2018 Ros Ritchie Nebbiolo 14.2%
    Alpine Valleys, Victoria.  RRP $34

    Nebbiolo’s home in Piedmont (Italy) potentially makes vividly expressive Barbaresco and Barolo. Secrets lie with mixed clones, large neutral oak, location, kind weather, luck, and a dash of mysticism. The result can be a pale wine with a tremendous complex combination of red fruits, ethereal roses, and violets melded to a surly tannic structure. Time, decanting, and the producer’s calibre can produce wines with overwhelmingly memorable charms.

    Australia makes decent Nebbiolo too – Pizzini and SC Pannell (a dashing 2013 recently thrilled) come to mind. Ros Ritchie is an experienced winemaker, and this wine (Timbertop vineyard near Merrijig) is a splendid, keenly priced example of Nebbiolo. Skill with this grape variety is hard-won, and it shows here. 

    Start with the trademark rusty, bricky ruby colour, roses, red cherry, dried herbs, and mixed spices; finish revelling, and contemplating and then taste. All that, and savoury, lively, balanced and persistent flavours. Hard to resist now, but with a long future.

    Go online (weekend cellar-door in Mansfield) for this one, and more.  Many wines have the bottle development that proves time’s magic but will still hold their form for years. Or hunt out a retailer!

    No hardship to be a patriotic Victorian. Match this Nebb to something with hearty flavours – slow cooked beef cheek, roast lamb, pasta with truffles (I should be so lucky)…. 


    Turkey Flat Rose Barossa 2022
    ABV 12.5% RRP $25

    This has to be Australia’s most popular rosè, and I knew this before I’d sat down at their charmingly quaint cellar door for my first ever sample. I tried to manage my expectations lest it struggle to live up to its name. There was no issue with that. I’m not sure what more you could possibly want from a rosè. It’s a blend of predominantly grenache with a splash of mataro. Pale pink ‘salmon’ in colour, it’s moreish just to look at. Aromatics of watermelon, fairy floss, strawberries and cream leap out of the glass. The palate has poise, elegance and restraint. A slatey, minerally core ensures fruit flavours remain in check. Sweetness and acidity are in complete balance and the finish lingers, offering a subtle savoury spice. For me, this is going to be my wine of the summer. Whenever the sun is out and the mood is right for a bevvie, this will be my first drink. So affordable, so delicious. The 2023 vintage has also just been released so keep your eyes peeled!

    Pair with: Air fried salmon marinated in garlic, ginger, lemon, maple syrup and soy. Cauliflower bake and steamed spring asparagus. 

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