Wine Notes – January 2009

By Franz Scheurer


Bridgewater Mill Pinot Grigio 2008

A stalwart of the Adelaide Hills Bridgewater Mill’s Pinot Grigio is a dry, austere, cool-climate wine, with an acidity that reminds me of wines from Alto Adige in Italy. The colour is thankfully not stripped out (along with the flavour) as so many producers do and the slightly pink tinge of this wine is rather attractive. Drink it cool but not cold and enjoy it as an aperitif or with some fresh egg pasta.  RRP $ 22.95

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Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2007

This wine is produced by the Trott family in McLaren Vale and although pioneer Greg Trott’s dream of building a catapult (medieval siege machine or ‘trebuchet’) to bombard his vinous neighbours with fine wine never came to fruition he would no doubt be proud of this wine. Typically McLaren Vale: full bodied Shiraz with a touch of Viognier. Bottled under stelvin at 14.5% a/v this is a very textural wine with good structure, full bodied and very good, long and moreish finish. At a RRP $ 20 this is a great drop!

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Chateau Tanunda 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

This superb wine is made by Tim Smith from two parcels of Eden Valley fruit and four smaller parcels of Barossa fruit. It’s an eminently drinkable wine right now, although cellaring for a few years won’t do it any harm. It’s elegant with a typically Eden Valley kick and bottled at 14.5% a/v. I love the fruit, restrained yet convincing and backed by sweet vanilla from the oak. This is a very nice red and at a RRP $ 28 per bottle a bargain to boot.

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Printhie Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Orange’s cool climate and high altitude helps make Sauvignon Blanc a perfect wine for the region. It’s ‘cats’ pissy’ almost like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but seems riper, with more substance, although it does remain herbaceous. This is the wine to have with steamed, fat white asparagus and a dollop of Hollandaise sauce.

Look for it in your local bottle shop. RRP $ 17

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Plantagenet Omrah Sauvignon Blanc

About half the fruit for this wine is sourced from Pemberton (WA) and the other half from Mount Barker, Great Southern (also WA). The wine is made by John Durham (ex Cape Mentelle) and he lets the terroir speak for itself. He tried to preserve as much of the natural fruit as possible, although he does use a tiny portion of barrel fermented stock, to add texture and complexity. This is a smooth, integrated and balanced wine with preserved lemon, rose petals and celery pushing the flavours on the palate. A good, smooth and dry finish makes this an approachable wine and I would personally drink it now.

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Pulpit Rock Pinot Noir 2004

It seems the Southern Highlands are slowly presenting us with some excellent Pinot Noir. Although the majority of Southern Highlands’ vines are planted on fertile soil, giving great yields and very average wines, the Pulpit Rock Pinot Noir fruit comes from far further west, near Wombeyan, resulting in stressed vines, low yields, heart break for the winemaker, and very good wine. The name comes from the rock formations overlooking the vineyard and the region traditionally has a low rainfall, high sunshine and challenging granite soil and the 2004 vintage certainly confirms this. The wine is fermented in French oak barriques by winemaker Rhys Eather and he has the experience to determine exactly how long this wine has to be stored in order to obtain maximum complexity before bottling. This is a fruit forward Pinot Noir with enough forest floor and vegetal aromas and flavours to make you sit up and take notice. This is a good wine, although in absolute minimal supply. I believe the wine is in the $65 bracket and at this it’s very good value indeed.

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