Bring on Summer!
Here we have an array of wines for all of the many, many situations that demand a drink in this great season. If you are heading outdoors, there is a pet-nat for the park, a crisp Clare riesling and a zippy Yarra grigio to sip on while bantering on a balcony, and a cheeky chenin from out west to wet your whistle over a game of bocce. A pair of fuller Frenchies round out the whites, both quite round themselves and perfectly suited to summer dinners – linen napkins perhaps, but when wearing shorts and footwear is optional.
The rosés will get you through two (or one) hot afternoons when there isn’t much to do, and there’s a fresh and pretty pinot you might chill a little as a sundowner. The tempranillo has wonderful grip and balance, basically demanding a sausage in a bun, while the GSM is soft and plump enough that food may be unnecessary. The final wine is almost a meal in itself – a Barossan red for when something is hot off the grill, and the heat can go hang!
2018 Delinquente ‘Weeping Juan’ Pet-Nat Rosé, Riverland, SA – $23
Seriously cool wine from a seriously hot place, this pretty pink fizz finishes ferment in bottle to trap the CO2 as bubbles. Made from heat-tolerant vermentino and montepulciano off a small organic vineyard in an area more known for big conventional ones, this bucks many trends!
2017 Clare Wine Co. Riesling, Clare Valley SA – $19
From the blue ribbon ‘Watervale’ sub-region comes this absolute classic, a dry riesling with white flowers and lime cordial on the nose and the bracing mineral line that the Clare is famous for.
Summer of riesling, anyone?
2018 Yarra Peaks Pinot Grigio, Yarra Valley, Victoria – $25
Another varietal pearler, expect all the crisp length and just-ripe-pears of your regular grigio but add some texture and interest from a touch of skin contact. The label of the sought after Primavera vineyard near Hoddles Creek, this is made by Yarra legend Dave ‘Bro’ Mackintosh.
2018 Dormilona Chenin Blanc, Margaret River WA – $32
City Wine Shop favourite Jo Perry is the woman behind this powerful dry white, an organic vineyard consultant with a micro-winery on the side. The name means ‘lazy bones’ in Spanish which sums up her winemaking philosophy – starting with immaculate fruit means the less done the better. With great florals, texture, and wonderful length it’s pretty hard to argue!
2016 Benjamin Darnault Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc France – $24
Full-bodied but with fine, lemony acid, this is an excellent introduction to a region on the up and up. Only recently awarded an AOC, but long known as one of the best Mediterranean whites, picpoul is a perfect match for all your summer seafood.
2017 Racines Chardonnay, Limoux France – $26
A style of chardonnay that we absolutely adore, this walks that tight line between weight and freshness with grace, possibly because the winemaker is Bruno Lafon from Meursault! Grown in the shadow of the Pyrenees, this is generous chardonnay that also refreshes, like the afternoon breezes that make Limoux such a good spot for white grapes.
2018 Murdoch Hill Rosé, Adelaide Hills SA – $24
Nothing says ‘I know how to enjoy summer’ like lunching on a terrace with a rosé in an ice bucket. From the cool upper slopes of the Adelaide Hills, and made by 2017 Young Guns of Wine winner Michael Downer, this is a textural but dry blend of cabernet and pinot gris.
2017 Colombe Rosé, Coteaux Varois en Provence, France – $31
For many, Provence is the place synonymous with pink wine. Classically dry, finessed, bright, and long, this gives no reason to doubt the stereotype. Drink well chilled and with verve!
2018 William Downie ‘Cathedral’ Pinot Noir, Upper Goulburn Victoria – $38
A strong argument could be made that without Bill Downie the Yarra would not be known for pinot. A seriously talented iconoclast, he sources grapes from the far side of the Yarra Ranges and has made a light pinot that is vibrant, pretty, and long. Bottled with a high level of dissolved CO2 to keep it protected, but this will blow off quickly with a little air and a swirl of the glass.
2017 Maestro Tejero ‘Viña Almate’ Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero Spain – $27
If you can’t get to a beach, a good way to cool down is to head for the hills, a trick that does wonders for this Spaniard. Unfined, unfiltered, almost no SO2, and organically grown on a high plateau between 700 and 1000 metres. This is refreshing and bold, with juicy blue fruit and great structure, so whatever you have on the BBQ you should make this your maestro!
2015 Clos d’Alzan Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre, Signargues France – $26
Juicy, plummy fruit dominates this seductive Rhône valley GSM. Alas, it is all too easy to drink. Velvet and full without feeling heavy, matters are only made worse by the hints of dried herb and berries on the nose, the length, and the fresh finish. Gone all too soon.
2017 Tomfoolery ‘Son of a Gun’ Cabernet/Shiraz, Barossa SA – $28
Sometimes despite the weather you just need a big red. Blue and black shiraz fruits are framed by cabernet tannins, acidity, and herbaceous lift. A classic Australian style well executed, generous and fully embracing of the warm place where we live.
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