(2020) Fermented in stainless steel with "a short maturation in French oak," fruit is sourced from both the Limestone Coast and Grant Burge's Barossa homeland. Fruit is to the fore, melon and apple, just a small suggestion of oak, the wine quite crisp in the finish with pear-drop hints always in the background. I have to say it's a wine that feels just too 'manufactured' - constructed in Australia to be commercially appealing, bottled here in the UK, and I'll expect to see it 'on promotion' at £7 or £8 fairly regularly.
(2020) Always a value for money favourite, the recipe for this entry-level Viognier in the Yalumba portfolio still involves 100% wild yeast fermentation, three months of lees ageing, but not oak. Very aromatic and pure, it has a lovely soft downy peach and floral character, fresh but soft and summery. In the mouth there's just a hint of that nice phenolic grip, a tang of citrussy, orangy acidity and a fresh but easy-drinking finish. A lot of wine for the money really.
(2020) Yalumba released their first organic Viognier in 2006, and 14 years on this lovely wine comes from organic vineyards to the north of Adelaide, and is made with minimal intervention. There's certainly a more gastronomic, savoury and saline character here compared to the Y Series. Juicy and well-fruited, with a lovely sense of purity and the merest touch of RS just broadening the feel of the dry finish.
(2018) From the Fleurieu Peninsula of McLaren Vale, very close to the ocean and city of Adelaide, this is a very good example of the new Australian Chardonnay: no sign here of that heavy vanilla oak or blockbuster ripeness: with 12.5% alcohol this is rich, rounded and crammed with sweet fruit that takes centre stage. There is a touch of that flinty character that makes Chablis so appealing, but then the juicy, sweet orange and peach fruit.
(2017) There's a whisp of ginger and cinnamon on the nose, then spangle-bright tropical fruit, just an edge of something green and capsicum-like. In the mouth the fruit is sweet, and for me just doesn't quite integrate as it should with the rush of a slightly green acidity. It's very drinkable, but just missing its mark for me.
(2017) Another classic, a bone-dry Riesling from the Clare Valley, there's a nice hint of the floral and beeswax side of Riesling to the otherwise fresh and limey fruit, even a hint of exotic lychee. Rippling with salt and chalk acidity, there is nevertheless plenty of lime, sliced apple and juicy Mandarin orange fruit to balance, in a long, shimmering wine.
(2012) Proof positive that Australian Chardonnay has changed, in the shape of this pristine, 12.5% alcohol wine from the Wirra Wirra team in McLaren Vale. The nose is all about apple and citrus (orange more than lemon probably) with a subtle melon and gently tropical tone beneath. On the palate a limey streak of fruit and acidity keeps the picture taut and fresh, though it is a wine with a bit of texture and nutty breadth too. The 12.5% was achieved purely by early picking of the grapes apparently, and matching up with some smoked salmon or a any seafood dish would work really well.
(2012) This, harvested from cooler regions at night to retain maximum freshness, comes in with a feather-weight 10.5% ABV so seemed like a good candidate to include here. A little squirt of Cº2 at bottling adds to the impression of liveliness here, the nose offering some lemon sherbet aromatics and a touch of background herby punch. On the palate this is light and flavoursome, with good Sauvignon grassiness and cut, again an impression of a little residual sugar, but plenty of cleansing apple acidity.
(2012) St Hallett's blend of 60% Semillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Riesling is always a winner combining exotic, ripe-fruited drinkability and real zing. Here at its bargain price it is a Spring and Summer banker. Punchy, herb-tinged stuff, with some lime cordial and a hint of waxiness, the Riesling apparent on the nose. The palate has delicious mouth-filling fruit, just loads of flavour and texture, the pithy lemon dryness of the finish adding lovely balance.
(2012) The Adelaide Hills has become a hotspot for cooler climate styles of Chardonnay in South Australia, the little bit of elevation dropping a few degrees of average temperature from vineyards on the flat. This wine is lightly oaked, and offers nicely vanilla and brioche-licked aromas of fresh pear and apple, with just hints of more tropical fruit beneath. On the palate the wine delivers full fruit sweetness: with 14.5% alcohol this is short on neither texture or impact, the oatmeal and custard richness of the oak and texture sitting very nicely beneath the crisp fruit and elegant apple acidity of the finish. Lovely with some pork and cinnamon-apple stuffing.