di Lusso – great pizza and solid, varietally correct, Italian inspired wines.
Now there’s a good recipe for a cellar door experience, and Mudgee’s di Lusso do it well. Only challenge really is finding the wines outside of ‘the Mudge’, as the make is small and distribution limited.
Still, there is interest amongst this lot, the wines typically savoury and structured, if lacking just that little bit of excitement to drive the scores higher…
di Lusso Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
The first ever di Lusso Cabernet Sauvignon and in good form. A leafy, black olive nose, sweetened up by coffee chocolate oak, this is substantial from the get-go, all capped up with that trademark Mudgee Cabernet tannic firmness, the style restrained and fresh, save for a hint of dried fruit on the finish. There’s a great heartiness to this red – the chewy end, dark fruit and then sweeter oak making for something mouthfilling (if a tad dry). Would be a great thermos wine. Drink: 2016-2026+. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13% $35. Would I buy it? I’d go a few glasses.
di Lusso Mudgee Vermentino 2015
According to the back label this has ‘sea breeze citrus characters’, which is such a great way to describe (good) Vermentino aromatics. Light green straw, this has the immediate tropical fruit hit (aromatic yeasts?) before a chalky, pear and acid driven palate in typical form. Love that contrast between fruit flourish and then acid grip. It’s just a tad too firm on the end, but real persistence here. Clever example of what Vermentino can do. Best drinking: 2016-2017. 17/20, 90/100. 12.9%, $23. Would I buy it? A glass or two.
di Lusso Mudgee Lagrein 2013
Made in the dunkel (robust) style which is often associated with the best wines. Mudgee is an awfully long way from Alto Adige, but great to see some Lagrein in the ground. Warm cherry plum fruit with a hefty tablespoon of black pepper, that varietal Lagrein spice is there but the palate is just a little fudgey and thick. Refreshing varietal acidity pops up on the finish, but it’s just a bit bluntly oaked (and alcoholic). Older wood would do wonders here, though the Mudgee mud stodginess seems to be claiming this regardless, despite the cherry fruit. Worth a revisit in further vintages to see if it lightens up. Best drinking: 2016-2024. 16.5/20, 88/100. 13.9%, $29. Would I buy it? Not quite.
di Lusso Orange Pinot Grigio 2015
The odd wine out in this lineup as it is sourced from Molong, near Orange. Very much the classic Grigio style, it is water clear and ultra neutral, with just a little white pear fruit popping up. Bottle suggests tropical fruit aromas but hard to see much, the palate all acidity, if delicate and not harsh. Simple and refreshing, but fits into the ‘white pain on a white wall’ category of neutrality. Best drinking: 2016-2017. 16/20, 87/100. 12.5%, $23. Would I buy it? No.