Summer is here and it’s HOT. So we’ve found three of the coolest drops around to dazzle your tastebuds and relax your weary, sun drenched soul.
1. Quealy Winemakers, Pobblebonk 2011
Around $25.00 a bottle www.quealy.com.au
No, it’s not Bilbo Baggins travelling companion or the girlfriend of the Jabberwocky, but this fantastical name is something you do want to keep saying over and over as it rolls around in your mouth. Pobblebonk.
It’s an audacious blend of – wait for it – Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling & Moscato Giallo. Did you get all that? Yep. All in the same bottle. A combination of all the varieties that grow in Quealy’s Balnarring Vineyard, and referred to as their “field blend”.
It sounds like some kind of magic potion and magic is just what it is. Kathleen Quealy has conjured a wine of such pure happiness it fills you with delight before it even touches your lips. Gently aromatic, with a beautifully complex structure, it’s crisp and dry but filled with the lush scents of tropical gardens. You can almost hear the fairies rolling on their backs in riotous laughter.
Best enjoyed on a sultry, warm summers day amidst English gardens. Preferably with a maze or two to amble through – and get lost in – later.
2. Montalto, 2010 Chardonnay
About $39.00 a bottle www.montalto.com.au
So it’s January and you’re already regretting all those weeks of holiday indulgence every time you walk past a mirror in that skirt that used to fit you so well last November…
You’re cutting back just a little on your vino to help watch the calories. And so right now you can spend a little more than usual on your weekday tipple because, well, you deserve every, relished mouthful.
This is just the wine. This amazing, tantalising, splendiferous drop of golden Chardonnay goodness from the Mornington Peninsula doesn’t need a special occasion to find it’s way into your glass. It’s calling out for you right now. And you needn’t resist.
We can’t add anything more to the description Montalto offers themselves: “Complex, yet subtle and elegant. Aromas of citrus, peach and nut. Powerful and structured, with citrus fruits and fine French Oak driving the palate. The finish is rich and generous with lingering acidity.” Agreed.
And phwoar…that Montalto winemaker Simon Black is pretty flavoursome too. (Watch him, and the rest of the Montalto team in the video below).
Sip it slowly as the sun sets, with a big plateful of crackers to scoop up a selection of soft, ripe cheeses as they ooze over the plate.
3. Thick as Thieves 2012 King Valley Sylvaner ‘The Love Letter’
About $25.00 a bottle www.tatwines.com.au
Long, balmy nights. Flimsy outfits. Eyefuls of bare flesh. Valentines Day. If you think about it, it’s only right that ‘The Love Letter’ is one of our must-try wines of the summer.
Wines marketed as being ‘for Summer’ are often bold and brash and full of sharp acidity. But think of some of the subtle, cooling summer fruits – lychees, watermelon, mango. Who wouldn’t want these flavours in your glass at the end of a hot day? That’s exactly what this Sylvaner wine brings you.
Sylvaner gets a hard rap in the wine world – the poor relative to Riesling. But ‘Syd’ the clever one-man-show at Thick As Thieves in the King Valley has come up with an ingenious method of fermenting the wine on Gewürtztraminer lees.
What on earth does this mean for you? A magical experience – a wine that is soft and complex and utterly delightful. There’s plenty of those interesting mossy stone flavours (weird, but good) that we’d love to see more of in Rieslings, along with fragrant violets and citrus – ‘The Love Letter’ will romance anyone who tries it by planting the kiss of summer on your cheek.
Drink it with your loved one. Or just because you want to. We think that’s a good enough reason.
Jane Thomson & Sally Cantelo