Wine Reviews May

3 May

GIACONDA Aeolia Roussanne 2008

Beechworth, Victoria

Photograph courtesy of the Wine House

Not everybody is privy to the fact that Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda has a gorgeous 100% Roussanne wine up his sleeves that he has been making since 2000. Some would say it’s a bit old-school, then rub their hands together as they wait in anticipation for the arrival of his ‘should be interesting‘ Nebbiolo.
Sorry, sidetracked for a moment there!

Back to this wine in particular, it is made from the Nantua and Warner vineyards in Beechworth and called Aeolia. That’s right, Ae-o-li-a. I’m not referring to the pigmented aureole around your nipple nor the Italian garlic mayonnaise aioli. Aeolia is a wine that can go the distance (such as the superb vintage of 2005 Aeolia), or is heavenly in its youth (like the focused 2008 Aeolia). Core to both wines is a heady perfume of honeydew and cashews, a hint of exotic spice, followed with a mouth-filling, tropical fruit, minerally, textural palate that continues to surprise with its length. Who ever thought Roussanne could be so good looking on its own!

IZWAY Preservative Free Shiraz 2010

Barossa Valley, South Australia

Photograph courtesy of the Wine House

In early March esteemed wine lover Max Allen called upon everyone’s attention on Twitter to the natural Izway Barossa Shiraz 2010: “Organic, with no sulphur added, some yeast put in towards the end of ferment, and the superb quality of the fruit resulting in a lovely, unforced, spicy and balanced wine”. Preservative-free wines can take a little getting used to, simply because the wine in the glass is so pure and speaks most ardently from where it is from. Sourced from high quality, unirrigated, low-yielding vines, this wine exemplifies Barossa Valley fruit character without any other fluff getting in the way.

SEPPELT Drumborg Riesling 2009

Great Western, Victoria

Photograph courtesy of the Wine House

I do not think I would be alone in boldly suggesting that this wine could compete against any of the finest Rieslings in the world. It is one of Australia’s shining glories. It has a delicate mineral touch, a characteristic squeeze of lime followed with the most breathtaking acidity that gives it extraordinary length. Leave it in the glass and it exhales its bouquet of fresh white flowers and lime even more, continually pulling you back in for one more succulent sip.

CRAIGLEE Shiraz 2008

Sunbury, Victoria

Photograph by La Donna del Vino

After trying the Chardonnay 2008 from Craiglee, it was time to move onto his Shiraz, a wine that has built up a nice reputation for the Sunbury region. I got blackcurrant, bark, liquorice and a slight kick of menthol on the nose. The palate is not so heavily weighted…in fact, this is what appealed to me (even though I was having this wine with a deliciously hearty Scotch fillet steak). Typically a cool-climate Shiraz from Victoria rides the more elegant path. This wine will show you exactly what that means. The Craiglee Shiraz is haunting and seamless in its pristine and balanced structure and on the second night (yes, I know, I need to be more of a boozehound and one day finish a bottle) opened up to more brighter red fruits that had remained hidden on the first. Fab stuff.

THOMAS WINES Braemore Semillon 2010

Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Photograph by Grant Scicluna

The encroaching cold weather infers a lean towards reds but I think it shameful lest we forget the vibrancy and elegance of Hunter Valley Semillons. So shoot me for writing about it in May. More specifically, it would be unjust should I not praise the consummate performer, Andrew Thomas of Thomas Wines, who never fails to impress with his mouth-watering Braemore Semillon. There is a delicate hint of tropical fruits in this wine but overall it is definitively focused and centered in the citrus spectrum. Like all good-fruited Semillon from the Hunter, the potential for ageing definitely exists and it will benefit from your patience. Clearly not mine in this instance. Enjoy it with oysters.

GREENSTONE Shiraz 2007

Heathcote, Victoria

Photograph by La Donna del Vino

How many wines can claim they have the crème de la crème making them when it comes to winemaking and viticultural skill? Greenstone can testify to that with renowned Italian winemaking consultant Antonio Antonini (of Frescobaldi & Antinori fame) and one of Australia’s leading grapegrowing consultants Mark Walpole (of Brown Brothers, amongst others) at the helm. The 2007 Shiraz has a very high drinkability (oh and a modest alcohol of 13.5%) whilst still displaying inky, dark berried concentration in flavour, complemented by a fine-grained tannic presence. It is the most elegant Heathcote Shiraz I have seen in its price range and a wine that I will proudly tout for years to come. On a personal side note, I think his upper-range Greenstone Sangiovese is the best one coming out of Australia…but that’s another story.

One Response to “Wine Reviews May”

  1. I gave birth to a wino! May 26, 2011 at 11:31 PM #

    Wow! Entertaining and great reviews!

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