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(2022) The Chardonnay for this wine is selected from vines on clay-limestone soils at an average altitude of 280m.  Fermentation in stainless steel is followed by 18 months in oak barrels and foudres. It's a wine of cool restraint, plenty of flinty character over citrus and rioe apple, smoke wreathing around the aromas. The palate has volume and texture, but that super cool and lean fruit and decisive acidity keeps this pin-sharp, some grippy phenolic and a little creamy barrel component adding tension and savoury detail.
(2022) Nero d'Avola is the signature red wine grape of the Italian island of Sicily, but it has been increasing in popularity world-wide, including in Australia. This is a lovely example from McPherson Wines' Italianate range, Bella Luna, which sees some oak but is very much fruit-forward. It bursts with blackberry and cherry juiciness and aromatics, touches of floral character too, before a flood of fruit on the palate. There is silkiness and depth, but always a nice bright fruit and acid profile along with modest tannins to make for an easy drinking, but classy mouthful of wine. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2022) What a lovely Champagne, all 1er Cru Chardonnay, fermented with 20% in barrels, and aged 48 months on the lees. It has 8g/l dosage, and this bottle was disgorged November 2018. Beautifully biscuity and toasty, with a crushed almond sheen of elegance and obviously ripe fruit exhibiting a certain generosity. The mousse is cushioning and creamy, and the palate poised between hazelnut richness, peachy fruitiness and a generous line of limey acidity. The richness keeps this decadent, the acid line sharp, in a delicious and elegant wine.
(2022) A wine bottled for the Bulgarian-based Vida Wines, which has recently set up shop in the UK offering some really interesting wines from across Central Europe. This is a Viognier from the Danube Plains, made with "minimal intervention with a more natural and sustainable approach." With only 12.5% alcohol it has clearly been picked quite early and there's an interesting struck-match, slightly sulphury note to the aroma, then herbs and a cool apple fruitiness just hinting at peach. The palate has a much peachier character, more luscious, but then a really salty note, like a lemon sprinkled with sea-salt, adds grip to the finish. It's a really interesting wine, quite a different expression of Viognier, and the price falls to £7.43 or £6.99 if buying six or 12 bottles. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) There's 3% Malbec in the blend too, in a wine from a top vintage for Margaret River, with a long, rain-free autumn allowing for slow, full ripening. The Art Series comes from selected parcels of fruit, the wine spening fully 22 months in barrel before bottling. Dark, saturated and dense in both colour and aroma, there's loads of spice and cedar, and a core of pure blackcurrant. In the mouth the creaminess of the texture impresses first, with a supple flood of black fruit that is ripe, fleshy and sweet. Mocha coffee and dark, roasted spices add a lot of depth and drama, then the finish picks up much more of the grippy, but fine tannin and a rasp of refreshing plum-skin tart acidity. Long and very pure in the finish, with cellaring potential.
(2022) This Shiraz was harvested in the last week of February, at the same time as 2019's Riesling. Fermentation included 20% whole bunches, and the wine was matured in second and third use barrels for a total of 18 months. Vivid crimson in colour, there's a fabulously peppery aromatic, with loads of violet too, and charming blueberry and plum depth of fruit. A really attractive cooler climate style. In the mouth there's abundant sweet black fruit, quite glossy and ripe, but with a cherry skin grip of more tart fruit that gives an edge. The cedary barrel component adds more grip, as does a firm tannin quality and plenty of acid grip. The finishing impression is of freshness in among the more succulent fruit characters.
(2022) From an excellent vintage, the Art Series Chardonnay is fermented in 100% new French oak barriques, with a percentage of whole bunches in the mix. The wine is blended after 11 months in barrel. Despite that significant oak treatment, this has a gentle mealiness and creamy almond quality rather than anything overtly toasty. It seems a tad more precise than the previous vintage. There is a little buttery Brazil nut beneath, but also a certain coolness to the fruit, a hint of tangerine to peach and ripe pear. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and has very good freshness, the acid sparky and streaked with lime, that cuts through more buttery and tropical fruit flavours. Again there's salinity, and that plus the zesty citrus gives this fine definition, with a bit of grip too.
(2022) In a mild year, the Riesling harvest began on February 22nd and was completed within a week. A selection of the best parcels was chosen for this bottling, which saw minimal time on lees after fermentation in steel. Delicately floral and fresh on the nose, there is lime and blossom, but a gentle character from the outset. In the mouth it is a wine of great running mountain stream clarity, all about lemon and sharp apple flavours, a fine salty edge to the acidity in a long finish that ripples with lemon juice zestiness.
(2022) A very nicely done, Fairtrade accredited Chardonnay from Stellenbosch, aged eight months in French oak. It is really nicely pitched, the light custard and almond sheen of oak over creamy golden delicious fruit leads on to a palate that has medium-bodied texture, plenty of juicy orange fruit and citrus acidity, and enough toasty and creamy oak to add polish. There's a well-judged hint of flintiness too. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) A blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano from vineyards in the Marche region of eastern Italy, this has typically brisk Italianate acidity that gives it a savoury and fresh profile. Fruit is cherryish with a light earthiness, tannins are modest and the overal balance is on the lean side, but that would make t an excellent pasta or pizza-basher. Watch the video for more information.