A case of whites: three gris/grigios, three chardonnays, three sauvignon blancs and three rieslings. Add nine regions, three vintages and four states, and the result is magnificently catholic.
MWC Victoria Pinot Gris 2015: This is an export wine on sale in the US for US$15 ($20). It’s the richer style of PG, but not over the top. Rich, not ripe. 93 points and should do well in the US at its price point.
Mount Avoca ‘Limited Release’ Pyrenees Pinot Grigio 2015: Gathering wines from the storage shelf for a rosé tasting I swept this up by colour alone. Looking closer, I noted it’s not a rosé but a pinot grigio. It is one stunning wine. Light on the nose and light on entry but as it travels the flavours unfurl in a seamless roll of pleasure. Go buy this wine or contact the winery to buy direct or find out where you can get it. 94 points and well worth $26.
Norfolk Rise Mount Benson Pinot Grigio 2016: Light on the nose and at the time of tasting (July 16) still unformed on the palate, but there are points of flavour that emerge on its journey, indicating that by spring or summer it will be a very pleasant glass of wine. 89 points and in among a lot of competition at $16, but it will hold its own towards the end of the year.
Richard Hamilton ‘Signature’ Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2015: It’s the new style: tight flavours that could be generously described as “elegant” or a less generously as “on the thin side”. At the moment I go for thin. It needs to fill out to become what I call elegant. There again, I could be splitting hairs. There is charm to the wine and maybe time will bring it forth. A mean 91 now with more down the track. To buy and put away $30 is OK, but for drinking now (reviewed in June) it’s a lot. Christmas might be a good time to revisit this wine.
Sandalford ‘Estate Reserve’ Margaret River Chardonnay 2015: Tight due to youth, but the undercurrent of quality is there. Put another way, the back story on this is very good and when it comes to the fore, say around Christmas, it should be a great glass of wine and well worth $35. So a mean 93 points now, but I think it will be a 95-point wine when ready to drink.
Church Road Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014: Quality chardonnay at a very reasonable price ($26, or $23 from Dan’s). Need more be said? No. 93 points.
Zonte’s Footstep ‘Excalibur’ Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2015: Unfortunately, despite the name Excalibur, this SB didn’t slash its way across my palate. It was soft to start, with the SB crispness building as it travelled. Flavours also built as it travelled, but never to the point of pain that some SBs reach. 92 points and there’s a lot of competition at $18.
Mount Avoca ‘Estate Range’ Pyrenees Sauvignon Blanc 2015: Such a different style from most New Zealand SB. The flavours entwined around the palate. It’s a softer, more sensual style, yet with enough edge to be refreshing. 93 points and value at $20.
Norfolk Park Mount Benson Sauvignon Blanc 2016: New Zealand imports of sauvignon blanc have fallen, but only slightly. If we can’t fully rebuff the marauding hordes we can challenge them. Though not a fan of SB I was rather impressed with this modestly priced ($15) offering from South Australia. It has just a touch of richness and is rounder then the majority of NZ wines. 93 points.
Delatite Mansfield Riesling 2014: When tasting a wine, and without thought or words formed, it rouses all the senses and full alert is activated, one knows without doubt this is a great wine. This is not fully formed yet but the promise is there and I’m sure in 10 years this will be drinking beautifully. A mean 94 now but I think at least three more to come, and $25 is cheap.
MadFish Western Australian Riesling 2015: It’s riesling, it’s zesty and it’s very well made and already drinking well. Classy wine, 92 points and worth the $18 asked.
Mr Riggs ‘Watervale’ Clare Valley Riesling 2015: For a wine that is now 16 months old this could still be in a tank and six weeks old. It’s a wine with a long life ahead. Beautifully crafted and very elegant, it’s all steel at the moment but there is plenty of depth waiting to be explored. A very mean 92 now but I feel sure there are at least three or four more points to come. Good value at $24.