JIM BARRY The Florita Riesling 2013
Clare Valley, South Australia
Aside from being a very pretty name, Florita signifies one of the oldest and most famous vineyards in the Watervale region of the Clare Valley. Back in the day, lovely Florita provided fruit for some of Australia’s greatest and long-lived Rieslings, like Leo Buring in the 60s and 70s.
Florita for me is like a lady who knows how to age gracefully – the epitome of elegance. Someone like Carmen Dell’Orefice – America’s oldest working model at the tender age of 83 and one hell of a classy lady.
Florita is all poise with gentle floral aromas of lemon blossom and verbena. Amongst this she has a mineral hint of talc powder and a sweeter suggestion of melon skin at the finish, further highlighting her delicate nature. Her natural acidity is not jarring, racy or crunchy, but soft and completely in sync with the rest of her structure. The overall texture is that of silk in the mouth and she leaves you with impressive length of flavour. Florita is pure and one to easily stand the test of time, should you choose.
Stockist: Dan Murphys
YANGARRA Old Vine Grenache 2012
McLaren Vale, South Australia
Yangarra Estate is a fabulous little winery in McLaren Vale, which boasts wines made from their own biodynamically grown vineyards and some seriously old Grenache vines. Their Grenache was planted as bush vines back in 1946 and grows with no irrigation. The grapes are then treated with the same respect using nothing overly fancy – just an open-top fermenter, some wild yeast and a basket press to finish off the job.
The result is a bright magenta-hued wine with an abundant nose of cassis, black cherry, dried mulberry and a touch of spearmint. The palate was immediately appealing with a classic earthy quality that Grenache offers, fine and charcoal-textured tannins and overall a fair amount of grip. The acidity is pronounced but suits the depth of the wine and leads into a graphite flavour at the finish.
Keep an eye out for other dynamic wines from this producer, such as their white Roussanne and red Mourvedre, preservative-free Shiraz and GSM.
Stockist: Small Patch Wine & Beer, Hawthorn or Barrique Wine Store, Healesville
MARKOWITSCH Blaufränkisch 2011
This is the first ever Blaufränkisch I have officially reviewed on La Donna del Vino, which is ridiculous considering how much I enjoy drinking this variety. I place this red Austrian variety on the same pedestal as I do Italian varieties like Lagrein and Teroldego. They are all delicious wines of medium-bodied, but with depth of flavour and a mix between fruity and savoury to intrigue me further.
The Markowitsch winery grows their vines in the Carnuntum region alongside the beautiful Danube river. Their Blaufränkisch displays classic aromas of baked plum, liquorice, chocolate, cherry liqueur and crushed almonds. This is a more serious style with the plum and chocolate flavours dominating on the palate and supported by a more herbal, savoury finish. There is the classic gentle, juicy acidity to keep the wine fresh on the palate and fine, medium-bodied tannins to balance it out and suit a wide range of winter dishes.
Make sure this wine is served at 16-18ºC. If your house gets as cold as mine in the winter then you might find yourself cupping your glass a little longer to get the most out of it, but I promise that it’s worth the wait.
Stockist: King & Godfree, Carlton