Wine review – Pierre Peters, Pikes, Ross Hill

Pierre Peters Cuvee de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Brut NV Champagne $64–$80
Melbourne-based Prince Wine Store imports Pierre Peters’ impressive Champagne and offers it at $80, discounted occasionally to around $64. Few Champagnes at this price offer such stunning quality. Refined, delicate and utterly delicious – with the impressive structure that comes only from prolonged ageing on yeast lees – it’s an all-chardonnay blend from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. This is the heart of Champagne’s chardonnay territory, rated “grand cru”, the region’s highest ranking – and source of great Champagnes such as Krug Clos du Mesnil ($2400) and Salon S ($700). Prince operates stores in Melbourne’s South Melbourne and Essendon, and Zetland, Sydney and sells online at

Pikes Clare Valley Les Campaneros Shiraz Tempranillo 2014 $17–$20
Winemaker Neil Pike reckons Australia’s old workhorse, shiraz, and Spain’s tempranillo make good companions. Shiraz gives the blend traditional rich flavours and soft tannins, while tempranillo injects vibrant, fresh, ripe-berry character and savoury, drying tannins. Pike made the wine in a drink-now style – meaning lots of juicy, fruity flavours, tannins that give backbone and finish, but not hardness, and a modest alcohol content (for the warm Clare Valley) of 14 per cent.

Ross Hill Lily Orange District Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $20
The Orange region’s cool climate produces comparatively delicate, restrained sauvignon blanc, well removed from the market-leading styles from Marlborough, New Zealand. The Robson family’s new release gives a pure, light, refreshing view of the regional style, with herbal- and citrus-like varietal flavours, a delicate but juicy mid-palate, and zesty, dry finish. Winemaker Phil Kerney says it’s a 50:50 blend from two company vineyards at dramatically different altitudes: Griffin Road at 760 metres, and Wallace Lane at 1018 metres.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 5 June 2016 in the Canberra Times