(2023) A dry Riesling from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, it has punchy lime and green herbs on the nose, just a lovely hint of beeswax too. Delicious palate, riven with that pure lime flavour and acidity, but a little oiliness to the texture adds weight and authority. It's dry, but not austere, with delightfully bold fruit and crispness to the end.
(2023) Some of the highest vineyards at 520 - 540 metres, the fruit from 25-year-old vines is fermented with wild yeast in barriques and puncheons of French oak, 20% new. It spends nine months on the lees, with partial malolactic. Once again, pale straw tones and a nose showing an elegant moderation: there is a little almond and oatmeal, a nutty apple fruit and a sense of gentleness. In the mouth lemony and bright, the focus is good in a medium-bodied format where the crisp acid defines the finish. Imported by Gonzalez Byass UK, but no retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2023) From the Woodside district, 16-year-old vines are planted at 400 metres. The wine was inoculated with yeast and fermented 70% in puncheons, 30% in hogsheads, 80% of which were new French barrels. Aged nine months on the lees, with partial malolactic. Pale and very flinty, the Brazil nut oak plays with crisp apple fruit and freshly-struck match notes. In the mouth this has a pleasing elegance and sourness to the fruit and acid combination that is very grown-up and appealing. It is long and tangy, with a zesty finish. No UK stockist listed at time of review.
(2022) From the cool Piccadilly vineyards first planted by Brian Croser in 1978, this has hazelnut and subtle coffee notes over fresh citrus aromas. There's a biting fresh lemon and tart underripe apple freshness to this, that flashes through fleshy stone fruits, a little hint of smoky minerals and li Ely balance between luxurious ripeness and savoury edge and freshness.
(2022) There are some used barrels (barriques and 500-litre puncheons) used for fermentation and aging of this wine, which comes from the home vineyards in the Eden Valley. Virgilius is in fact a barrel selection, this wine effectively being the remainder of the wine. Louisa says she looks for the more 'open' barrels for this wine with bold fruit character. There is a tiny bit of almond nuttiness, a hint of ginger spice, and apricot and peach fruit. The palate is medium- to full-bodied, with plenty of ripe apricot fruit, but a bit of fruit skin grip and again that dry, quite pithy acidity of the finish.
(2022) A blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc from vineyards in McLaren Vale, made by British MW, Giles Cook. Lots of techniques for fermentation including part in barrel and part in concrete eggs, and most important of all perhaps, 100% of profits go to charitable good causes close to Giles' heart. It has a beautifully clear, crisp but weighty character on the nose, peach and confit lemon fruit and a discreet touch of oak. In the mouth so much layered texture, luscious fruit and a little vanilla from the oak. The acidity is sparky, limey and vibrant, slicing through that broad textural character. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. Â£90 by the case of six (Â£16 per bottle equivalent)
(2021) Predominantly from high altitude vineyards, this was whole bunch pressed into mostly older French oak, with some lees stirring. Winemaker Michael Downer's family established the vineyards in 1988. Quite subtle oak here again, more almond and oatmeal than toast, crisp and clean white fruit aromas, restrained a touch flinty but clean. Once again the palate bursts through with vibrant fruit, real saltiness here, a saline wash over lemons and apples, into a long finish. Delicious, with tangy mineral intensity.
(2021) Again fermented and aged 10 months in French oak, 50% new barrels, and the best fruit selected specifically for this bottling. What an attractive nose, one of the Chardonnays with gentle honey and almond rather than overt toastiness, generous ripe pear and lemon fruit beneath, hinting at peachy tropicality. The palate majors on bursting orange and lime fruit vibrancy, really vivacious, the oak gently supporting in the background, but the juiciness of the fruit and line of acid is lovely.
(2020) This spends eight months in Louis Latour barrels, partly from Meursault, mostly two and three years old. Gorgeous crushed oatmeal and flint nose, a touch of vanilla toast and honey, and very fresh pear and apple fruit. The palate has limpid, pure and quite plush fruit and juiciness, but that fine stony, flinty character adds a lovely edge, the acid lemony and fresh, but with that saline touch that is so mouth-watering and fresh.Â There is density to the fruit, and concentration, but great finesses and freshness. Â£15.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) Yalumba was the first producer of Viognier in Australia that really impressed me many years ago with a wine called 'Virgilius'. That wine will now set you back more than Â£30 per bottle, so I'm delighted to find this excellent example from the same region (The Eden Valley), made by the same winemaker, Louisa Rose, made with some barrel fermentation and wild yeasts, giving a similar character to its big brother. Aromas of lychee and jasmine dominate over peach and apricot, then the palate is powerful and broad, lots of grip and fruit weight and texture, a bite of graperfuit or marmalade orange bittersweet acidity into a long, intense finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.