N V Ballabourneen Sparkling Moscato Blush

We've all eaten Black Muscat or Muscat of Hamburg table grapes at some stage. Large, round, fleshy, sweet and delicious. There are some examples of it floating around as the basis of fortified wines but here the variety is used uncommonly and intriguingly, to make a salmon pink sparkling wine. 

As a background, the variety is a black-skinned Vitis vinifera grape variety of the ancient Muscat family. It appears to be the progeny of Schiava Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria from mainland Europe possibly Germany, the home of the hybrids and is said to have been introduced into England at around 1720 although there is conjecture that it actually originated there. 

Ballabourneen Wine Co. the makers of this unique drop, is a joint venture between Alex Stuart OAM and Daniel Binet and is situated at Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley. Grapes are 
sourced locally from some of the Hunter's best vineyards with new cellar door facilities opening in May. 

There are very prominent Turkish delight aromatics on the nose and body with strawberry and grapey nuances in the background. Lightly textured demi-sec spritzy wine. There is an appealing soft, creamy mouthfeel of rose and strawberry with effervescent beads that lead to a tart-like finish. Fun and flirtatious drink now wine. It was excellent as an appetiser and could also be a dessert accompaniment. Very Good.

N.B. This is one of those varieties that literally has dozens of synonyms. 

Source: Sample courtesy of Ballabourneen Wine Co. ABV: 10.0%. Closure: Cork. 

Price: $26.00. Rating: 89 Points. Website: https://www.ballabourneen.com.au


2014 Redbank King Valley Fiano

In 2005 the Hill Smith Family Vineyards acquired the Redbank brand from original owners and winemakers Neill and Sally Robb. 

Redbank Wines source their Fiano grapes from the Mt Bellevue Estate vineyard near Myrrhee in north-east Victoria. The grapes were fermented and matured for six months in older French oak barriques. Gargenega (9%) was added to the final blend for an extra layer of complexity, which winemaker Teresa Heuzenroeder creatively captured. 

Light straw yellow colouring to this wine,
Restrained bouquet of lime zest, honey and citrus blossom.
Palate is richly flavoured, a surprise given the delicate aromas but still maintains freshness. Nashi pear, citrus, fresh basil, almond and slatey minerals across the tongue.

Fresh, zesty and textural mouthfeel. Texture is the key here with this wine. Dry, a little briney perhaps through the mid-palate. A creamy long finish of minerals, lime and pear.

Well made and a lot to like about this 2015 AAVWS gold medal winning wine. Recommended.

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $22.00. Rating: 92 Points. 

2015 Redbank Sunday Morning Pinot Gris

A cool new label reflecting Redbank's King Valley collection. If any wine could perk you up on a Sunday morning, look no further than this invigorating, off-dry Pinot Gris sourced from family owned high-altitude vineyards. 

Clear pale yellow hues with greenish tinges.
There are fragrant, fresh aromatics of lime, rose petal perfume, spiced apple and biscuit.  
A chalky mineral base and clean acidity add balance to the Nashi pear, lime pith, spice and lychee flavoured palate. Light to medium in weight. A soft creamy textural mid-palate and a dry musky finish. Clean, focused flavours. Good line and length. 

This is a subtle, elegant and enjoyable expression of a cool climate Pinot Gris worthy of indulgence before the sun is over the yardarm !

Source: Sample. ABV: 13.5%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $19.00. Rating: 90 Points.