Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2013 $30
Down the coast during January we feasted regularly on the local seafood. We found sweet, fresh-caught Coila Lake school prawns, at outlets between Moruya and Ulladulla, for as little as $14 a kilo. They became a staple, served with homemade coriander pesto and various breads from Braidwood’s Dojo bakery. The prawns don’t know it, but they’re even more delicious with chardonnay of this calibre. The wine’s nectarine-like varietal flavour, silky texture, subtle caramel notes and vivid, fresh acidity blended seamlessly with the sweet, prawny little schoolies.
De Bortoli Bella Riva King Valley Sangiovese 2013 $16–$18
In 1994 the De Bortoli family planted sangiovese and other Italian varieties in their Bella Riva vineyard, located in Victoria’s King Valley. Twenty years on, a combination of controlled cropping and Steve Webber’s sensitive winemaking captures the rustic, savoury side of sangiovese. Bright, fresh, sour-cherry-like varietal character lies at the heart of the wine. But a deep savouriness, reminiscent of, say, fresh-crushed herbs, black olives and seared red meat, give a delicious rustic edge, which is completed by grippy tannins and pleasant tartness in the aftertaste. This is a drink-now wine.
Angullong Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $19
The 220-hectare Angullong vineyard, 35-kilometres south of Orange, rolls in and out of the Orange wine-district boundary, which is defined partly on altitude. The vineyard’s altitude varies by only 40 metres, from 580-metres to 620-metres. But only the vines located above 600-metres lie within Orange. Those below it qualify for the Central Ranges appellation. Imagine the headaches keeping all the batches separate. The cooler sites suit sauvignon blanc, spectacularly so in the 2015 vintage. This is lovely spicy, herbal, textured sauvignon of a very high order – and quite a subtle alternative to the more in-your-face styles from Marlborough, New Zealand.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan
First published 21 February 2016 in the Canberra Times