Spinifex | Miette Vermentino
This is just the second release of Miette's Vermentino, and again it's sourced from a one-acre vineyard rooted on hard, ironstone-rich soil, in one of the highest parts of Koonunga Hill (in the north of the Barossa Valley). An innately rugged and hardy cultivar, Vermentino ripens relatively slowly, retaining acidity, allowing it to be harvested ripe with both texture and natural freshness.
This offers a lovely play between the ripe citrus, honeysuckle, and cut grass notes of the varietal with some pulpy flesh and body from both the ripeness and the skin contact. A very clever, delicious wine and an outstanding value from one of the unsung gurus of Australian winemaking.
Features 89% Grenache and 11% Cinsault, sourced from both Bondar's Estate vineyard and another local grower. The latter's contribution was fermented cooler, with some solids in stainless steel, to preserve brightness and purity of fruit; while the former was fermented at warmer temperatures in old oak to build mouthfeel and savoury aromatics. Taken together, these two components form a wine marked by brightness and depth.
Murdoch Hill| Sauvignon Blanc
Michael Downer crafts this Sauvignon Blanc from a parcel of 20-year-old vines rooted in the sandy mineral soils of Murdoch Hill's high-altitude Oakbank Vineyard in the Onkaparinga Valley.
Thirty per cent of the wine was warm-settled to retain solids and naturally fermented in older barriques for texture and structure. The remainder was handpicked and chilled overnight, then crushed and gently pressed to tank. The resulting wine is signature Murdoch Hills: a citrus-driven, bright and juicy Sauvignon with fabulously limey fruit and a long, mouth-watering finish.
Murdoch Hill| Red Blend
Spinifex | Miette | Shiraz
The Miette Shiraz is always superb value and this 2017 is no different. The core of the fruit for this wine came from six key vineyards in Ebenezer, Bethany, Tanunda and Moppa-serious Barossa terroirs that have delivered bold, honest and deep Shiraz flavours and structure. Schell has also blended in some wines from the higher country of the Barossa Ranges and Eden Valley in order to bring freshness.
It's a great-value pourer-aromatic, high toned, medium-weight Barossa Shiraz loaded with aromas and flavours of spiced cherry, mulberry, dried cranberries and subtle green peppercorn and medicinal notes. The palate is silky fresh. Classically Barossa and yet fresh and juicy-and all the better for it!
Voyager | Sauvignon Blanc Semillion
Drawn from vines planted on Voyager's gravelly loam soils, the Sauvignon (68%) brings fresh, crunchy drive with mostly lime, some guava and grassy hints, while the Semillon (32%)-sourced from the North Block 10 vineyard planted in 1995-contributes pithy lemon notes, palate weight and structure.
A small component of barrel-fermented Semillon and some lees contact brings additional complexity and texture to the palate, but the finish has that clean, snappy close expected of this style. The 2019 vintage has produced a really smart example of this style with great texture and tangy vibrancy.