Humis Vineyard Marsanne 2017

Impressive first release of Humis Marsanne from Heathcote fruit.

The wine exhibits a medium straw colour.
Heady aromas of lemon/lime, marzipan, green peas and hints of grass. Very fragrant and lively.
It tastes of green capsicum and honeysuckle showing alongside some peach and citrus nuances. 

There is an initial spritz interestingly but it's dry overall with tart acid, some mineral charm and soft chalky tannins.
The balance is just right and the texture and juicy flavours are persistent throughout.  

Although taut now, drinking appeal is not an issue. Will improve in complexity with up to ten years cellaring. Much to like here. 

Source: Winery. ABV: 13.1%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $20.00. Rating: 91 Points. 

Millbrook Barking Owl Viognier 2016

Yes, these feathered creatures do exist but their call is more of a yowing noise as opposed to a bark. Much like the wine. More bark than bite if you get the drift. 

Established in 1996, the Millbrook Winery is situated at Jarrahdale, south-east of Perth. It is one of four wineries owned at present by the Fogarty Wine Group. Its Barking Owl wine range is designed for short-to-medium term drinking. 

This wine is straw yellow colour with a green tint.

Moderate aromas of apricot, ginger and cinnamon spice coming through on the nose. 
The lean palate shows tropical fruit and fresh citrus flavours, soft acidity with the finish dry and crisp.  
It felt mono-dimensional and a little underwhelming to me and not the most convincing example of Viognier tasted.  

Nonetheless, there is a strangely crowd-pleasing appeal to this well made 
quaffer. Complementing for example a range of gastro pub fare would be a good fit.     

Source: Retail. ABV: 14.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $16.99. Rating: 87 Points. 

Pfeiffer Seriously Fine Apera NV

Childhood memories can have lasting impressions. Taking a quick, surreptitious swig of Grandma's port or sherry as a youngster was not the ideal way to introduce yourself to the world of wine. All you could feel from the experience was your very insides wanting to depart your mortal coil ! Thankfully, over time things and tastes do change and one's stomach evolves to cope with fortified wines such as sherry.   

To avoid a modern-day Spanish Inquisition of sorts, Australian regulations now prohibit the use of 'sherry' as a descriptor with 'apera' nominated the official go-to word. Cool term this, a play on the word 'aperitif', which at the same time keeps the Iberians reassured !

The grape varieties used in the Pfeiffer Seriously Fine Apera NV are Palomino or Palomino Fino to be exact, and the rare French variety Monbadon. The winery claims to have the only known plantings of Monbadon in Australia and use it for its similarities to Palomino.

Palomino is a white grape variety from Spain's Andalucia region used primarily in the production of sherry. The white variety Monbadon known as Berger in the United States, is the offspring of the Cognac grapes Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanc and from accounts is now virtually extinct in Southern France. 

The Apera is pale straw in colour with fresh aromas of almond, vanilla, apple and citrus on the nose. A dry palate displays roasted almond, some bitter herbal notes and citrus flavours that are refreshingly intense. It has a body the lighter side of medium. There's a freshness also that reminds of sea spray/sea shells, underpinned by appealing minerality and a tangy bitterness to both mouthfeel and finish. Serve chilled.

This wine has won accolades and awards as long as your arm over the years, the latest a trophy from the 2016 AAVWS for the Best Fortified Wine. So why turn to the Spanish stuff when Jen Pfeiffer along with other dedicated winemakers are producing such seriously good apera, helping to create a new wave of appreciation for the great Australian fortified wines of yesteryear. Now, Grandma would be pleased.    

Source: Sample courtesy of Pfeiffer Wines. ABV: 16.0%. Closure: Screw Cap. Price: $29.00. 
Rating:  91+ Points. Website: