Wine review– Pizzini, Wirra Wirra and Ferngrove

Pizzini King Valley Rosetta Sangiovese Rosé 2014 $17–$19
Joel Pizzini’s sangiovese rosé pours a light and bright pink colour. The inscrutable appearance, shared by most modern rosés, offers no hint about the style. It could be sweet and bland; soft, gentle and delicately fruity; or dry, savoury and grippy. The aroma yields a few clues – strawberry-like, perhaps a touch of sour cherry, and not sweet. The fresh and lively palate provides the answers: this is a light and refreshing expression of the sangiovese grape. Gentle, savoury tannins give a pleasantly tart tweak to the dry, fruity-but-restrained palate.

Wirra Wirra Original Blend McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz 2013 $19–$25
Wirra Wirra’s new release combines grenache (70 per cent) with shiraz (30 per cent) from McLaren Vale’s McLaren Flat and Seaview sub-regions. Gentle winemaking techniques (including hand plunging of the skins and basket pressing), combined with maturation in older oak barrels, captured the unique characters of the two varieties. The lovely floral notes of grenache combine seamlessly with earthier, fuller-bodied shiraz in a vibrant, round, juicy wine with soft, caressing tannins. It’s a sensuous, jolly, happy wine made to enjoy right now.

Ferngrove Frankland River Orchid King Malbec 2012 $29–$32
Ferngrove’s seriously good malbec comes from Frankland River, about 270 kilometres southeast of Margaret River, Western Australia. While malbec remains largely a blending variety in Australia, it can stand on its own when grown in the right conditions. And clearly they are in this remote corner of the continent. Orchid King delivers the heady, plummy aroma of the variety, along with its deep colour, intense flavour and strong, tannic backbone. Indeed so good is the fruit, it easily absorbed and benefited from extended maturation in new French and Hungarian barrels. The oak influence is notable and, in this instance, symbiotic.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 7 and 18 July 2015 in and the Canberra Times Relax