There are so many different wine styles on offer. Wine writer Winsor Dobbin checks out some of the best newest releases.
Curly Flat 2020 Pinot Noir
The team at Curly Flat in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria manage to produce several excellent pinots from just about every vintage. Reliability with a capital R. This estate wine is beautifully structured, with hints of spice, and can be given time to mature if you have the patience. There is complexity here, for sure, but also purity and depth of flavour aided by 36% new oak. Buy two and drink one now with some Chinese roasted duck. Cellar the other. $60.
Brown Brothers 2020 Patricia Chardonnay
Brown Brothers are Victorian winemaking royalty, but this standout from their flagship Patricia range highlights grapes from two regions of the Brown family’s newest outpost in Tasmania. This is a seriously good new-release chardonnay that blends fruit from the Tamar Valley and east coast to produce a very approachable chardonnay that combines freshness with complexity. A lovely food wine that would pair well with poultry dishes or crustaceans. $48.
A taste of Italy
Lamura 2018 Nero d’Avola
The perfect choice to take along to your favourite Leichhardt BYO, this is a delightfully soft and approachable organic wine from Sicily, made from the Nero d’Avola grape. Bright red berry fruit flavours are on show, along with some savoury elements. Medium-bodied, dangerously drinkable, vegan friendly and designed to partner with pasta dishes with tomato-based sauces. $22.
Mt Bera 2018 Gruvee Gruner Veltliner
Gruner Veltliner is Austria’s star white grape, but it is also proving very well suited to cooler regions of Australia, such as at Mt Bera in the Adelaide Hills, where the fruit is all estate grown and they follow organic and biodynamic practices. This is one of three gruners in the range, made in a fresh and lively style after the fruit was picked at low alcohol levels. This has a few years under its belt but is very much in the “zone” with white pear and spice notes to the fore. A lovely foil for dishes like chilli prawns or a Thai vegetable curry. $30.
Thomas 2022 Braemore Semillon
Yes, wines from the 2022 vintage are already hitting the stores and this is another brilliant young release from a man who has the Midas touch with the variety: Hunter Valley winemaker Andrew “Thommo” Thomas. This is delightfully fresh and vibrant with lemon/lime characters and purity in its youth – pair now with some oysters – but we know from experience that this will develop toasty aged characters and probably last for 20 years of more in the cellar. $35.
Belebula 2018 Sangiovese
To be honest, I had never heard of the Belebula label until I tasted this wine in an “alternative varieties” line-up last month as part of the Hunter Legends celebrations tasting. There is very little sangiovese grown in the Hunter, but this take from Pokolbin Estate Vineyard on the Tuscan grape variety works well. The wine is soft, smooth, and pleasingly dry with a dash of Italian swagger. Very well made, quite elegant. Pair with some stuzzichini. $30.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com.