2013 Massena Barossa Valley Primitivo

The story goes that after not getting much joy out of the U C Davis clone of Zinfandel, the Massena winemakers replaced these with Primitivo sourced from Puglia in Italy. The dry-farmed, low yielding vines have gone on to thrive on the winery's Dadds Block vineyard.   

The 2013 vintage displays an inky crimson black colour in the glass. Broodingly dark. Black cherry, black plum, liquorice and black pepper on the nose enhanced by a whiff of smokiness from its maturation in seasoned French oak barrels.

There's a slight tannic grip on entry with earthy, spicy liquorice notes more abundant initially on the palate than fruit flavours. Chocolate-covered cherry and pastille fruit flavours take a back seat to the spicy richness. Full-bodied with bright acidity and grippy, earthy tannins. 

The 2013 Primitivo carries more spice and weight, perhaps lacking in the fruit profile that was evident in the riper, juicier 2012 vintage. That and the warmth on exit wasn't to my liking here. 

Source: Retail. ABV: 14.5%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $22.00. Rating: 88 Points. 

2014 Narkoojee Viognier

Made from fruit grown in Gippsland and at Narkoojee, this is the winery's second vintage of Viognier and presents an interesting addition to the Narkoojee white wine portfolio. It's a variety Managing Director and Winemaker Harry Friend believes can be treated much the same as Chardonnay with barrel ageing, lees stirring in addition to creating a newer style of wine such as a shiraz viognier.

He explains further: "We decided to graft about 30% of our cabernet plantings over to viognier". "We decided on two clones of viognier, known as HTK and the other as 642, and grafted these in 2010, the other advantage of grafting rather than planting was the smaller time to establishment and we harvested our first vintage in 2013".

It's impressive drop from the get go and if ever the Viognier reaches the acclaim of the Narkoojee Chardonnay range, it will be in rarified air indeed.    

The 2014 vintage is a translucent yellow-coloured wine with distinct varietal aromas of fresh apricot, violet perfumes, lime and spice notes. It's an expressive nose that leans more to the citrus side of things.
Palate is textural and taut, dry and chalky. It tastes of assorted stone fruits, lime, some ginger and stone-like minerality. Fresh, vibrant and on the lighter side of mid-weight with tidy acid and light spicy undertones. Spikey mid-palate but a smooth and warm exit.

There's an elegance associated with such a young-vined wine grown and produced in a cool climate. Good drinkability and one to keep on the watchlist. The 2015 is now available on the Narkoojee website.

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.5%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $ NA. Rating: 90+ Points. 
Website: http://narkoojee.com

2015 Green Man Wines Fiano

An outstanding dry white with texture, flavour and finish. There is immediate drinking pleasure here.  

Awarded a bronze medal among some illustrious company at the 2015 AAVWS in the fuller-bodied Fiano Class. Produced in Central Victoria, the 2015 Green Man Fiano is so good that to my tastes, it could easily have taken out another award in the other category for the young, fresh and aromatic Fianos of this world.

Clear light yellow to greenish hues in the glass. 
Aromas of stone fruits, green apple and herbal grass. Some floral action going on too. Nicely balanced aromatics.    

Fresh and rich palate that carries plenty of nectarine, lime and clove. The wine feels silky, has texture, mouthfeel and flavour.   
Dry and slatey mineral backbone. Light to medium weight.   
The tangy lemon peel acidity is cleansing and refreshing with a dry herbal element that goes long. Lemon and almond crunch to finish.
The charm factor of this Italian variety is high. Recommended. 

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.5%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $33.00. Rating: 92+ Points. 
Website: http://www.clandelsud.com.au/index.html