Sommelier picks from Australia Day Tasting 2017

Imbibe Editorial

Imbibe Editorial

02 February 2017

With so many Aussie wines to take in at last month's annual Australia Day Tasting in London, we asked a handful of top somms for their favourites

Vinteloper TN 15 (Touriga Nacional), Langhorne Creek 
'A lovely whisper of dark and brooding spice lifted by very lively, clear fruit. Fresh but with a dreamy, seductive texture and a certain youthful energy. I can see it rubbing along nicely with all sorts of food, and I think it could be nice slightly chilled; I’ve got my eye on it for a spring wine list update.' Kate Hawkings, Bellita
£24 RRP, Red Squirrel, 020 3490 1210

Quealy Winemakers, Secco Splendido Muscat Blanc 2016, Mornington Peninsula
'I'm very fond of an occasional pét nat, and this is very jolly. All that luscious Muscat nose, sweet but not sickly, then bags of bouncing lemony fruit and a jaunty zip on the finish. Perfect for a hot sunny day. Not always an easy sell in restaurants, but I'll make it this summer's mission to turn the good burghers of Bristol onto them.' Kate Hawkings, Bellita
£15 RRP, Les Caves de Pyrene, 01483 538820

Thistledown Wines, The Vagabond Old Vine Grenache 2015, Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale 
'Made by celebrated ex-Nepenthe winemaker Peter Leske and fermented entirely in a concrete egg, this is textured, vibrant and balanced and totally belies its ABV. Really delicious stuff.' Martin Lam, independent consultant
£13.03 ex-VAT for current 2014 vintage, Alliance Wine, 01505 506060

Redman Wines, The Redman 2004, Coonawarra
'A classic Coonawarra Cab-Merlot-Shiraz, this is fully mature and evolved, with lovely fruit freshness and acidity. This is the age these wines should be drunk at, and ABS has stock for the UK.' Martin Lam, independent consultant
£32.30 ex-VAT, Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies, 01780 755810

Jim Barry Assyrtiko 2016, Clare Valley 
'Despite being cautious on non Aussie grape varieties I succumbed to the charm of the Jim Barry Assyrtiko 2016 and immediately became the first UK restaurant to buy the wine (due to its limited production I was only allowed eight cases of it). This is a marvel, beautifully summarising the very best of Assyrtiko, with an added fresh dimension. With their history of Riesling the Barry Clan certainly know how to deal with aromatic whites and I am sure the Greek gods are smiling down on Peter and his family.' Roger Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn
POA, Negociants UK, 01582 797510

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