Corkscrew

Reviewed by 
Jim McMahon

It’s not often you get the chance to taste family reserve wines from Cowra-based Windowrie Estate, but here I offer you their Windowrie Family Reserve 2012 pinot gris greyish/pink in colour with a perfumed nose offering such flavours as musk, white pear and slight honeyed flavours.The palate is soft and fruity with those same flavours available on the nose cascading onto the palate. The wine is nicely textured with possible French oak treatment adding to the textural mouth feel. Soft acids and a judicious mix of fruits and other flavours add to the enjoyment that an exceptionally well made pinot gris, or should that be a “reserve” wine, has to offer (rrp $25).

BlackJack Vineyards is situated in the Harcourt Valley region of Bendigo in Victoria. BlackJack Major’s Line 2010 shiraz displays a youthful crimson/purple colour with a redeeming pink rim. The nose offers black olive, spice and black currant flavours with hints of vanilla emanating from the oak. The palate is nicely textured with a seamless balance of dark berry fruits, oak and tannins with balanced acids. The mix of fruit is judicious on this medium to full-bodied dry finish (rrp $25).

Moving across to Mudgee, the Lowe Wines Tinja Mudgee 2012 chardonnay is light yellow with a green tinge in colour. The nose offers some vanilla oak while also displaying mandarin, cucumber and green apple flavours. The wine on the palate is nicely balanced between subtle French oak and fruit flavours. The wine finishes firm with crisp acidity and generosity of fruit (rrp $20).

Orange-based winemaker Gerald Naef produces some stunning wine styles such as riesling, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Here I offer you his Patina Scandalous 2011 riesling. Pale straw in colour with a youthful green rim, the nose is awash with citrus flavours most notably lime juice flavours. The palate is crisp and fruit-driven with those same limy citrus flavours dominating. The finish is clean with fruity crisp acidity driving a mouthwatering dry, acid finish (rrp $22).

Still in Orange, I recently tasted two Angullong Wines one was the 2012 savagnin and the other was the 2011 chardonnay. The savagnin grape pronounced savv-an-yan had a bit of a confused history here in Australia where it was once called albarino. About 25 years ago many winemakers here in Australia imported what they thought was albarino from Spain, via the CSIRO. This mistake was confirmed by DNA testing a couple of years ago, which confirmed that the cuttings imported were in fact savagnin. The name albarino was quickly dropped and replaced by the word savagnin. 

Angullong the Pretender 2012 savagnin displays a clear vibrant pale straw colour with a green tinge. The nose offers white pear and citrus notes. The palate displays a mouth-filling texture which indicates possible lees stirring  while the wine was in bottle or a deft hand was played with the oak; either way it is enjoyable. With the citrus, pineapple flavours dancing across the palate, the firm texture and crisp acidity of this medium bodied wine adds to its allure (rrp $22).

Angullong 2011 chardonnay has suffered no identity crisis, with the grape forming the backbone of the Australian wine industry for decades. Pale lemon in colour, the nose offers green apple, apricot and citrus flavours. The palate is refreshingly crisp with those same flavours together with subtle French oak adding to the enjoyment of this wine. The finish is dry with firm acidity and lots of fruit flavours (rrp $17).

It’s not often that I get to taste entry point wine and when I do, it really brings to my notice the quality on offer, especially with blended wines such as the De Bortoli Sacred Hill 2012 traminer riesling. Pale straw in colour, the nose is nicely perfumed with aromatics of lavender, spice and ripe citrus fruits. The palate offers ripe grapefruits and other tropical fruits with a musky ripe soft acid finish (rrp $7.50).

Staying with De Bortoli, also try their 2012 Sacred Hill semillon sauvignon blanc with its youthful green tinge and pale lemon colour. The nose is fresh and fruity with a myriad of fruits on offer. The palate is crisp and dry with semillon-dominated fruit while the sauvignon blanc flavours are more in the tropical fruit spectrum. The soft acidity on the finish helps enhance the ripe fruit flavours (rrp $7.50).

Moving on to South Australia and the Fleurieu Peninsula to be precise, I offer you the Dandelion Pride of the Fleurieu Peninsula 2011 cabernet sauvignon only the fourth release of this wine. Deep crimson in colour with a lovely pink hue around the edge of the glass, the nose offers plum and black currant flavours together with rhubarb and beetroot characters. The palate is fruit-driven with judicious amounts of red and blackberry fruits with hints of herbal chocolate flavours also coming through. The oak/acid/tannin flavours are in balance and add to the complexity and structure of the wine. The medium-bodied finish displays palate length and fruit finish (rrp $27.50).

Finally, I offer you a cheeky little number, Normans Holbrooks Road 2012 Adelaide Hills pinot gris. This style of wine is one of my favoured styles. I much prefer gris over grigio, any day of the week. The colour in this style can vary from green, grey to pinkish depending on the vintage, region and how long the grapes are left on the vine. This is more pinkish in colour. The nose is very aromatic and perfumed and immediately grabs you as you swirl the wine around in the glass. The fruit on the palate is in abundance with white pear, honeysuckle and overripe citrus flavours. The wine is nicely textured with a very pleasant mouthfeel combined with soft acids on a long and fruit-driven finish. The wine is available at $10 a bottle. It is the best example of a pinot gris I have ever drunk for less than $25 a bottle

It’s not often you get the chance to taste family reserve wines from Cowra-based Windowrie Estate, but here I offer you their Windowrie Family Reserve 2012 pinot gris — greyish/pink in colour with a perfumed nose offering such flavours as musk, white pear and slight honeyed flavours.The palate is soft and fruity with those same flavours available on the nose cascading onto the palate. The wine is nicely textured with possible French oak treatment adding to the textural mouth feel. Soft acids and a judicious mix of fruits and other flavours add to the enjoyment that an exceptionally well made pinot gris, or should that be a “reserve” wine, has to offer (rrp $25).

BlackJack Vineyards is situated in the Harcourt Valley region of Bendigo in Victoria. BlackJack Major’s Line 2010 shiraz displays a youthful crimson/purple colour with a redeeming pink rim. The nose offers black olive, spice and black currant flavours with hints of vanilla emanating from the oak. The palate is nicely textured with a seamless balance of dark berry fruits, oak and tannins with balanced acids. The mix of fruit is judicious on this medium to full-bodied dry finish (rrp $25).

Moving across to Mudgee, the Lowe Wines Tinja Mudgee 2012 chardonnay is light yellow with a green tinge in colour. The nose offers some vanilla oak while also displaying mandarin, cucumber and green apple flavours. The wine on the palate is nicely balanced between subtle French oak and fruit flavours. The wine finishes firm with crisp acidity and generosity of fruit (rrp $20).

Orange-based winemaker Gerald Naef produces some stunning wine styles such as riesling, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Here I offer you his Patina Scandalous 2011 riesling. Pale straw in colour with a youthful green rim, the nose is awash with citrus flavours most notably lime juice flavours. The palate is crisp and fruit-driven with those same limy citrus flavours dominating. The finish is clean with fruity crisp acidity driving a mouthwatering dry, acid finish (rrp $22).

Still in Orange, I recently tasted two Angullong Wines — one was the 2012 savagnin and the other was the 2011 chardonnay. The savagnin grape — pronounced savv-an-yan— had a bit of a confused history here in Australia where it was once called albarino. About 25 years ago many winemakers here in Australia imported what they thought was albarino from Spain, via the CSIRO. This mistake was confirmed by DNA testing a couple of years ago, which confirmed that the cuttings imported were in fact savagnin. The name albarino was quickly dropped and replaced by the word savagnin. 

Angullong the Pretender 2012 savagnin displays a clear vibrant pale straw colour with a green tinge. The nose offers white pear and citrus notes. The palate displays a mouth-filling texture which indicates possible lees stirring — while the wine was in bottle — or a deft hand was played with the oak; either way it is enjoyable. With the citrus, pineapple flavours dancing across the palate, the firm texture and crisp acidity of this medium bodied wine adds to its allure (rrp $22).

Angullong 2011 chardonnay has suffered no identity crisis, with the grape forming the backbone of the Australian wine industry for decades. Pale lemon in colour, the nose offers green apple, apricot and citrus flavours. The palate is refreshingly crisp with those same flavours together with subtle French oak adding to the enjoyment of this wine. The finish is dry with firm acidity and lots of fruit flavours (rrp $17).

It’s not often that I get to taste entry point wine and when I do, it really brings to my notice the quality on offer, especially with blended wines such as the De Bortoli Sacred Hill 2012 traminer riesling. Pale straw in colour, the nose is nicely perfumed with aromatics of lavender, spice and ripe citrus fruits. The palate offers ripe grapefruits and other tropical fruits with a musky ripe soft acid finish (rrp $7.50).

Staying with De Bortoli, also try their 2012 Sacred Hill semillon sauvignon blanc with its youthful green tinge and pale lemon colour. The nose is fresh and fruity with a myriad of fruits on offer. The palate is crisp and dry with semillon-dominated fruit while the sauvignon blanc flavours are more in the tropical fruit spectrum. The soft acidity on the finish helps enhance the ripe fruit flavours (rrp $7.50).

Moving on to South Australia and the Fleurieu Peninsula to be precise, I offer you the Dandelion Pride of the Fleurieu Peninsula 2011 cabernet sauvignon — only the fourth release of this wine. Deep crimson in colour with a lovely pink hue around the edge of the glass, the nose offers plum and black currant flavours together with rhubarb and beetroot characters. The palate is fruit-driven with judicious amounts of red and blackberry fruits with hints of herbal chocolate flavours also coming through. The oak/acid/tannin flavours are in balance and add to the complexity and structure of the wine. The medium-bodied finish displays palate length and fruit finish (rrp $27.50).

Finally, I offer you a cheeky little number, Normans Holbrooks Road 2012 Adelaide Hills pinot gris. This style of wine is one of my favoured styles. I much prefer gris over grigio, any day of the week. The colour in this style can vary from green, grey to pinkish depending on the vintage, region and how long the grapes are left on the vine. This is more pinkish in colour. The nose is very aromatic and perfumed and immediately grabs you as you swirl the wine around in the glass. The fruit on the palate is in abundance with white pear, honeysuckle and overripe citrus flavours. The wine is nicely textured with a very pleasant mouthfeel combined with soft acids on a long and fruit-driven finish. The wine is available at $10 a bottle. It is the best example of a pinot gris I have ever drunk for less than $25 a bottle.

Jim McMahon teaches hospitality at Sutherland TAFE.