2018 Angullong Fossill Hill Orange Region Sangiovese

Literally every time I have a bottle of Sangiovese with dinner, I can’t help but make attempts to put on an Italian accent.  “Sangio – VAY – see” with emphasis on the ‘VAY’ part with a few hand and arm motions thrown in.  It sounds pretty lame I know, and doesn’t seem the same in the written word, but it’s a bit of fun and that’s part of the idea about wine.  Let me tell you about this “Sangio – VAY – see”!

Rich on the nose with blue fruits and cherries with a nice herbal note to it.  The palate is  concentrated yet medium bodied with fresh and juicy red fruits, blueberries, dark cherries and a hint of spice.  Those herbs I smelt earlier appear again, while the oak is just poking through in support of the delicate tannins and, to top it all off, it has very good length.  An excellent example of the variety of which we couldn’t help but finish the bottle over dinner.  Bellisimo!!

Angullong Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $28     Source: Sample thanks to Angullong Wines and Define Wine

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2018 Angullong Fossil Hill Orange Region Barbera

It’s been a long time since my wife and I were in Italy.  I can’t remember if we visited the Piedmont region but, being an area that grows the third most planted grape variety in Italy, I reckon I’d remember which suggests we probably didn’t.  I would have to get out all the brochures and photos we have to work out if we did, and that would involve a lot of time and the searching of cupboards.  I think I’d prefer to spend the time drinking more Barbera.  Have a look at the photo below; that’s just one of the many I found via Google.  Piedmont looks like an amazing place and has now been added to my growing bucket list of places to visit.

Piedmont Italy

I can see why I love this variety.  The aromas trigger your senses immediately.  They are fresh, lively and it’s all about the fruit (think red cherries and black currants).  Very similar when tasting it too.  It is (those words again) fresh, lively, juicy and fruit forward on the medium bodied palate.  Black fruits, dark cherries and subtle plum and herbal characters present to me.  The oak is there but only a minor player; the tannins are lovely and soft, and the expected acidity sits nicely with every component of this wine.  It’s deliciously good drinking and great value.

Angullong Wines Website

Region: Orange, NSW     Price: $28     Source: Sample thanks to Angullong Wines and Define Wine

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2019 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling

I was trying to roughly work out when I started getting into Riesling.  I recall talking to a mate’s dad many years ago about the fact I didn’t drink white wine.  I met my mate in late 2004 so it had to have been after that year.  I can’t even recall when I first tried it or the circumstances.  I can only think it was strongly suggested by someone.  If that someone is reading this, please make yourself known to me.  I need to show my appreciation with some sort of vinous gift!  It’s the least I can do.

If you are not a Riesling drinker but interested in getting interested, this wine is the place to start.

Very aromatic, very rieslingy and very inviting.  How’s that sound for starters?  And, this ‘Tony Peters favourite of a Riesling’ just keeps on giving when you drink it.

Citrus characters aplenty on the flavour packed palate.  It’s lemony and limey and grapefruity and a bit herbal, and the best thing of all, lipsmackingly delicious.  The acid is soft and delicate and fills out the palate as it finishes clean, crisp, dry and lovingly long.  Big yum factor present in every taste!  If you couldn’t tell, I very much enjoyed this wine.

Pewsey Vale Website

Region: Eden Valley, SA     Price: $25     Source: Retail purchase (for $17!)

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2019 Serere Beechworth Rousanne

Chinese businessman and philanthropist Jack Ma is quoted as saying, “Trust the young people; trust this generation’s innovation. They’re making things, changing innovation every day. And all the consumers are the same: they want new things, they want cheap things, they want good things, they want unique things. If we can create these kind of things for consumers, they will come.”

What I have discovered over the past year or two is a number of young, and not so young, winemakers are doing pretty amazing stuff when it comes to putting that red and white fermented grape juice into bottles for our enjoyment.  Some methods being used are ‘innovative’, some are ‘back to basics’, some are ‘hands off’ and some are ‘minimal intervention.  Which ever way they are made, the wines that end up on our dining table alongside a terrific meal, or being drunk out on your patio on a relaxing afternoon, are unique to that winemaker.  She/he has put their stamp on it and owns what you smell and taste.

Joe Warren was a chef for 12 years before deciding to move from the kitchen to the winery in 2010 eventually starting up Serere Wines in 2018.  He sounds like he’s a ‘hands off’ sort of winemaker.  He says, “just let the sites speak for themselves”.

The fruit for this Rousanne came from the Indigo Vineyard in Beechworth, which is quite a stunning place.  All hand picked then basket pressed before being placed in old French oak where it went through wild fermentation.  The resultant wine is simply beautiful and delicious and textural and lush!  One of my mates used the word “Gorgeous”!  There’s lovely fruit flavours dominated by juicy pears, with hints of peaches, apples and apricots, along with a herbal note in there too.  There’s some terrific texture and a deft touch of acid on the fruitful  palate providing lovely width and weight on a very good long finish.

Joe certainly has a ripper wine on his hands with this one and, as Jack Ma said, “…consumers, they will come.” Get some while you can.

Serere Wines Website

Region: Beechworth, Victoria     Price: $32     Source: Wine Swap

Serere Rousanne 2019

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2017 Hastwell & Lightfoot McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

I read somewhere that McLaren Vale is not so well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.  I have to admit, I can’t remember where I read it, but Shiraz and Grenache were the main red varieties given the most focus in the article.  I’m not, never have been and never will be, one to compartmentalise wine regions for what they are best known for.  I’m sure those who grow the grapes and produce the wine from said grapes know what they are doing.  I know that what they put in the bottle will be the best they can produce regardless of the variety.

As they left the bottle, destined for the glass receptacle, the unmistakable Cabernet Sauvignon aromas filled the air around me and beyond.  They were quite complex and full on too.  Blackberries aplenty, earthy, and I thought a bit dusty on the nose, there’s a licorice like aroma and a slight herbal influence as well.  I said it was a bit complex but that makes it all the more interesting don’t you think?

There is plenty to like when tasting it too.  The flavours just flood every crevice of your mouth.  Rich, dense and concentrated dark fruit flavours are complimented perfectly with a dash of spice.  The oak and abundant tannins at the finish are both in balance with the aforementioned bold fruit flavours.  Its cellaring potential was evident too because, the longer it sat in the glass, the more it seemed to open up and reveal even more of its good qualities.

Yet another excellent value wine from the crew at Hastwell & Lightfoot.

Hastwell & Lightfoot Website

Region: Mclaren Vale, SA     Price: $25     Source: Sample thanks to Hastwell & Lightfoot and Define Wine

Hastwell & Lightfoot Cab Sav 2017

 

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2014 Levantine Hill Sparkling Rosé

In my office I have a desk, computer, phone, bookshelf and coat rack and, because it is an internal office, what I don’t have is a view to speak of.  Everyday, at least once, I make a point of deliberately going for a walk to get out of the office and breathe in some fresh air.  Within an easy five minute walk of where I work is a place called the University Rose Garden.

It is not a very big garden and not that long ago it was alive with roses at different stages of bloom.  Looking down on it from further up the embankment, it is a thing of structure and wild beauty at the same time.

Walking past it at street level the different coloured flowers seem to be individually grouped yet blend seemlessly like a fan shaped rainbow (if you know what I mean) as you cast your eyes over it slowly from one side to the other.  When I take the time to sit in the centre paved area, the tranquility is such that it’s like the rose bushes are screening the nearby traffic noise, allowing me to enjoy the space before having to return to the confines of my office.

This truly delightful sparkling wine is similar in that it is also a thing of structure and beauty, easily appreciated by anyone having the pleasure of enjoying it.  Thanks to it being 100% Pinot Noir, the colour is a lovely coppery orange covered in a coating of fine bubbles that seem to have their own filling of complex aromas.  It’s nicely perfumed (almost like walking through the aforementioned rose garden), strawberries come to the fore, there’s a fresh citrusy zing and a slight sweet biscuity note.  This is all very attractive but it doesn’t prepare you for the next step.  Tasting it.

Goodness me. The palate! Quite incredible fruit intensity. Think strawberries, raspberries, red cherries and a nice touch of citrusy acidity.  It’s beautifully smooth and textural with great width, depth and balance on the finish.  It’s really something else and I’ve been lucky enough to have tried many a sparkling wine.

If there was a rosé garden in Australia, this would be the showpiece.

Levantine Hill Website

Region: Yarra Valley, Vic     Price: $150     Source: Generous Gift.

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2019 Hastwell & Lightfoot Vermentino

I’m a creature of habit.  A bit of routine man.  I can’t help it, especially of a morning when I do certain things in a particular order.  One of those ‘things’ is to check the news headlines.  As we all know, lately it has been about that dreaded, life changing, virus and how many have died in this country and that country.  It’s pretty constant and I understand why we need to hear about it.  I just think we need to have the same amount of good news stories to balance out the bad news especially considering where I work, where there is rarely good news to share with my ‘audience’.

Recently I came home from work late…again, and found this wine in the fridge.  I’d had one of ‘those’ days and I have to say, I was so glad this was ready to be explored, examined and enjoyed!  It seemed to have such a revitalising and relaxing effect at the same time.  Not that wine is the answer to these sorts of situations all the time, but on this occasion, it was very welcome.

It starts off so so well.  Loved the citrus fruit aromas then everything seemed to ramp up on the palate.  So clean and fresh with ever-present juicy lemons and limes with a nice touch of fleshy tropical fruit-like characters adding texture and (just enough) palate weight.  Terrific yet soft and balanced acidity partner the fruit characters perfectly as it seemingly takes ages to fade from the palate.

My wife and I loved this wine.  It is a simply delicious, beautiful example of the variety.

Hastwell and Lightfoot Website

Region: Mclaren Vale, SA     Price: $25     Source: Sample thanks to Hastwell & Lightfoot and Define Wine

Hastwell & Lightfoot Vermentino 2019

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