Selbach-Oster Pinot blanc 2016

I was chatting with a coworker about what my days look like at the moment: wake up, make tea, go to work (read: log in to work email and chat applications), make lunch, work some more, go for a walk, make dinner, open wine, watch movie, sleep. He’s a craft beer type fella, knowledgeable and funny like all my best coworkers are, and he’s hanging in there with all of the rest of us.

Tonight, dinner was microwaved leftover cacio e pepe (not bad, really) along with a Whole Foods salad kit that I destroyed by accidentally storing in the overly cold part of the fridge; always fun what the freeze-thaw cycle does to a garbage salad, alas. And then it was time to camp out in front of the TV with a bottle of wine.. and this one was for me the best wine of the lockdown so far.

It’s hard to believe it’s only been two and half years, but I hiked the Moselsteig in 2017 (blog posts here). My days followed a similar pattern: wake up, drink tea, start walking, stop for lunch, walk some more, have dinner, drink wine, blog, read about the next day’s walk, sleep. This bottle of Pinot blanc was a time machine back to 2017; it tasted like any number of excellent Moselle wines that I drank along the way. Beautiful texture, with that lovely, typical slate-y quality that’s so hard to describe but so obvious after you’ve drunk a number of wines from the region. Excellent acidity, with lemon and cream to balance it all out. Really, it’d be hard to find a more pleasurable drink for the money… and most importantly for me, all I could do was think about all of the beautiful days I spent on the Moselle while closing my eyes and hoping that I can do it all again someday (I’m guessing after there’s a vaccine).

In the meantime, though, more work… and chatting with Julian about where we can go together in the future. We had plans to meet up at the end of 2020, but that may not happen (it’s hard to say in April!). Regardless, we will meet again… Spain? Portugal? Georgia? Until then, it’s memories of times we shared together and the occasional bottle of wine that snaps the past back into focus.

Hoddles Creek 1er Pinot Blanc 2012

My rough notes on this wine contain the phrase “fruit-backward,” not something one might often observe of a young aromatic white from Australia. Which, of course, makes it a lot more interesting, especially as it’s clearly a wine made with skill and intent. Suffice to say, one smell and my curiosity was aroused.

The aroma is dry, powdery, floral, tight and flinty. That ought to give you a fair idea of its vibe, but it’s a lot more fun than the austere descriptors might suggest. There is fruit, buried under a pretty unyielding aroma profile, and it’s pithy and high toned when it does peek out.

The palate shows really unusual tension between a fruit character I can only describe as grapey and the sort of insistent savouriness that never quite feels comfortable. The fruit gives this wine a fundamental juiciness but it keeps bouncing up against a mealiness that seems to dovetail into assertive texture, which itself seems inseparable from some pretty fierce acid. I particularly like the textural dimensions and feel they make an excellent accompaniment to food that might be too rich for other aromatic styles. Intense, driven and probably in its least interesting phase of existence.

In context, a singular style, but much more than a curio.

Hoddles Creek Estate
Price: $A40
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Gift

Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc 2007

Looking over at the glass, I initially mistook it for Martinelli sparkling cider, the fake Champagne every child gets at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It’s an unusual color for a white wine, brittle and clear, fairly pale and somewhat off-putting (at least to me). The nose is something like salt-water taffy, sweet with a hint of pineapple, possibly like hot buttered popcorn (oily, salty, with a hint of sugar). Pretty strange stuff, but of course pinot blanc isn’t something I drink often, so I don’t know if this is typical or not.I’m none too thrilled by this wine; it seems flat, flabby, not very refreshing. There isn’t much flavor here that I can discern; it’s mostly just generically wine-y, with the vaguest of off flavors that I can’t pin down entirely. The acidity leaves a bit of a burn in my throat, and all in all this wine leaves me cold. There’s more flavor and complexity in a bowl of Corn Pops than in this bottle; this isn’t one I’ll be finishing.Kuentz-Bas
Price: $14
Closure: Diam

Kellerei Cantina Terlan Terlaner 2006

This wine is a blend of 60% Pinot Blanc, 15% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Chardonnay, from the Alto Adige region of Italy. Unusual blend from an Australian perspective. Fermented in stainless steel and left on lees for six months, but with no lees stirring.

I served this a bit cold, so the nose wasn’t really able to express much when first poured. After some time in glass, the wine started to give off attractive, ripe fruit aromas and yeasty notes. The real action, though, is on the palate.

The wine’s entry is immediate and generously delivers bright flavours to the tongue, along with a nice dose of lively acidity. The middle palate sings with tasty fruit — citrus peel and pineapple and an almost overripe muskiness — underpinned and driven by really lovely acidity. Flavours drop off perhaps a little precipitously towards the after palate, but not entirely, so that a subtle echo of the wine’s flavour profile continues to ride the wine’s acid structure for a good amount of time on the finish.

I must say, I’m attracted to this wine very much. It’s not a wine of great sophistication, but it is generous and has a structure that is entirely complimentary to its flavour profile. Recommended.

Kellerei Cantina Terlan
Price: $A29
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: November 2007