I seem to be flooded with whites wines at Graham HQ at the moment. Not a bad thing when it’s 29C outside (like it was yesterday) of course…
Here then is a whole smorgasbord of drink-me-now, largely aromatic white wines for your early autumn/spring drinking pleasure.
Sure, you could keep some of these wines. But for my money, you’re best placed to drink now. Don’t delay, just dive in.
Longview Macclesfield Riesling 2020
What a triumph. A pristine Adelaide Hills Riesling with wonderful grapefruit energy to it. Celery salt, lemon and effortless pure fruit. Pure fruit and fresh natural acidity. Drink this now for a wonderful sparkling fresh line of delicacy. Very nice. Best drinking: I like it now. 18.5/20, 94/100. 12%, $30. Longview website. Would I buy it? Sure would.
Giesen The August Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Barrel fermented Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a style that is going to polarise. It’s a big mouthful of wine – nutty, golden and honeyed passionfruit in a worked and expressive style. It almost becomes too fat, but there’s a sense of freshness here to just hold things together. Not an easy wine to understand, but it’s also a mouth party too. I’m a fan. Best drinking: nowish. 18/20, 93/100. 13.5%, $29.99. Giesen Estate website. Would I buy it? Worth a bottle. Well priced too.
Harewood Estate Mount Barker Riesling 2020
This is a more subtle wine in the Harewood Estate 2020 lineup, and all about grapefruit and lemon rather than florals. It’s a lovely, gently acidic, drink-me-now Riesling of unquestioned purity. Genuinely delicious. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $30. Harewood Estate website. Would I buy it? Yes.
Longview Macclesfield Gruner Veltliner 2020
Another success under this new ‘Macclesfield’ label. Team Saturno, I dip my lid. Gently floral, carefully crunchy Gruner with a great mid-palate flow and entirely balanced acidity. A lovely example of the Federspiel-like style (if you’re looking for an Austrian analogue) and very well made. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $30. Longview website. Would I buy it? Sure would.
Curly Flat Pinot Gris 2019
Curly’s Gris always stands in the shadows of the Chardonnay but can be a surprise packer of a wine. Here’s it’s a richly textured, generous take on Gris that had me thinking about Central Otago Pinot Gris actually. It’s musky and generous, gently phenolic and mouthfilling with a flush of ripe yellow fruit. Maybe a little overt, but pulled back from being over the top. Best drinking: Enjoyable now, don’t wait. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.8%, $26. Curly Flat website. Would I buy it? Yes.
Hutton Vale Farm Riesling 2019
From the Hutton Vale Farm plot planted in the 1960s in the Eden Valley. Surprisingly forward, just off-dry style and gee it’s intense. Orange marmalade. Quince. The sweetness fills out the palate nicely – it doesn’t feel unbalanced, but it’s not a taut wine as a little wide for that. I’d still prefer it as a dry style, but enjoyable, textural wine. Best drinking: nowish. 17.7/20, 92/100. 10%, $35. Hutton Vale Farm website. Would I buy it? A glass or so.
Juxtaposed Fiano 2020
This comes off the Lacey Vineyard in the Sellicks Foothills. Texture is the game here, with some oxidative elements giving this an extra layer os three. Yellow apples, lemon cream and marzipan with some tang to finish. A little more width on the palate makes this a bigger mouthful than just about any Fiano in the land. It’s not bottle-emptying smashable (a little tangy for that), but an involving drink. 17.7/20, 92/100. 12.5%, $26. Juxtaposed website. Would I buy it? Worth a few glasses.
Paisley Wines Cashmere Riesling 2020
Open, fleshy and soft-edged Eden Valley Riesling. Expressive, forward and generous palate is not classic lean Eden Valley searing acidity as it just feels a bit softer and fleshier (with acidity). It could almost be Coonawarra Riesling in its mid palate profile – but an easy drink. Best drinking: nowish. 17.7/20, 92/100. 12%, $25. Paisley Wines website. Would I buy it? A few glasses.
Tim Smith Wines Eden Valley Riesling 2020
Tim’s Riesling releases always have a bit more roundness and no difference here. Appleyand quite broadbrushed Eden Riesling with flavours that are naturally more open and easy, the acidity soft, the apple juice palate full and approachable. Good early drinker. 17.7/20, 92/100. 11.5%, $28. Tim Smith Wines website. Would I buy it? Worth a few glasses.
Coola Road Riesling 2018
Definitely interest in these Coola Road wines, even if I would have preferred them younger. Some intensity in this lemon-drenched Mount Gambier Riesling too, although the lanolin and lemon bottle aged character is a bit overt, and the palate ends up, a bit sweet and sour, Plenty of mid palate punch too. Quality, though better as a younger wine. Best drinking: now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 11%, Coola Road website. Would I buy it? A glass.
Deep Down Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Deep Down is a name to watch – low intervention Marlborough wines of real transparency. This is Marlborough Sauv, but not as you know it. Wild fermented. Some barrel ferment, some malo, the whole package a step up in the Sauv stakes. Leesy and a little sweet and sour, the plus is the innate complexity – layers of flavour, a welcome tang, some vegetal bits too. Lots going on. It’s not easygoing wine – a little too uneven for that – but intrigue is high. Best drinking: now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12.5%, $35. Deep Down website (imported by Single Vineyard Sellers). Would I buy it? Worth a glass.
Harewood Flux III Chardonnay 2018
Great Southern Chardonnay from the Harewood team. Quite lean for the ripeness, it’s a pleasant, peachy wine of lightness and shade, plump intentions but not rambunctious flavour. Affable though, needing just a bit more conviction to be great. Best drinking: now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, $35. Harewood website. Would I buy it? A glass.
Henty Farm Riesling 2019
Henty Riesling in a light and airy style, all delicate white flower nose with a real sense of purity to the palate too. Pure and fragrant, just a little light on. A Gardenia breeze. You sort of wait for something else to happen after the aromatics and the punch never quite comes. Pleasant though. Best drinking: nowish. 17.5/20, 91/100. 12%, $30. Henty Farm website. Would I buy it? A few glasses.
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Classic Marlborough Sauv in the textbook style – nettles and passionfruit, grassy grapefruit too. It’s lean despite the expressive nose, a subtle Sauv of assured quality. Maybe missing the final intensity to propel it forward, but approachable and by-the-book style. Good. Best drinking: now. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13%, $25. Jules Taylor website (also imported by Single Vineyard Sellers). Would I buy it? Worth a glass.
Oates Ends Chardonnay 2020
Kath Oates’ first Margaret River Chardonnay, and although I’m calling it as a drink now style you could likely keep it longer and it might well integrate further. Might not even fit this list, but it’s not unapproachable. Taut and grapefruity, with a flourish of ripe white peach and underplayed oak. It’s a little light and peachy but pleasant melon and grilled nuts restrained style. Solid, if just a bit singular. Best drinking: maybe an each-way bet? 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, $48. Oates Ends website. Would I buy it? A glass.
Calabria Three Bridges Reserve Semillon 2012
An oddity here. Eight-year-old Riverina Semillon made with ripe fruit, the resulting wine broadly drawn with yellow apples, toast and soft acidity. Rather like a Barossa Sem really, although the acidity is soft. There are layers here, softness, buttery textures. It’s a bit four square and inelegant, but interest no doubt. Best drinking: now. Don’t wait. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $30. Calabria website. Would I buy it? A glass.
Tahbilk Riesling 2020
Tahbilk aren’t known for Riesling but this is honest and fresh. Buzzy, lychee and unripe melon and black texta nose, over a neutral, if refreshing palate. It’s hardly going to beat any of the more classically varietal Riesling examples in this list, but a good honest drink with a balance between gentle fruit and acidity. Best drinking: nowish. 17/20, 90/100. 12.5%, $20.30. Tahbilk website. Would I buy it? A glass.
Wirra Wirra Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Crunchy and fresh Adelaide Hills Sauv style that tends towards lemony crispness rather than thiol driven pungency. It’s tangy and a bit neutral, a good day time drink, even if it but needs a bit more for big points. Best drinking: now. 17/20, 90/100. 13%, $25. Wirra Wirra website. Would I buy it? A glass.