Lovely Lugana

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Forgive the quality taken with ipod before imbibing

One of the most scenic wine regions in a very scenic country, Lugana sits on the border between Lombardy and the Veneto on the south end of beautiful Lake Garda, where the fertile Po Valley plain rises into Northern Italy’s lake country and the glacial foothills of the Alps. Lugana is hardly well-known, but maybe it should to be: This region’s white wines, luscious, full-bodied and surprisingly ageworthy, deserve ranking among the world’s great whites for their balance, beauty and food-friendly style. It’s hardly a coincidence that this great white goes with fish as it comes from the shores of one of Italy’s largest freshwater lakes.

All Lugana is white; a small amount is sparkling, but the majority is made as a dry, still wine. The grape used is the lowly Trebbiano, a variety that in most of Italy (and in France, where it’s called as Ugni Blanc) isn’t really considered exciting nevermind interesting. In Lugana, however, Trebbiano is different, a serious grape making a serious wine. Whether its unique clone of standard Trebbiano or, as some producers in the region insist, an entirely different grape, may have to await future DNA testing. The simple answer, though, lies in the tasting: Luscious and “transparent, exceptional for showing minerality and “terroir,” Lugana is one of my new favorite white wines (for a while at least). And this is the wine that swung it, Monte Zovo Lugana ‘Le Civaie’ 2011, brilliant straw yellow with greenish highlights. It has a pleasant bouquet of melons and tangerines with mint and banana accents and some floral notes on the nose and a strong fruity personality on the palate. Reminded my of a good Chablis and went down a treat with our homemade Chicken a al King.


2012 Vintage Notes O’Leary Walker

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Here’s a little bit of info that crossed our desk the other day a little info on the 2012 vintage sent on to us from the guys at O’Leary Walker.

“With Vintage 2012 behind us, the whites either in tank or bottled and the reds tucked away in their barrels, it’s time for some navel gazing and to reflect on what’s happening on the “hill” at O’Leary Walker…..

Vintage 2012

Divine Intervention!!!

With great winter rains, the soil moisture remained high. The vines enjoyed natural soil moisture throughout the growing period. This year the vines shot 2-3 weeks earlier, so sadly, the fishing rods were abandoned and the Blundstones dusted off as we launched ourselves into the dream vintage that was 2012. Cool with a long, even ripening phase, the vines remained vibrant and healthy. We checked the vineyards with growing anticipation as it was becoming obvious that the quality of the fruit was looking extremely promising. So with the fruit ripe and ready to pick our excitement peaked as it became clear that this was going to be a great vintage. Yields were noticeably lower but the result was fruit of incredible character and flavour. For the Whites, the Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills and our Clare Valley Rieslings, this vintage reminded us of 2005, with wines that show purity and exceptional varietal characters and flavours. The Reds have been characterised by intense and outstanding colour, and are already looking like they will be similar to the outstanding quality we have seen in the 2010 red wines.”




Riesling Rewards

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“Winners are Grinners” and since last Thursday David O’Leary and Nick Walker  haven’t wiped the smiles off their faces!

Any medal, award or trophy makes always makes the recipient proud, but there is always something extra special about winning an internationally acclaimed Trophy. Last Wednesday night the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards were held at the Royal Opera House in London. Considered by many as the “Olympics of the wine industry” this show saw some 14,120 wines judged. There were only two International Trophies awarded to Australian wines, so we’re delighted of the success of David and Nick’s; 2009 O’Leary Walker Polish Hill River Riesling, which is about to hit the in the coming weeks, great value @ €17.95 a bottle.
James Halliday gave this wine 94 points, in his Australian Wine Companion. In June this wine won the Regional Trophy for Australian Riesling  and progressed through the judging process to be awarded the International Trophy for Dry Riesling. O’Leary Walkers Rieslings are always tight and restrained when fresh and young but it is amazing to watch these wines open up and develop over each coming year.  
The judges’ comments were:-Incredibly fresh and lively with exceptional flavour, some maturity and delicious, tangy fruit. Superb lime, citrus, petrol and mineral notes, lemon aromas and floral lift. Outstanding value. 

As David O’Leary and Nick Walker comment, “Trophy wins of this calibre confirm that we made the right decision to create our own brand, utilising our years of experience to make our own wines. The Polish Hill River Riesling is one of those wines that starts out delicately and restrained but opens up with an array of vibrant flavours, whilst retaining its purity and finesse.”

There is a reason why many punters refer to David and Nick as the “Kings of Riesling”.

Clash of the Titans

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When all is over this Sunday evening we will be celebrating with a bottle of Logan Cuvee M 2009. Peter Logan’s premium bubbly is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grown at Orange. The Logan Vintage ‘M’ Cuvee is a light rust colour with very fine bubbles and a persistent creamy mousse. The Pinot grapes have contributed a strawberry aroma which combines with almond, pear and oatmeal from the Chardonnay. The crisp and dry palate has flavours of lemon rind, nectarine and a salty minerality before a very long finish. Just the way to celebrate

€23.96 at the minute as we have 20% for a limited time only!

Fabulous Fiano and Super Soave

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Two Great wines from Italy that some of our customers have been enjoying over the last few weeks, Rivera’s fabulous ‘Scariazzo’ Fiano and the superb Pieropan Soave.

The Rivera ‘Scariazzo‘ is made from the fiano grape; a variety, indigenous to Irpini area in southern Italy , and some times called the Apiana grape, since bees (api) preferred it for its sweetness. The wine is made in strict accord with Rivera’s long experience and its determination that the wine be the authentic expression of its variety and of its terroir. The name of the wine ‘scariazzo’, is the traditional local barrel-vaulted building used to pen sheep. These constructions, which served as stopping-places for the flocks during their annual movements, are a symbol of the pastoral economy that flourished in northern Puglia until the late 19th century. The wine is a deep straw yellow; with a rich, complex bouquet with smoky nose. The minerally slate classic finish of fiano rounds out a multi-layered and fruity palate with an acidity that balances all components. Normally €14.95 Now Buy any 2 Bottles for €25

The Pieropan Soave is the freshest, youngest wine in the Pieropan family range.  It is made entirely from fruit grown in their own vineyards situated in the Soave Classico zone and planted only with indigenous grape varieties. This wine is made from 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave. The wine is left on partial fine lees until bottling the spring after harvesting. The wine is brilliant straw yellow colour with greenish hints; the delicate nose is reminiscent of pink grapefruit almond blossoms and marzipan; good depth of fruit on the palate, recurring pink grapefruit with a nicely balanced by a zingy acidity that enhances its long length. Normally €17.95 Now Buy any 2 Bottles for €30