Tastings from Australia

by Martin Field

Four Emus Chardonnay 2005 – $8 and under
South Australia. Attractive fruity nose full of peaches and pears. Off-dry palate with flavours of tropical fruits makes for a very pleasing summery style.

Barwite Riesling 2004 – around $14
Mansfield, Victoria. Delicate nose of lime and lemon flowers. Light dryish style in the mouth with lovely citrus character. Fine aperitif or entrée accompaniment. Will drink well for five years and more.

Penfolds Cellar Reserve Gewürztraminer 2005 – up to $30
Eden Valley, South Australia. Pale with a greenish tinge. Aromatic with rose petals and lemon essence. Beautifully balanced palate with rosewater leading to an edgy lemon acidity at the finish.

Miceli Pinot Rosé 2004 Up to $20
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. Salmon pink, onion skin edge. Nose of summer pudding and oaky vanilla. Refreshing, with quite a dry, clean and tangy palate. Just the thing for a Sunday brunch of poached* eggs on toast on a sunny spring day. (*My daughter showed me another way to poach an egg. Take a square of plastic wrap, place it in a small bowl and lightly spray with oil. Break an egg into the wrap and tie the top closed with string. Place the egg-bag into barely simmering water – not letting the water into the opening – and poach for three and a half to four minutes.)

Angove’s Butterfly Ridge Merlot Cabernet 2005 – $7 and under
South Australia. Medium ruby hues. Grapey, youthful, juicy nose. Straightforward style with soft tannins and plenty of ripe berries. Everyday, good value drinking.

Gramps Cabernet Merlot 2002 – up to $16
Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, South Australia. Deep red to purple. Ripe fruit, sweet oak and maybe a hint of mint on the nose. A wine of excellent balance, the fruit, oak and tannins leaving an overall impression of satisfying drinking. The finish is warm and persistent.

Hardys Oomoo Shiraz 2004 – under $13
McLaren Vale, South Australia. Bright crimson to black. Blackberries and oaky chocolate on the nose. Dry, full palate showing assertive tannins, berries, mocha and a firm finish. The wine demands well-seasoned main course tucker. Consistently delivering the goods, Oomoo has to be a leading contender for the best value dry red in this price bracket. Will cellar well to 2011.

Thorn Clarke Shotfire Ridge Barossa Quartage 2004 – around $23
Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. Quartage. Mmm… Shouldn’t that read Cinqage? I infer that the name and the varietal blend are meant to imply Bordeaux style – Meritage having the same connotations in California. Whatever. Medium red in colour. Dusty nose shows blackcurrants, blueberries and new oak. Nicely textured oak and grape tannins support rich and supple fruit intensity.

Prices in Australian dollars.

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