2014 Tallavera Grove Carillion Vineyard Estate Grown Verduzzo

Verduzzo could be considered rare in Australia with about half a dozen wineries producing this white variety here. Another variety Garganega, occupies a similar position in Australia with just as many producers and with origins from the same region in Italy. 

Traditionally grown in the Friuli Venezia-Giulia and Veneto regions of Italy, the ancient Verduzzo grape is used to produce both dry varietal wines and late harvest or passito style wines. Some of the finest examples come from the Colli-Orientali DOC Region. The grape has a challenging reputation for making wine as the flavours together with its high phenolic content exist in the skin. It has often been said that Verduzzo masquerades as a red wine such is its tannin content, unusual in whites.

Established in 1997, the Carillion Vineyard on the slopes of Mt Canobolas in Orange is one of three properties family-owned by Davis Premium Vineyards, the others located in the Hunter Valley - where the Tallavera Grove cellar door is based - and at Wrattonbully in South Australia. 


Mid-straw yellow colour. Fresh aromas of pineapple, nectarines and green apples with a musk-like undertone. 

Dry and a faintly oily texture. Slightly astringent at first with a palate of green apple, black tea, chalky dry tannins and nutmegThere is quite a bit of grip to the mouthfeel. Intense citrus mid-palate. Spicy and smooth on the finish. A well-balanced wine. Softened up more on the second evening's drinking with some interesting honey nuances present.

Ready to drink now but can see this cellaring for a few years. Good value for an exciting, food-friendly variety. 

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.5%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $20.00. Rating: 90 Points. Website: http://tallaveragrove.com.au/

2014 Tallavera Grove Rogue Series Funky Ferment Verduzzo

The Rogue Series is Tallavera Grove's cool and innovative approach to its Italian varietals or The Italian Jobs as it states on the label. Others in the Series include Vermentino, Aglianico and Sagrantino. This Verduzzo from the winery's Carillion Vineyard in Orange, has undergone six months of fermentation on skins, softening the usually astringent qualities of the grape and making the final product complex, weighty and textural.

One of four premium vineyards owned by the Davis Family, Carillion formerly known as Jokers Peak Vineyard, is situated on the slopes of Mt Canobolas in the cold wine region of Orange in the high central tablelands of New South Wales. The terroir, particularly the climate is ideal for grape growing and winemaking and the Verduzzo is surely at home here as it is in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, its traditional home.  

Before describing the wine, kudos to the wine label designer for such a striking piece of work. It is certainly an attention-grabber. Perhaps the funky refers to the label ? 
The wine itself has a light lemon gold colour. The restrained nose offers up lime blossom, citrus, cinnamon and some interesting leesy notes, which reminds me of fresh pastry. 
The first sip is dry and fresh, leads to a rich, slightly tart, light- to mid-bodied palate that bursts with crisp green apple, nectarine and Nashi pear flavours. Some biscuit and herbal notes too. 
Not as astringent as I would have first thought but the phenolics are there along with chalky-type tannins and a fine acid intensity. Because of such qualities, Verduzzo has commonly been referred to as the white for red drinkers. Easy to see why. 
It's a well-balanced, robust wine with a long spicy, stony finish and versatile enough to cope with a variety of food. Highly recommended.

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.5%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $30.00. 
Rating: 92+ Points. Website: http://tallaveragrove.com.au/

Follow me:  http://twitter.com/theinqpalate15

2012 Atze's Corner The Renegade

A Spanish-inspired blend of Grenache/Mataro/Graciano from the Barossa Valley that is unique in Australia.
From a small family-owned winery, only 150 cases were made by winemaker Andrew Kalleske.

Garnet brown in colour. Aromas of raspberries, plums, pepper and savoury spices are immediately appealing.

But there was a disconnect between these and the palate where it did not deliver the goods. Whether it was just this bottle, I don't know but it didn't live up to the hype for me.

The earthy raspberry of the Grenache, the brooding dark berries of the Mataro and Graciano's spicy tannins should have been more convincing but just couldn't go the distance. Medium bodied, subtle and slippery texture. 

Interesting, easy and gluggable but there is better out there.  

Source: Retail Purchase. ABV: 14.7%. Closure: Screwcap. Price: $18.00. Rating: 88 Points.