Blue Pyrenees + Michael Hall Sauvignon Blanc
Last night was the Blue Pyrenees ‘Cellar Door in the City’, an event whereby the Blue Pyrenees team turns an inner city venue it into their own cellar door/bar. On a warm Sydney evening the turn out was solid as you can see in the (blurry, taken with my iphone) photo to the right where you can see the affable head winemaking honcho Andrew Koerner dishing out samples to thirsty punters.
Sadly I managed only a very brief visit to the event, missing some of the back-vintage goodies that were open earlier in the day too.
I did manage to try three Blue Pyrenees wines during my brief visit though: the 2009 Midnight Cuvée, which looked solid, clean and sprightly, if quite simple and tart; along with the 2008 Reserve Red, which was firm, 2008 vintage warm, minty and blocky if rather classic; along with the beautifully resolved 2004 ‘The Richardson’ Shiraz, which looked soft and hedonistically silken, though still retaining that choc mint regional twang.
After the Blue Pyrenees action it was off to Golden Century (a renowned Sydney Cantonese seafood restaurant that is a favourite of the wine trade, particularly due to its late opening hours, strong wine list and cheap BYO option) and I typically had nothing white and cold to take. Luckily the wine list did deliver, lobbing up a 2012 Michael Hall Sauvignon Blanc at just $58 (a fair price indeed considering it retails for $26).
What I liked about the Michael Hall Sauv is just how much texture the wine carries, the level of detail given to the wines production (handpicked off a steep slope, a short cold soak, wild barrel ferment, 4 months on gross lees) also evident in every sip. It’s perhaps a little lees heavy at the moment (which fellow scribe Jeremy Pringle also picked up in the Rousanne) but the textural weight and latent complexity more than made up for it. More Australian Sauvignon Blancs like this please.
After a few cheeky Tsingtaos – and some salt and pepper mud crab – the final wine to open was the 2011 Elmswood Yarra Valley Chardonnay, a wine which looked really very clever, the fruit weight and winemaking carefully balanced to cope with that potent 2011 vintage acidity. The yeast and barrel work in particular were first rate (you can thank Seville Estate winemaker Dylan McMahon for that). For $28 retail this is very smart Chardonnay that I’d recommend without hesitation.