Current Issue #488

Wine reviews: home and away

Wine reviews:  home and away

At The Adelaide Review, we like to concentrate on wines from South Australia, as we truly are the lucky state when it comes to diversity of wine styles.

This month, however, we will focus on wines beyond state borders; from a pristine German Riesling to vinous offerings from the mysterious lands of New Zealand and New South Wales. We had to slip in a Barossa Grenache though. Just to keep them honest. Enjoy.

Trinity Hill

2013 Gimblett Gravels Syrah RRP $42  Hawkes Bay is a lovely part of New Zealand and one of the things they do extremely well is Syrah. Hailing from the stellar 2013 vintage, this particular one from Trinity Hill is an absolute ripper. Hawkes Bay is a relatively young region on the timeline of world wine and while there are a number of terroirs within its boundaries, the wines produced off the free-draining river gravels seem to consistently produce the best wines. It’s a sneaky little bugger; from its hue, it kind of tricks the mind into thinking that it will be some big, bruising, opulent beast. It’s quite the opposite, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here — the nose first. There is great clarity to the wine’s aromas — black and dark berry and plum fruits, daubed with spice and licorice with black pepper notes. Beautifully weighted in the mouth with stunning fruit purity and detail; the wine flows elegantly across the palate with bright, stony acidity and super-fine tannins. A wine of great grace, tension and balance from a vintage that has all the hallmarks of being a classic for the region.

John Duval Wines

2013 Annexus Grenache RRP $70  South Australian Grenache continues to ring my bells and the inaugural release of John Duval’s Annexus is testament to the amazing old vine resources we have within our sun-drenched state. Sourced from two plots in the Barossa, one Survivor block of around 70 years of age that made it through the vine-pull unscathed, and an amazing old Ancestor vineyard near Springton in Eden Valley that was planted in 1858. Notes of spice and dried citrus rind with flashes of raspberry and jasmine top-notes underscore dark cherry, berry and juicy plummy fruits on the nose. The inclusion of 20 percent whole-bunches opens this baby right up with the palate displaying precision and a spacious feel as it slips across the tongue. Beautifully weighted at the lower end of medium-bodied the wine finishes with great poise and balance, a gentle tug of fine, ripe tannin and perfect tension between pure Grenache fruit and stony acidity. A stunning debut.

Weingut Keller

2014 Riesling Trocken RRP $45 German winemaking superstar Klaus-Peter Keller produces some of the finest dry Rieslings on the planet. The 2014 vintage marks the 225th anniversary that the Keller family has been producing wines in the Rhinehessen and this ‘entry-level’ Riesling is so lip-smackingly gorgeous that it is deserving of a place at the dinner table of Riesling-freaks across the globe. It displays superb aromatic detail and clarity with juicy stone-fruit characters coming to the fore – white peach and yellow plum at first with aromas of grapefruit and pithy lemon joining in. Hints of slate, orange and tangerine rind and white flowers add layers of complexity. A high acid year, you can expect plenty of drive on the palate which again shows amazing purity of fruit, fanning out at first with opulent stone-fruits before the acidity reins it in and propels the wine to a lingering, crunchy, bone-dry finish. It finishes with that almost saline, savoury sapid acidity that drives me bonkers and immediately has me reaching for another glass. Wicked!

Ravensworth Wines

2013 Seven Months RRP $32   Orange wines, amber wines, skin-contact white wines… they are a thing, you know? Exotic fruits jump from the glass — guava, feijoa, paw paw and jackfruit with some juicy peachy notes for company. Hints of honeysuckle, souk-like spice, white flowers, Turkish delight and wafts of rosewater complete the aromatic picture. Slinky, textured and clean as a whistle on the palate, again with tropical and yellow stone-fruit flavours, cut with exotic spice, dried citrus and honey. It’s the texture that appeals most, all slinky and pithy with a wash of sweet tannin lying below the rich layers of fruit and spice, finishing rich, dry, savoury and stony. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this at the dinner table, as it will handle quite robust dishes. White wines produced in a red wine fashion with extended time on skins aren’t exactly new. Their history stretches back to the birth of wine in Georgia and Armenia, but as a wine style, they have certainly made an impact in recent years for their slinky textures, captivating aromatic profiles and versatility in the wine/food matching stakes. As the name suggests, seven months on skins for this particular blend of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer (from Bryan Martin in Murrumbateman in NSW) and it is a stunner.

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