(2023) A tiny bit more residual sugar than the Fels, but still dry, again this spends 15 months in foudres. A touch of gold to the emerald green colour, and the nose is similar to the Fells with custardy apple and minerality. Maybe just a little more spice and grip than the Fels, though not quite the slick density, but fascinating again.
(2023) From soils of blue schist (slate), aged for 15 months in foudres. Slightly buttery and smoky mineral aromas to golden delicious fruit. The palate shows good fruit density and richness, but a saline touch to the flavours and acidity gives a very interesting, pure and slaty finish.
(2023) Also from terra rossa soils and dry-grown fruit, a wine that spent 14 months in a variety of vessels, new and seasoned French oak vats, barriques and concrete vats. Deep and vivid colour. Pure, creamy black fruit. Svelte and plush, but immediately has some life about it too. The palate here shows a saltiness to the acids, and that really hones the edges of the black fruit, pushing the finish just as much as the tight tannins. A touch of herbal character adds to the very pure, almost minerally finish.
(2022) Feather-light Pinot Noir from Hush Heath estate, the 'Suitcase' of the name referring to the clones used - allegedly once smuggled from Romanée-Conti into the USA in a suitcase. Pale in colour, there's a fair bit of herbal, even flinty character here, tomato leaf and red fruit. On the palate it turns very soft, with sweet fruit but a light-bodied texture. The cherry, raspberry and delicate floral tones of the wine give it plenty of charm, but there is a little rasp of tart acidity as well as some briary tannins to give firmness too.
(2021) This Pinot Noir-dominated blend is always well-made and appealing. They call the production method "Tasmanois", a cheeky avoidance of the 'C' word which is not allowed in such traditional method sparkling wines. Aged on the lees for 18 months, it has a dosage of 9.5g/l. Pale salmon pink in colour, there is both strawberry and crunchy red apple on the nose, though there is a hint of biscuity richness in there too. In the mouth it is quite full with a cushion of mousse and fruit-forward, mouth-filling flavour. It does have some nuances of herbs and flowers in there, but the fruit and good acid balance drive forward, into a pleasingly crisp finish.
(2020) Made by Yalumba since the early 1990s, and one of the most popular wines among the Yalumba staff. There are vine components here from plantings that span the 1890s through to the 1970s, the average age of vines for the wine has been calculated as 75 years old. A hugely juicy, again leafy and earthy style, that basil or curry-leaf component is there again, and that fairly striking tart raspberry juiciness with an axis of red fruit and acid. Tannins are a little smoother than the GSM, but it still grips the finish giving that savoury appeal.
(2020) Bottled 2015, there’s a lovely vinous vintage character to this, a richness and rounded, solid fruit concentration, but the freshness flows through on the palate. Lightened by the acidity and dry tannin structure, this has fruit and generosity but balance too. A lovely style.
(2019) From a single vineyard on limestone, this spends 100 days on the Lees. A golden, glowing apricotty nose, and terrific creaminess though it is unoaked, the palate so bold and fruit-driven, with lots of mineral salts.
(2018) Though not part of the 'vintage pairs' comparitive tasting, 2008 was definitely an Atlantic year for Roda, the winter very dry, then Spring brought rain "that did not stop," with 250mm falling in May alone, followed by a terrible summer and very late harvest for all agricultural produce in the area. There is a herbal note here, as well as cherry and a little dried blood and game note, the pertness of the cherry is lovely. On the palate there is a supple roundness, spiciness, and that herbal touch just adds to the fresh and quaffable character, with plenty of fruit in an obvioulsy well-managed vintage.
(2017) This Fleurie is made in the Château's cellars, which belong to one of the Loron family. The Gamay is grown on pink granite soils and the wine vinified in old oak vats. It has a youthful crimson colour and pleasing, quite svelte nose of crushed black berries, cherries and a little graphite edge. In the mouth it is firm and racy, a fine core of acidity and taut tannin draped with quite concentrated black fruit. Elegant, fairly lean in style, and long.