Ned Goodwin is a Master of Wine and a member of the Halliday Wine Companion reviewing team. His selection of six Aussie wines addresses the link between region and varietal, and looks to fresh styles and future trends.
Ned Goodwin's ultimate Aussie six-pack
1. Topper's Mountain Petit Manseng
RRP $34 | New England | Topper's Mountain Wines
2. Jauma Grenache
RRP $28 | McLaren Vale | Jauma
3. Sorrenberg Gamay
RRP $49 | Beechworth | Sorrenberg
4. Fall From Grace Montepulciano
RRP $32 | McLaren Vale | Fall From Grace
5. Tolpuddle Chardonnay
RRP $67 | Southern Tasmania | Tolpuddle Vineyard
6. Sailor Seeks Horse Pinot Noir
RRP $46 | Southern Tasmania | Sailor Seeks Horse
So many to consider and many boasting similar attributes: synergy between varietal personality and site, influenced by the mesoclimate and deft touch of man. To narrow down the playing field, I have tried to highlight wines that have not been exulted before.
The Topper's Mountain Petit Manseng, for example, is the most faithful rendition of this underrated variety outside of its home in Jurançon [France]. Moreover, it comes from the diurnal shifts of the New England highlands and typically ancient Australian soils. A new region on the map!
Jauma is a nod to the left-of-centre wave of exciting, vibrant, gulp-able and impeccably crafted wine in Australia; it buzzes with a bead of fizz to mitigate the minimal SO2. Grenache, too, deserves attention. It is McLaren Vale's beacon.
The Sorrenberg Gamay exhibits the confluence between a cooler climate, granitic soils and dense, meaty gamay capable of compelling complexity with age. Kerpow!
Fall From Grace is yet another example of the sort of dry, structural focus (high acidity and tannin quotient) conferred by indigenous Italian grape varieties, to wine styles increasingly well suited to the sort of warm, dry viticultural zones commonly found throughout the country, particularly in South Australia. These physiological attributes mitigate naturally low acidity, facilitating joyous accompaniments to our food and sophisticated irreverence around the table, as is the Australian way.
Tolpuddle: an exciting, contemporary vein of Aussie chardonnay not slipping into anorexia as so many did a decade ago. It seems we've finally worked it out...
As for the pinot, Tasmania has promised so much but delivered so little – at least from the perspective of somebody who returned to these shores just three years ago. Finally, there is consistency and great promise!
The Defining Australian Wine series is produced with thanks to our brand partner Winery Lane, an online marketplace designed to unite wine lovers with independent winemakers. Click here to watch Winery Lane’s Stephen Mobbs tackle the topic of what makes an archetypally Aussie wine.
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