Block whites $14–$19

  • Hunter Valley Semillon 2009
  • Frankland River Sauvignon Blanc 2009

The popular vote’s with sauvignon blanc at present and Tyrrell’s version – sourced from Frankland River, Western Australia – scrubs up better than most as it has flesh and texture to match the tropical-fruit-like varietal flavour. Almost apologetically, Bruce Tyrrell’s press release calls it “the result of commercial necessity”. I suspect Tyrrell’s heart and palate are more in tune with the semillon. It’s a refreshingly low 11 per cent alcohol and features appealing, delicate, lemon-like regional flavour. But instead of the bone-dry austerity often seen in young Hunter semillons, especially those built for decades of cellaring, Lost Block’s round and soft and quite juicy, despite the low alcohol.

Pizzini King Valley

  • Pinot Grigio 2009 $18.50
  • Whitefields Pinot Grigio 2009 $25
  • Nebbiolo 2005 $45

Pinot gris, pinot grigio – same grape, but understandably the Pizzini family adopts the Italian name and northern Italian winemaking style. The cheaper version always rates well against its Aussie peers. But the new Whitefields 2009 offers a lovely extra fruit concentration – and the textural richness and complex flavour derived from barrel fermentation (with wild yeasts). At a recent tasting people quaffed the Whitefields down in preference to the Tyrrell’s semillon reviewed above. At the same tasting Pizzini Nebbiolo 2005 upstaged the other reds. It’s an exciting expression of this powerful, elegant and tannic Piedmontese style.


  • Piccadilly Chardonnay 2008 $53
  • Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2008 $66
  • Clare Valley Gaia 2007 $60

We tasted Grosset’s Piccadilly after a run of very good chardonnays. And it stood out – not because it was bigger or bolder; but for its delicacy and harmony. It’s a wine of great underlying power and richness – and it’s seamlessly absorbed all the winemaking inputs that often build layers of distinct flavours around chardonnay. One bottle seemed hardly enough. Likewise Grosset’s pinot delivered buckets of flavour and in the most subtle, enjoyable, more-ish way. And Gaia, a blend of cabernet sauvignon franc and merlot, delivered juicy, ripe berry flavours cocooned in firm, dry tannins.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010