2012 Shadowfax Minnow

The Shadowfax Winery is located at Werribee, half way between Melbourne and Geelong and although too far north to be technically included in the Geelong region, it more or less is still included in that G I region. Its first vines were planted in 1998 and the winery's inaugural release of the Minnow wine was 2011, a blend more common in South Australia than Victoria.  

The attractively labelled Minnow is a quintessential autumn wine. A blend of 40% Carignan, 21% Grenache, 21% Cinsault and 18% Mataro, it invites comparisons to the reds of the south of France. Rustic yet charismatic. The thought of a cool and sunny afternoon, a patio with friends, autumn leaves and a glass or two of this delicious wine is not lost on me.

The colour is ruby red. Dark fruits, white pepper and cured meats on the nose. Savoury aromatics with some sweet licorice notes.
Light- to medium-weighted savoury wine that is all Carignan dark plum fruit and dried herbs on entry. Smoke notes reflect time in French hogsheads. A juicy smooth mid-palae of warm tang and zippy acid supports brooding raspberry, pepper, earth and meat flavours. All four varieties integrate together well and the dusty moderate tannins add to the overall enjoyment. Drinkable to the extreme. Recommended.  

Source: Gift. ABV: 13.1%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $25.00. Rating: 91 Points.

2014 Chaffey Brothers DÜFTE PUNKT

Dufte Punkt is not a reference to the group Daft Punk and its soulless, manufactured robot music but is translated as The Aromatic Point. And it delivers on that front with loads of character and some.

Avant garde and unique in Australia, the wine is a 43/29/28 blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Weisser Herold aka Kerner. What interests me - just as the Aranel component did in the Aja White Blend - is the Kernera 1929 German white variety that is a Riesling-Trollinger hybrid. It was bred by one August Herold in honour of one Justinus Kerner whose claim to fame among other achievements were songs and poetry about wine. I wonder what he would have thought of the Dufte Punkt ? Or Daft Punk for that matter ! 

From a single northern Eden Valley vineyard composed of limestone quartz gravel soils, the Chaffey Bros Wine Co. has manufactured a classic field blend with the Kerner coming from one of only two vineyards growing the variety in Australia. The other is located at Robinvale Organic Wines in north-west Victoria for those keen on fun facts. 

This is a wine light straw yellow, almost watery in colour.
Lime, grapey, musk and mineral quartz aromas. Some green apple action too. Very perfumed with big aromas.

Palate is light, medium sweet grapey fruit upfront and secondary flavours of Turkish delight and lycees. Zippy acid throughout with a spicy, dry finish.

What I found very interesting is that besides being such a well-balanced blend, this is a wine where it is possible to appreciate its individual varietal components. The Riesling's mineral and citrus elements, the Gewürztraminer's spicy florals and the Kerner's texture and body. 

A funky yet refined drop. Like it. 

Source: Retail Purchase. ABV: 11.7%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $20.00. Rating: 90 Points.

2014 Wills Domain Block 9 Margaret River Scheurebe

In guess the variety game, this is a ripper with which to bamboozle your friends at a dinner party. Unless someone has a MW, it may prove an interesting and entertaining exercise.

Although little is planted in Australia, the answer is Scheurebe, a German variety that is a crossing between Riesling (its father) and a wild grape vine called Buketttraube - translated in English as bouquet grape. According to Florian Boehm, Cellar Door Manager at Margaret River's Wills Domain Winery, "Buketttraube is not grown anymore in Germany. The crossing was created by Dr. Scheu where its name comes from. Rebe is the German word for vine."

When we think of Margaret River, mainstream varieties tend to come to mind. Located in the sub-region of Yallingup, the multi-award winning Wills Domain is owned by the Haunold Family whose German background has had long winemaking traditions since the 1300’s, mentions Boehm. He explains further: "Due to this background Darren Haunold decided he would like to introduce a new German variety to the region. There is an area in the vineyards which is too damp for red varieties but it’s a great terroir for Scheurebe which likes these conditions."  

A widely repeated quotation about 'Scheu' as it is referred to, had me amused and thought I'd share it even if its relationship to Riesling brings up some family issues. In my opinion, more of a wild child !

Scheurebe is Riesling just after it read the Kama Sutra. Put another way, Scheu is what Riesling would be if Riesling were a transvestite. If Riesling expresses all that is Noble and Good, Scheu offers all that is Dirty and Fun. It is Riesling's evil, horny twin.

"The 2014 is the second vintage," Boehm continues "so it’s very interesting for us how great it performs here in Margaret River with its distinctive aromas, pretty floral nose and acidity, which is not as high as in Riesling."

Bright silvery straw in colour. Stunningly translucent. An extra '+' to the score for this quality. 

Very perfumy with red current, gooseberry, wild grassy herbs and orange blossom notes. 
Think of a cross between Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc and you have the aromatics of the 'Scheu.'   
There is an expressive palate of green apple, honeysuckle, minerality and blood orange notes. Great balance overall. Mouth watering, juicy and subtle tannins. Off-dry, fresh and bright with a lingering finish of pink grapefruit. 

Attractively presented in a brown bottle no less. Aromatic, delicious and such a great find. 

Postscript. Wills Domain believes that it is the only producer of Scheurebe in Australia at present.

Source: Sample. ABV: 12.5%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $29.00. Rating: 92+ Points.