Wine review — Pizzini, McWilliams Mount Pleasant, Tim Adams and Grosset

Pizzini King Valley

  • Sangiovese Shiraz 2009 $17.50–$19
  • Il Barone 2006 $40–$43

Fred and Katrina Pizzini’s vineyards, in Victoria’s King Valley, reflect the family’s Italian heritage. They offer straight Italian varietals, but sometimes blend Italian grape varieties with old Australian favourites, of French origin. These are Italian in style, with an Aussie accent. In the sangiovese shiraz blend, shiraz adds a fruity g’day to the mid palate of a wine generally dominated by the lean, savoury, dry sangiovese. It’s a lighter style for pizza, pasta and picnics. Il Barone, a serious blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, sangiovese and nebbiolo, delivers huge drinking satisfaction in a unique rich and fruity but dry and savoury way.

McWilliams Mount Pleasant
“Jack” Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $14.99–$17.99,
Coldstream Hills Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 $27.99–$34.99

Coonawarra cabernet at $17.99 or less? Yes indeed, and it’s a decent, drink-now drop, made from McWilliams large holdings in the area. It smells and tastes like cab sauv – ripe berry flavours and elegant structure – with a clever touch of oak filling the mid palate, and finishing firm and dry. McWilliams named it after Jack McWilliam, founder of the Riverina’s first winery. Riverina and Mount Pleasant (Hunter Valley) are both a long way from Coonawarra, so I wonder about the label. For double the price Coldstream Hills delivers a highly polished, deeply flavoured cabernet for the long haul. It’s a gem.

Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling 2010 $19–$25
Grosset Springvale Watervale Riesling 2011 $37

Riesling’s unique finesse and delicacy show in these two lovely but very different Clare Valley whites. Tim Adams’ version, at a low 11.5 per cent alcohol, starts a little on the austere side with the delicious, teasing, racy, lemony edge of just-ripe riesling. But a core of delicate fruit offsets the lemony tartness. Great value and potentially long cellaring here. Grosset’s classic appeared in a masked tasting held by Jeir Creek’s Kay Howell. This is perfection: classic Watervale (a Clare sub-region) floral and lime aroma; amazingly fine, gentle, juicy, limey palate and clean, fresh, lingering acidity.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011