Wake up Melbourne and come out of hibernation because spring is here! The footy is done, we are firing up the BBQ's and its already been damn hot. Another seasonal mixed dozen to offer outstanding value, this one is packed full of… WAIT! STOP! Ok we are putting a little twist on the usual spring drinking mixed dozen. While it still has all the great value and tasty treats you could want to get you through the next month, we wanted to shake things up and have a bit of fun.
This year we are going do a little Aussie vs France and Italy pack. We have six wines from some of our local heroes as well as some fun and new producers you may not have seen before. From France and Italy, we have selected a bunch of classic wines from classic regions to go head to head with our local crew. Let's see who comes out on top in this title fight. In the end the only real winner is going to be you.
Monte Tondo Soave 2018 vs Range Life Garganega 2018
We tried the Range Life Garganega recently and thought it was pretty delicious. Garganega is the main variety used in Soave and always presents with a lovely peach and tree fruits palate and little mineral bent. The Monte Tondo is probably one of the best value Soave's we have encountered but on the lighter side stylistically. This makes this an interesting match up with the more classically styled Soave and the punch and fruity Range life. Both delicious and true to form.
Domaine de la Poultiere 'Tuffo' Vouvray 2017 vs Voyager Chenin Blanc 2018
This one is going to be tough! These are both excellent examples of what is one of the wine world's greatest but underrated white wines. The 'Tuffo' is textbook Vouvray (100% Chenin) from Winemaker Céline Orion's organic vineyard that grow in local limestone soil or 'tuffeau'. The fruit for Voyager's Chenin Blanc is sourced from three Estate vineyard blocks which are some of the oldest Chenin Blanc vines in Margaret River. Both are on the dry end for Chenin with just the lightest hint of residual sugars. These are dry as a bone though so don't be scared off.
Conde de Valdamar Rosado 2018 vs La Linea Tempranillo Rose 2018
These are two cracking Rose's that are both absolutely gluggable. The Valdamar Rosado is an interesting blend of Garnacha and Viura from Rioja. While often Tempranillo is associated with Rioja, Garnacha is an un-sung hero and certainly the star of this blend. It's also the perfect grape for Rosado with its light colour, low tannin and acid. The wine from LA Linea are a great example of what conscientious growers can do with this variety in Australia. You don't see too many Tempranillo based rose out of Spain either and even less in Aus. Regardless they have nailed this! These are quite different style-wise wines but boy are they tasty. Who will claim your vote?
Fontaleoni Chianti Colli Senesi 2018 vs Range Life Sangiovese 2018
What a battle this will be. We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Fontaleoni and it's the first time it has been in Aus. This is just straight up crunchy, bright and juicy packed with flavour but light on its feet. Perfect spring red. The Range Life is a slightly richer affair but similarly styled, fruit forward, airy and sunny, summer red. These are so easy to drink on their own but would shine with a little light meal of charcuterie, grilled veg or BBQ chicken and of course the perfect pizza, pasta wines. If you can't decide get some friend over and make it a party.
Antoine Olivier Santenay Rouge 2017 vs Gunnammatta Pinot Noir 2018
We are always on the lookout for new Burgundy producers and while we see many, few fit the criteria we require. We have seen the wines of Antoine Olivier over a couple of years now and each time we have been blown away by the quality and loved the style. This is the first of the wines to land and Santenay is a highly underrated satellite appellation which is a bit of a shame but great for the worded-up customer, and we are wording you up. This is going up another new arrival from Mornington Peninsula from Lisa Martin, assistant winemaker at ocean 8. Sourced from a single vineyard this is fleshy and sweet with plenty of zip and vigour.
Stephane Aviron Beaujolais Villages 2017 vs Punt Road Gamay 2018
This is another tough choice but could really divide people at the same time. Following a bit of a theme the Punt Road is made in a plush, spicy and punchy style. Partial carbonic macerations gives a succulent pastille overlay and a spice bomb hit. Tim Shand of Punt Road has done an awesome job with this wine and it is one of the most drinkable out of the range, which is impressive given just how drinkable all his wines are. The Aviron is has all that the Punt Road has but with a distinctively more savoury bent and structured framework. Still absolutely delicious with its wirey, fine tannins and long lean palate but still with plenty of sweet red fruits and spicy notes.