By Fergal Gleeson
Here we are in the middle of it -high summer. The stuff of Tourism Australia campaigns, bringing the lifestyle that we like to brag to overseas visitors about.
Our stunning climate, the panoramic skies, the bronzed bodies at the beach, the alfresco dining, the casual athleticism, the simplicity of it all. Mozzies, the impossibility of finding parking at the beach, the inferno heat of your car. That’s classified and redacted!
Some wines play better than others in summer. For example a heavyweight, tannic red or a port don’t appeal when the thermometer reads 35 degrees. Find below some wines that will put a smile on your lips this season. From crisp, refreshing whites to a wine that is indisputably world class.
Sauvignon and Semillon –
Fishbone Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017
Sauvignon and Semillon blends are surely the quintessential summer white. Margaret River dominates the Australian wine scene with this white blend. This was a Gold medal winner at the 2017 Western Australia Wine Show.
Fishbone is pale white / green colour in the glass and is crisp and refreshing. It stands out from the crowd because of the clean, pure lemon and lime flavour. Made by Jimmy Watson award winning winemaker Stuart Pierce.
RRP $19 http://www.fishbonewines.com.au
Deep Woods Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Unmistakably Sauvignon Blanc on the nose but the flavour is more restrained than how they make them in Marlborough. Lees stirring and some barrel fermentation have added texture and complexity.
Winemaker Julian Langworthy says that he wanted to keep the bright varietal flavour but turn down the obvious, sickly fruit. Mission accomplished. Gold medals at the Western Australia and Queensland Wine Shows.
RRP $20 www.deepwoods.wine
Fraser Gallop Parterre Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016
73% Semillon, 27% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is wild fermented in new and old French oak. Has a citrus nose with a touch of sherbet. This is vivid and refreshing with bright clean flavours.
You can tell that it has received the sort of Rolls Royce oak treatment usually reserved for top shelf Chardonnay. Clive Otto has spent time in France learning the techniques of white Bordeaux. All of which add an extra dimension to a sophisticated wine.
RRP $35 www.frasergallopestate.com.au
Flametree Chardonnay 2016
All class, Flametree Chardonnay has a George Clooney like charisma. Pink grapefruit, white peach, a touch of oak and quite a bit of length. Sourced from two vineyards in the cooler southern side of Margaret River and wild fermented in barrel. Winemaker Cliff Royle is a wizard with Chardonnay. Great value for money.
RRP $29 http://www.flametreewines.com
Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
Leeuwin Estate is one of the regions founding wineries and maker of Australia’s most famous Chardonnay the Art Series. Prelude is their second wine. White gold in colour it tastes of white peach and toasty oak.
It’s soft and floral with a gentle acid on the finish. They make it all seem very easy. You don’t think about this for too long you simply enjoy, which is an art in itself.
RRP $34 http://www.leeuwinestate.com.au
Cullen Wines 2016 Kevin John Chardonnay
An exquisite wine from Vanya Cullen. There’s a deep personal investment in her flagship white named in honour of her father, one of Margaret River’s founding wine makers, Dr Kevin John Cullen. The past is honoured but the values are progressive- Cullen Wines is a biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate.
The quality of the fruit but also the quality of the winemaking are obvious in one of Australia’s finest Chardonnays. Absolute Margaret River in it’s approachability and complexity. A treat for now or later.
RRP $115 http://www.cullenwines.com.au
This is an excerpt from a feature in the summer issue of Your Margaret River Region Magazine.