Ishtar Pinot Grigio 2008

Yet another hot, humid Brisbane day. My little Queenslander is as open as it can be, windows gaping wide on every side in a rather futile attempt to catch the occasional wisp of breeze. Some liquid refreshment is surely in order. 

This is the first time I’ve seen a wine sealed with a Novatwist closure, which strikes me as a simultaneously downmarket and more user friendly version of the metal Stelvin closure. Certainly did the job here, in any case. I had this wine open last night but it proved disappointingly vague, so I whacked it back in the fridge for later tasting. This rest overnight has certainly improved things and I suspect in its likelier context — lunchtime, restaurant, probably al fresco — it will present to its greatest advantage immediately.

An attractive, straw-like colour, clear as a bell. The aroma is straightforward in a typically Pinot G way; it’s grapey and pear juice-like, with an attractive side of aromatic brown spice. One can’t expect an excess of complexity with this wine style (at this price point), and on that score this wine utterly lives up to expectations. It is, however, well balanced and clean, weighty enough but stopping short of love handles.
The palate shows a full, slippery mouthfeel alongside easygoing fruit flavour. Entry is fluffy and fun, with pale fruit flavours upstaged by the pumped up, viscous mouthfeel. The fruit never gains enormous intensity, settling for a watercolour expression of pear and spice, while the mouthfeel continues on its merry way, slipping and sliding across the tongue, underlined by just enough acidity to provide some shape. The after palate is quite fresh, with really well-judged phenolics roughing up the tongue and adding a twist of bitterness to the flavour profile. Soft finish.
Not bad really; it’s very well made and, while it doesn’t push the variety forward in any respect, should provide good drinking at many a Summer lunch.

Balthazar of the Barossa
Price: $A19.50
Closure: Other
Source: Sample

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