(2020) A lovely take on a broadly Alsace-style Pinot Gris from the higher altitude vineyards of Orange, not that far from Sydney. There's a spiced pear compote character on the nose, ina full-coloured white wine, a touch of mineral saltiness too, all very appealing. In the mouth there is good texture despite the lowly 12.5% alcohol, a surge of pithy, dry and saline acidity, and the baked pear and lighter peach and lime fruitiness balances nicely, a touch of oak adds a gentle spice.
(2020) A family domaine that until 10 years ago sold its fruit to the co-operative cellars of Tain l'Herimitage. The current generation now bottle their estate wines, organically farmed and certified, made with natural yeasts, and with minimal use of sulphur. From vines with an average age of 20 years, this Crozes-Hermitage opens expressively, with juicy plum and blueberry, a lovely little lift of violet, and a subtle beetrooty earthiness. In the mouth it is substantial and serious without being heavy or ponderous; there's firm cherry and plum-skin acidity, quite thick and ripe tannins, but plenty of natural fruit concentration and mid-palate sweetness. It finishes dry and savoury, but maintaining that fruit. I suspect this will cellar well for up to 10 years.
(2019) Though the estate was sold by the Ratcliffe family in 2017, this wine still bears the title that referred to co-founder Norma Ratcliffe. It is essentially unoaked, and the alcohol is moderate at 13%, and yet it has a richness and touch of the 'golden Chardonnays' about it, with ripe fruit and stirring of the lees in tank building sweetness and texture. Fruit touches on the tropical, but is more about juicy melon, with a fleshiness and yet good balancing acidity.
(2017) A blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, this Côtes de Provence pink is certified organic and has a pale peachy-pink colour. On the nose it has delightful fragrance: small red berries like redcurrants and a touch of downy peach skins, with the mineral hint of sea breezes. In the mouth it is both concentrated and elegant, certainly plenty of sweet and ripe fruit to fill the mouth, but that clarity of the acidity, that saline hint, all giving lovely gastronomic appeal too, finishing bone dry with plenty of verve and tang.
(2017) Made from 100% Rolle, or Vermentino as it is also known, this is unoaked and has exemplary freshness, obviously picked quite early as it is both bone-dry and has only 12.5% alcohol. It's a lovely bright and summery wine, pristine aromas of firm yellow plums, orchard fruit and a touch of sweet almond as well as hints of blossom. In the mouth the clarity and texture is so reminiscent of its rosé partner in many ways, focused more on racy, dry pear and a touch of apricot, but the verve and saline tang carries through in the long finish. Poised, elegant and seafood friendly. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.