Always the first big generic tasting of the year – and often one of the best – the Australia Day tasting is a great chance for producers and importers to show off new wines, new vintages and new styles.
This year will be no exception, and on The Knotted Vine table there will be many new additions on show from the likes of David Franz, Koerner, Aphelion, La Violetta and Flor Marche.
If you only taste five wines at this year’s tasting (and quite frankly that’s not going to happen!), why not start with these.
David Franz Barossa Valley Grenache, 2015
Dark, tasty and bright this is made from vines nearly 100 year’s old. The depth of fruit is mind-blowing and all those raspberries and strawberry characters are balanced by a savoury, muscular tang. Delicious.
Koerner ‘Pigato’ Clare Valley Vermentino, 2017
Vermentino has found a home in Australia in recent years and its style in the southern hemisphere differs hugely from many wines made in its native Italy. Koerner’s Pigato comes from 10-year-old vines grown on red clay soil and is made in a hands-off style; unfined and unfiltered, with very little SO2 used. It’s chewy and chalky with bruised apple, lemon and candied peel notes and a refreshing salty finish.
Aphelion Sagrantino, 2015
Better known in Umbria than McLaren Vale, Sagrantino is a precious resource in Australia. This wine is made from the fruit of just two rows of vines and is a fine thing indeed. Its upfront tannins are softened by bold blueberry and blackcurrant fruit as well as lifted floral notes. This really is very special.
La Violetta ‘Ü (röck döts)’ Gewürztraminer-Riesling, 2017
Wild and untamed, the fruit for this brilliantly named and packaged wine comes from 30-year-old, dry grown Gewürztraminer vines near Mount Barker. The wine is made in an oxidative style and spends some time in barrel. It’s zippy and fresh with mango, honey and floral characters. A curious delight.
Flor Marche ‘Longley’ Margaret River Pinot Noir, 2015
This small-production Pinot comes from a single vineyard in the Denmark sub-region of the Great Southern. The fruit is un-inoculated and fermentation takes place in open-topped fermenters before maturing in Burgundian barrels for 24 months. It’s a silky, complex wine with an abundance of cherry fruit and delicate tannins. Beautifully balanced.
The Australia Day Tasting takes place from 10am-5pm on 23rd January at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1B 4DA. Register to attend HERE