River Park Rosé 2009 ($A19, sample)
Nice art nouveau style label design (by a local art teacher, I believe), complemented by a wine of reasonably deep hue and density, not far from some lighter reds in appearance. I’m not 100% confident of the varietal mix here; the winery’s website suggests Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown on the estate, and my assumption is this wine is made from estate fruit. In any case, it’s one of those strikingly savoury, aromatic rosé styles, with decadent flowers and raspberry fruit on the nose. The palate, though it continues in this vein, also presents a degree of residual sugar that, for me, fights against the fruit’s naturally savoury inclinations. So, while it’s quite flavoursome and has some charisma in the mouth, it lacks the incisiveness that I think it might achieve as a drier style. Love the nose, though.
Lazy Ballerina Primadonna Shiraz Viognier 2006 ($NA, gift)
This really deserves a full entry, as it’s a lovely wine. I opened it the other night on a whim and it has proved, over the course of three evenings, to be a most sympathetic companion. An inviting nose that shows little Viognier influence bar a particularly expressive character and a floral lilt. Otherwise, it’s all McLaren Vale Shiraz – bold, plush, enveloping. The palate adds an extra dimension to this ride in the form of soft, velvet tannins and a cushion-like presence. The whole wine is built for comfort, a heated waterbed of a wine, and one which doesn’t entirely escape the vulgarity associated with my chosen metaphor. With something this good, though, who cares? Drink now, drink often.
Domaine aux Moines Savennières-Roche aux Moines 1995 ($NA, gift)
I enjoyed this wine after a truly appalling day at work, and it lifted my mood considerably. This is the third bottle I’ve enjoyed of this vintage, and also the freshest. The aroma shows some honeyed, almost sherry-like notes amongst complexities like baked honey biscuits and that peculiar fairy floss note I associate with Loire Chenin. The palate is wonderfully complex, driven by minerals and apple juice, contradictorily full yet nimble. Opulent and elegant in the manner of outmoded estate jewellery. It turns on a dime several times, and is a textural delight. Also impressively long. What a fascinating wine.