To the extent that one thinks at all about Verdelho, I’m willing to bet most people in Australia associate it with the Hunter Valley. I’m somewhat partial to a good Hunter Verdelho actually; their simplicity and robust flavour can be charming. So I was quite disappointed the other night to taste an almost undrinkable example of the genre. Luckily, I had a couple of other Verdelhos in the sample pile, though from regions other than the Hunter.
This one, for example, is classsified Central Ranges but, from a comment left on my review of the 2008, the fruit is sourced from Cowra. Re-reading my impressions of the earlier wine, I found it lacking compared to my favourite Hunters, but the current release suggests I may need to re-evaluate. Granted, it’s hot and slightly phenolic — two classic Verdelho traps — but its boisterous character and generous flavour more than compensate.
The aroma is bright but not sharp, expressing citrus and richer tropical fruit in equal measure. The palate has a particularly good acid structure, firm and a bit edgy but well balanced with respect to the weight and richness of the wine’s fruit. There’s a thickness to this wine’s flavour profile that reminds me of tinned things; not so much a lack of freshness as a slightly blunt opulence that, I must admit, I quite enjoy. The after palate and finish are unremarkable, but for that burst of alcohol at the tail end.
As an affordable quaffing wine, this succeeds well.