2015 Grove Estate The Italian

The Italian is a blend of Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Barbera from the Grove Estate Vineyards near Young in the Hilltops Region of Southern New South Wales. Established in 1989 by a partnership of families, the company contracts most of its winemaking to Long Rail Gully Wines near Murrumbateman and has a passion for red Italian grape varieties including Zinfandel. 

Cool climate, estate grown blend of these three premium Italian varieties that displays crimson colours with a purple hue.
Pretty perfume of rose petals, strawberry, cherry and tar aromas.
It's a light- to mid-weight framed wine with stewed prunes, black cherries and smokey savoury herbs across the palate.
Subdued dusty tannins, clean fresh acidity. Soft and juicy texturally. Loads of fresh, soft mixed berry flavours, which is what you would expect from a cool climate region. A lingering savoury finish. 

Has lots of potential with cellaring, this is a food friendly blend of finesse and flavour. Very Good.

Source: Winery. ABV: 14.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $26.00. Rating: 90 Points. 
Website: http://www.groveestate.com.au

2013 Brokenwood Tim's Paddock Pinot Noir

Bought this wine on a whim as I had never tasted a Pinot Noir from Beechworth before. The first vintage from a single vineyard enterprise with the blurb saying from "very ripe fruit." Well, that's good news ! 

The wine didn't give me the impression it was a Pinot Noir in terms of its varietal profile, more a medium-bodied dry red. Not supple, fine or delicate as you might think from a cool climate region but sappy and weighty. 

It's a wine of vivid purple appearance.
Woody herbs, stalks, forest floor, undergrowth, gamey flavours and dark cherry form the complex nose.
A little sappy, draping the palate with earthy, sour cherry and other berrylike flavours. Surprisingly thick. Supple tannins and the wood oak nuances did add something but this wine lacked any real interest.

Maybe it was this particular bottle. The wine was neither flawed nor overripe but not what I was expecting from such a region and didn't go a refill.

Source: Retail. ABV: 13.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $15.99. Rating: 86 Points. 

Website: http://www.brokenwood.com.au

2013 Sellicks Hill Wines Greco

The transportation of grape vines throughout history with the migration and settlement of people is a subject that fascinate me. 

Greco Bianco or simply Greco is a case in point. The oldest white grape variety in Campania, Greco or its ancestor vine was thought to have been introduced there by an ancient Greek people, the Pelasgians from Thessaly in the eighth or seventh century B.C.

The variety is used in the production of the DOCG wine Greco di Tufo, a reference to its hillside community home of Tufo in the Avellino province and additionally is a permitted component of several other southern Italian DOC's. 

Plantings of Greco are still small in Australia with Fiano clearly ahead in the stakes. Only a handful of producers are giving the variety the respect it deserves and Sellicks Hill Wines in McLaren Vale is one of its ardent supporters having the region's currently only Greco fruit since 2011.

Owner and self-proclaimed "vineyard dude" and "one man band" at Sellicks Hill Wines, Paul Petagna learnt the art of making wine himself with help from his Italian father-in-law and some winemaking friends at the Vale. Paul says he makes the wines on-site in a galvanised shed, affectionately known as 'The Shed' using organic and sustainable winemaking techniques. The decision to plant Greco was "because both my in-laws came from Campania and one of the most common whites in their village was Greco," he recalls fondly. It's history repeating itself. People migrating, settling, memories of home and growing grapes for wine.    

The 2013 Sellicks Hill Greco pours an attractive light yellow/copper colour into the glass.

The aromas were fairly muted initially then really open up. Citrus, stone fruits, green leaf. Fresh, clean and tangy nose. Perfumes continue in the mouth with peach, green apple, pineapple and herbal notes. It's very much a mineral- and acid-driven dry white wine. Silky/oily mouthfeel armed with zippy, racy acidity that goes down easily. A lingering finish showcases lemon pith, dry minerals and a hint of almond. Delicious.

In a region crying out for a signature white variety other than the ubiquitous Chardonnay, Greco appears to be well-suited to McLaren Vale's Mediterranean climate, according to Paul Petagna holding its acid extremely well and versatile enough to accompany diverse dishes and flavours.
Real interest and personality here, fun to drink and an impressive example. Recommended.

Source: Sample courtesy of Sellicks Hill Wines. ABV: 13.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $30.00.       Rating: 92 Points. Website: http://www.sellickshillwines.com