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Displaying results 0 - 10 of 19

(2019) long-gully-semillonIt's a common misconception that Australia is a country with a very young wine industry and, therefore, only very young vines. In fact, vines have been established for almost 200 years, and with Phyloxerra never reaching many vineyards regions it also boasts some of the oldest, still productive, vineyards in the world. The label here declares 'Ancient Vine', and that's no marketing BS: this Semillon vineyard in the Barossa Valley is an astonishing 130 years old. Made by David Franz (son of the legendary Peter Lehmann), it is unoaked, but spent 10 months on the lees in tank to build flavour and texture.


Pale lemon in colour, it opens with notes of lemon jelly and pollen, the bee theme continuing with a touch of beeswax, something a litle creamy too. On the palate it burst with vivacious flavour. There's a surge of lemon - fat and sweet rather than tart and thin - plenty more peach and citrussy, orangey flavours too, and the rich, slightly chewy texture adds to the intrigue. The natural concentration of these old vines is apparent, the intensity never letting up into a long finish, that flits with sweetness, but indeed finishes dry, licked by salt and lemons. This 2015 is listed at Harvey Nichols at time of review though not on their web site, but the 2017 has slightly wider distribution.

(2019) From a range named in honour of Max Schubert, the winemaker who created Penfolds Grange, this is Chardonnay sourced from the cool Adelaide Hills. The Hills were the original source of fruit for Yattarna, Penfolds' 'white Grange' project, which sells for £100+ per bottle, and although Yattarna is now a blend with Tasmanian fruit, the Adelaide Hills is prime Chardonnay country for Penfolds and many other top brands. This is a terrific example at its affordable price, of the precision and freshness the terroir here can give. Aged in French oak, but only 20% of it new, there's oatmeal and nougat on the nose, stone fruit aromas and a flinty whiff of Chablis-like reduction. Only 12.5% alcohol tells of early picking, which helps with that, and on the palate brings a huge surge of lemon zestiness to the ripe fruit and barrel-derived richness and toasty fullness. I found this to a very classy Chardonnay in a thoroughly modern New World style. Watch the video for more information.
(2017) Very attractive blend between a touch of creamy, waxy textural weight and tangy fruit with a nettle edge. The palate too has some weight and some fat, with a lemon jelly brightness but then that running stream clarity with the softer mouthfeel onto the long, very firm acidity in the finish
(2017) The family has been making wine in the Clare for 30 years. There's a firm green character to this single vineyard wine, with a suggestion of phenolic melon skins and lime rind, the palate delivering a shock of dry grapefruit pith acidity, a slightly fatter lime character coming through, but that chalky dry acidity punches through. Should mature nicely.
(2017) A slightly more floral and more elegant character on the nose than the Pikes, a touch of exotic fruit and waxiness. The palate has a real intensity, lemon and lime streaking through, a bit of wet pebble mineral character. Prettier than the Pikes.
(2017) From a 1973 vineyard, still worked by owners who are in their 80s. Quite a phenolic character, melon rind and light waxiness, with a touch of green, but streaking with juicy acidity, sharp apple and citrus fruit, but a little bit of bright lemony character too. For the future.
(2017) A blend of fruit from a 1960s dry-grown vineyard and a 1990s vineyard. A bit of richness here, a bit of smoky minerals, with again a mineral chalkiness to the acidity, a bit of more vivacious grapefruit and lime fruit.
(2017) Ripe, smoky and deeply waxy, a very pungently fragrant Riesling, with a beautifully clear and elegant palate, the acidity now a crystal clear and imbued with a sense of elegant freshness.
(2017) Very fresh and zippy, with a touch of really nice beeswax but love the freshness and zip, and the acid so beautifully integrated already.
(2017) Creamy and waxy, a delicious bright apple purity and streak of lime. A lovely midway point between the shimmering acid brightness of youth and the butter and wax development. long and minty into the finish.
Displaying results 0 - 10 of 19