How rare is it to see a platypus in the wild, their natural habitat. From what I understand, it is nigh on impossible. Those who have, should consider themselves very lucky indeed. I was listening to a podcast recently and a fellow was saying how he and a friend managed to see one but pretty much only got a glimpse of it, mainly because if a platypus is startled it dives under water and can stay there for extended periods of time. What it came down to was, patience, plain and simple.
Old pinot noirs in the market are also a rarity. Those who spend time looking for them know they have to be patient, know that they will show up eventually and the wait will be worth it. Here is one that has popped out of the wilderness and onto the Grey Sands website for all to see.
This wine is still a lovely colour in the glass and the dark fruit aromas are such that you would struggle to pick this as a ten-year-old Pinot Noir. On the palate, dark cherry and mouth-coating plums shine for me with a nice level of exuberance and, while ‘time-tamed’, gives the impression of more to come. The tannins may be a little drying but there’s still a good amount of fruit in support to carry them through on the nice, long finish. It is definitely worth treating yourself to something as beautiful and rare as an aged Tassie Pinot Noir like this one.
Grey Sands Website
Region: Glengarry, Tasmania Price: $90 Source: Generous gift
This may sound a bit strange, but tasting this aged wine gave me a glimpse into the future. What do I mean by that? Well, back in July of this year I was lucky enough to try the 2018 vintage of this particular wine. It is common knowledge that the Huntington Estate wines age very well, so, to actually get the opportunity to try the same wine at 13 years of age gives me a glimpse of how the 2018 vintage is going to look in the future.
As a wine, I love how this presents at the tender age of 13 years. Yes, it’s showing some aged characters, albeit slightly, which is to be expected but, there is also a good bunch of nice dark berry fruits coming through with dark cherry and plums helping out the flavour factor. The tannins are just there, but for the most part, integrated, and it’s all wrapped up in a cloak of confidence to age for a few more years yet even though it is sitting in a very nice spot right now. A most enjoyable experience indeed!
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $? Source: Thanks kindly to Huntington Estate
At the moment there are so many things that constantly make me think, I can’t wait for summer! The current unseasonal rain, cold mornings leading into cool days, and let’s not forget the terrific Rosés starting to appear on the wine landscape. Yes, we have some occasional sunshine encouraging the desire to open a Rosé, however, some warmth in the air wouldn’t go astray. Of course, it’s not critical to have warm, sunny days to drink Rosés, especially when you come across wines of this calibre. It’s just as inviting while dining with friends, or simply relaxing in the warmth of your comfy lounge.
I’ll start with four words. Give. Me. More. Please. So much flavour yet remaining light, vibrant and so moreish. A basket full of red berries providing the fruit flavours, delightfully smooth across the palate, the finish is lovely and dry but gee, that flavour just keeps giving. I’m more than happy to confess, there was not a drop left in the bottle of this rollicking Rosé. I started with four words. I’ll finish with one. Buy!
Huntington Estate Website
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $27 Source: Sample thanks kindly to Huntington Estate
As a kid, I can remember mucking about with the hose when the water would all of a sudden stop. I don’t know why but, as a naïve young boy, I looked at the end of it. It was not uncommon for one of my brothers to be watching from the tap and, as I did this, they would then turn the tap back on. It is easy to imagine what the result of that stunt was. Yep, a gush of cold water to the face causing me to quickly point the hose in a different direction and take a deep breath in. On a warm summers day, that was definitely a welcome relief but initially it was a bit of shock to the system.
Trying these two wines caused a similar reaction but that was due to the cool, intense and refreshing impact they both had on my olfactory and taste senses.
Robert Stein Website
Source: Sample courtesy of Robert Stein and Define Wine
2022 Dry Riesling
Riesling at its very best. It’s slightly floral on the nose but it’s the citrus aromas that get your mouth watering right from the get-go. The palate is pure, fresh and full of life. Juicy limes don’t hold back providing the intense yet refined flavour, the acidity crisp and graceful at the same time, the finish, so so long. It’s the type of wine that has you drawing in your cheeks to get every last bit from the inside of them so as to experience every last drop of it. This is such a lovely, lovely wine and has two gold medals around its neck already. Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $40
2022 Half Dry Riesling
What a wine to follow the dry Riesling! I can’t begin to tell you how lucky I feel to have been given the opportunity to try these wines again. It has all the hallmarks and varietal characters you’d expect from a Riesling with citrus characters of lemons and limes, lemon sorbet, a slight textural feel and a great finish. It might have 15 grams of residual sugar but, due to the fine and focused acidity, this is one lovely balanced beauty. Loved it! Region: Orange, NSW Price: $50
Taking nothing away from the big wine producers and their expansive cellar doors, I do enjoy visiting the smaller wineries and their cellar doors that could be a converted barn, former homestead or something as simple as a trestle table set up in the winery. For me, they seem to have a certain charm, genuineness and uniqueness to them. And, when you visit the cellar door, there’s a chance you will be greeted by the owner and/or winemaker, who is happy to spend the time, share their wine and convivial conversation with you. This is exactly what happens when you visit Bob & Rita Richter at Grey Sands vineyard. It is always a pleasurable visit as you sit on their veranda, taste wine at their outdoor table as you take in the view, and you can’t help but go away feeling like you’ve made new friends.
I do very much enjoy this particular wine in the Grey Sands line-up. It is very giving on the palate in the form of dark fruit characters that are plush, generous and mouth-filling. The tannins are always fine and nicely integrated with the abundant fruit making for a wine that is congenial and approachable already, but with plenty of age-ability tucked in under all of that too. Here is your hearty red meat dish or hard cheese partner all under the one cork.
Grey Sands Website
Region: Glengarry, Tasmania Price: $45 Source: Generous gift
I didn’t realise just how long the Rosé style of wine has been around. Apparently, it all started way back in the B.C. times when, in southern France, they blended white and red grapes, and produced a ‘pleasant’ pink wine that was widely talked about around the Mediterranean. It was, and is known by other names too such as, blush wine (a long time ago), rosato (in Italy), rosado (in Spain) and, was even called ‘Claret’ in France at one stage and was quite a trendy drink. As Juliet is sort of quoted as saying to Romeo in ‘that’ famous William Shakespeare play,
“What’s in a name? That which we call a Rosé
By any other name would taste just as good;“
Okay so it wasn’t quite like that but, even if the Rosés around today, these two included, were known by a different name, it wouldn’t change their appeal.
2022 Prosecco Rosé
I have to admit to being someone who was frightened by the word Prosecco. For me it meant ‘sweet’ and because of that, I avoided anything with the word on the label. Fast forward to today to a wine that is bright, zesty, with good flavour and drinkability, and the variety has a new fan. Flavours of strawberries dictate terms on the palate with a nice touch of lemon like acidity and finishing cool and crisp, ready for those casual afternoon catch-ups. Nicely done. $25
2022 Mouvedre Rosé
This is good…very good! I could leave it at that but there’s more I have to tell you about this Rosé. It’s a bottle full of red berry fruit goodness, mouth-filling texture, subtle oak and spice, a touch of acidity and finishing nice and dry. A delicious Rosé that provides flavour and freshness in equal amounts that will rate highly in the popularity stakes. $25 (bargain!)
It is really difficult to have favourites when it comes to the Grey Sands wines. As soon as you try one of their wines you may think, “This is my favourite.” But tasting another one of their wines, that thought soon disappears because you’ve discovered another ‘favourite’. And it happens so easily when you sit down with Bob or Rita, or both of them, and taste through their range that you end up taking away a bottle of more than just one of your favourite wines.
I’m not sure exactly what this blend is, however, the first Romanesque started off as a Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Touriga Francesca blend, but Bob and Rita have been including Aglianico, Lagrein and semi dried Tannat also. It doesn’t really matter because here is a wine that exudes deliciousness for mine. Lovely black berry fruits and dark cherry richness, there’s a slight savoury sort of edge to it too, while the tannins are fine as the wine finishes nice and long. Now, I’d like to say this is my favourite Grey Sands wine, but then so is the…(insert any Grey Sands wine here and repeat).
Grey Sands Website
Region: Glengarry, Tasmania Price: $45 Source: Generous gift
I have briefly mentioned before that I was a hopeless social poker player (I haven’t played for many years). The reason being, I just can’t hide my emotions or keep a straight face. When I was pleased with the cards I had in my hands, I may as well have had a billboard on my forehead. Everyone would have known I had a good hand and I wasn’t bluffing.
There would be no hiding my emotions when tasting these wines in front of my friends. I have dimples and I reckon, after the first taste of each of these wines, they would look like craters! There’s no hiding the exceptional quality, there’s no hiding the amazing value and there’s no way I’ll be hiding my excitement. These two Rieslings are Aces in any pack and my advice, hold’em, don’t fold’em. They are definitely worth betting on.
Region: Porongurup, WA Source: Thanks kindly to Castle Rock Estate and Define Wine
2022 Estate Riesling
The aromas are just beautiful! It’s a little floral but so citrusy and minerally and fresh and so delightfully attractive. Spend as long as you like taking in the aromas…I did. Intensely flavoursome on the palate it seems to keep on giving all the freshness and vivaciousness you’d expect from the citrusy characteristics of such a youthful expression of the variety. Limes, lemon sherbet, lovely distinct yet fine acidity and incredible length. Terrific! Price: $30
2022 ‘Skywalk’ Riesling
Similar on the nose to the previous Riesling, this one is also an aromatic delight. Again, freshness and youthfulness abound in spades. Rich in flavour on the palate, the citrusy fruit characters dominate (as expected of course) but such that it is all about the fruit flavours, and not the ‘acid attack’ you’d expect from a such a young Riesling, if you know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, the acid is present yet delicate and provides perfect support for the abundant fruit to the point of there being a textural feel to the wine as it finishes nice and long. Just as terrific! Price: $25
I was listening to the radio recently and the hosts were talking about the recently announced weather forecast which followed the news bulletin (the weather always seems to be at the end). One of the hosts mentioned how they always let us know which way the wind will be blowing. He then went on to quote a line from a Bob Dylan song and it went something like, “You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.” To a certain extent, he’s right. Anyone can go outside, hold something light in the air and the wind will blow it in the same direction it’s travelling. It’s like someone telling me, before I even try this wine, that it is going to be an excellent Pinot Noir. I don’t need anyone to tell me that. I knew it would be!
I have a thing about the colour of Pinot Noir, and as this looked so pretty settling into the glass, it grabbed my attention immediately. The aromas are the perfect preface to what the palate will experience. There’s the freshness of strawberries and cherries, the subtleness of spices and a hint of herbs. The palate is complex, characterful, and flavoursome. Ripe strawberry and dark cherry fruit form a terrific base as it seems to continue to build the longer it lingered and ‘filled out’ on the palate. Complemented by some herbal notes and spice characters giving it a nice savoury touch, while the tannins are silky smooth. This is, hands downs, a lovely Pinot Noir.
Castle Rock Estate Website
Region: Porongurup, WA Price: $40 Source: Thanks kindly to Castle Rock Estate and Define Wine
I have a mate I don’t see as often as I used to. Almost every time he sees me, he asks, “What’ve you been drinking lately Mr Peters?” in his baritone like voice. I start reeling off some wines I’ve tried and describing them to him. Then, a smirk slowly appears on his face which he simply cannot hide. It’s a cheeky smirk that tells me, he’s not that interested and, sure enough, he comes out with, “Mr Peters, it’s a consumable,” and then he chuckles to himself. He used to get me every time but I’ve finally wised up to him, so we generally don’t get into that sort of tête-à-tête anymore. I now just let him know if he would like a wine or not. I will definitely be telling him about this wine.
Here’s a wine that is bright, fresh, fruity and fun, and so damn easy to drink! Rampantly rambunctious red fruits are the star of this show with fresh ripe raspberries, red cherry goodness and juicy plump strawberries in the mix. In support there’s a sprinkling of pepper, some ‘feel good’ texture and friendly acidity to bring it home. Gee there’s a lot to like about this wine and it’s going to gather a great following for sure.
Huntington Estate Website
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $32 Source: Thanks kindly to Huntington Estate