Gallagher Duet Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut $25
It takes years, perhaps decades of experience to make bubbly as good as this – exactly what Greg Gallagher acquired at Taltarni before setting up on his own in Canberra. He sources the chardonnay from his own vineyard at Dog Trap Road, Murrumbateman, and the pinot noir from Mount Majura Vineyard, at the north-eastern end of Mount Majura. The pale lemon-gold colour, small bubble and persistent mousse all point to the delicate, fine, aperitif-style bubbly that follows. Gallagher makes the base wine at the Jeir Creek winery, then completes the bottle-fermentation, remuage, disgorging, liqueuring and packaging in the purpose built cellar next to his cellar door.
Pizzini Sangiovese Shiraz 2010 $17–$18
I suspect that in the fairly lean 2010 vintage Joel Pizzini fattened up the sangiovese with a splash of shiraz. It adds meat to the bone, without detracting from its savoury style. In a line up of fruity, traditional Australian reds, first impression is of a lean and sinewy wine – quite a contrast to all the round fruitiness. But it has bright fruit, tightly bound up with firm tannins and with a persistent, savoury, earthy flavour. The savouriness and firm structure make it a good match with roasted red meats and game or with savoury food, such as cooked tomato and olives.
Rymill Coonawarra The Yearling Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $11.39–$15
The Yearling is one of a number of inexpensive, elegant Coonawarra reds being made for current drinking. Fruit comes from Peter Rymill’s vineyards and the wine is made by Sandrine Gimon and Amelia Anderson at the striking winery cellar-door complex – located towards the northern extremity of Coonawarra’s famous terrra rossa soils. It captures Coonawarra’s bright berry aromas and flavours – in distinctive style that says, “I’m not going to suck the water from your eyes”, as some do. The soft, round tannins contribute texture to the fruity suppleness of the mid palate.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 26 February 2012 in The Canberra Times