Summertime white wines that refresh


As summer approaches the lure of cold crisp white wine becomes stronger. There is nothing like sitting in the shade on a hot afternoon sharing a bottle or three with friends.

Reillys Adelaide Hills Pinot Grigio 2015: Uncomplicated wine, and nothing wrong with that. Some texture, or richness, but it’s not thick or cloying. Classic pear flavour and smart finish. 91 points and the top end of an appropriate price range at $25.

Delatite Mansfield Pinot Gris 2015: Very tight, very cool-climate style. This wine has time to go but the hints are there and each hint is one of forthcoming beauty. I think this will be a cracking wine this coming Christmas and summer (Australia) 2017. A mean 91 points now but more will come and then the $25 will be very good value.

Tâmana Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2014: Classic, beautifully fragrant pear nose. It fills as it travels but never becomes flat. Vibrant flavours give pleasure all along the journey. 93 points and the right price at $22.

Pepper Tree ‘Limited Release’ Wrattonbully Pinot Gris 2016: I have a soft spot for a wine that is sensual. One that rises from the glass imparting beautiful perfume before it’s sipped, then slides across the palate in a manner that is all “come hither and I will delight you”. And it does. 94 points and well worth $22.

Gartelmann ‘Stephanie’ Orange Region Pinot Gris 2016: Simple note: tight, with promise, so 90 now but I think by Christmas and over the rest of summer 2017 it will be running at 92. $25 is not an unfair price.

Mad Fish Western Australia Pinot Gris 2016: On tasting I had to check the vintage. It’s quite forward and full-bodied and in my mind rather delicious. 92 points and worth $20 a bottle.

Capel Vale ‘Cellar Exclusive’ Mount Barker Riesling 2016: This is an excellent example of good Australian riesling being released too early. Producers cite cashflow but can riesling reach the heights it deserves and on the way knock New Zealand sauvignon blanc off its pedestal? As yet the nose shows little in the way of varietal character. It is clean and fresh and I have little doubt it will develop but it needs another six months (tasted October 2016). It’s also subdued on the palate, offering very little in the way of enjoyment. Again, time will improve the wine. A mean 90 now with an re-evaluation needed in six months to see how it’s travelling. To drink now $27 is not a good investment, but as it develops, value and quality will come more into line.

Angullong Orange Region Sauvignon Blanc 2016: As regular readers will know I’m not a fan of most New Zealand sauvignon blancs (a few do impress). Sauvignon from Orange is different, and along with SB from the Adelaide Hills has an elegance that most NZ sauvignon blancs don’t achieve. For me this wine hit many pleasure points as it travelled. Not demanding or intellectually challenging, but a well-rounded, well-structured wine. 94 points and well worth $20.

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