2010 Torzi Matthews Vigna Cantina Sangiovese

From Torzi Matthews Vintners at McLaren Vale comes this Sangiovese from grapes grown in a region not readily associated with this variety, the Barossa Valley. The Vigna Cantina label (roughly translated as 'wine cellar') is a testament to winemaking artisan Dominic Torzi's Italian heritage and to his partner Tracy Matthews and their passion to produce a range of Italian varietals that are arguably the best coming out of South Australia these days. 

Fifteen year old Sangiovese vines at the Valley's Moppa Springs and Koonunga Hills sub-regions were treated in French oak for eighteen months. The result is an approachable, savoury fruit bomb of a wine. Rustic yet refined. Piquant yet plush.

Brick red in colour, some purply hues. Lifted spicy, earthy, tobacco and red cherry aromas. Some red currant and goji berry notes that are unusual but interesting. The medium-weight palate has persistent grippy, velvety tannins with spicy plum and cherry fruit flavours throughout. Long savoury finish. A delicious, food-friendly wine. One of the best Australian expressions of this Tuscan grape variety that I've tasted in a while.  

Source: Retail Purchase. Alcohol: 13.5%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 91 Points.
Website:: http://www.torzimatthews.com.au/home/  

2010 Yarraloch Estate Arneis

A variety that is finding a comfortable niche in Victoria's cool climate Yarra Valley where the conditions suit much like in its original home Piedmonte. There it is used to enhance and perfume Nebbiolo. From vines grown at nearby Coombe Farm and Murramong, this is the sixth vintage of Arneis from the boutique Yarraloch winery.

This 'little rascal' (the Piedmontese translation) invariably heads the Alternatives section of the better wine lists to be found around the traps and it is easy to understand its inclusion amongst such company. 

My notes say that in the glass a pale yellow hue with an inviting, clean citrus peel aroma and some herbal pear and ginger notes too. An attractive palate revealing a floral, citrus zing at the front end and notes of pear, lime and toasty nuts in the mid part. There's a touch of oak creaminess to complement the mineral acid backbone. Soft gravelly tannins on the back end and a refreshing dry finish. A vibrant and beautifully balanced, textural experience. 

Source: Restaurant Wine List. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 92 Points.

Website:: http://www.yarraloch.com.au/index.php