With Richard Slater & Grant Foulkes
2019 Paxton AAA Shiraz/Grenache
McLaren Vale, South Australia 14%,
Blends of grape varieties can be misfits – expediently cobbled together, devoid of flair. But France’s Southern Rhone champions the blends of Grenache, Shiraz (plus others), and McLaren Vale is well suited to the synergy of this style.
This young wine has a highly attractive bright crimson colour; crunchy red berry scents include raspberry, fresh plum, and cherry – then adds musk, and mixed spices. Medium bodied and generously flavoured, it has a vibrant, darker-fruited profile on the palate. Succulently balanced, it invokes the wish for further sampling.
Paxton embraces the organic/bio-dynamic approach but does not indulge in laissez-faire wine-making.
This wine is absolutely delicious, with instant appeal; yet owns the inherent architecture to charm for at least another five years. More complex wines exist– but seldom at this price.
Conclusion: This delightful wine begs for gourmet sausages, pizza or a BBQ to unleash its magic, but will thrive with a casserole, or a roast. Just add friends!
2019 Clyde Park Pinot Gris
Bannockburn, Victoria, 13% ABV, RRP $35
Pop a visit to Clyde Parks cellar door to the top of the bucket list. Just a short drive from Geelong yet you’ll feel a million miles away. Their rustic restaurant boasts splendid views of their steep vineyards. The menu is to die for. I recommend the duck alongside a glass of pinot noir. After lunch we indulged in a tasting of their ‘estate’ range and, to my surprise, the pinot gris was the favourite. With its traditional ‘blush’ colour, expect subtle yet complex notes of rose petal, creamy oat meal, sweet ginger and ripe pear all coming together over a rich palate and a long finish drawn out thanks to retention of natural acidity. A classy and memorable wine.
Conclusion: Pair with garlic and herb crusted white fish and a cheesy baked potato with lashings of sour cream and chives.