“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





20 March 2014


Murrindindi Vineyards Don't Tell Dad Yea Valley Riesling 2013
$18; 12.5% alcohol; screw cap; 92+ points

I first met Hugh Cuthbertson in an ancient cellar full of big old oaks dribbling equally ancient fortified wines somewhere beneath the city of Melbourne about thirty years ago. He's still got those ageing in a dungeon somewhere. While we're waiting, he works on his family's wine business near Yea in the Victorian highlands. Typical of the family style, this Riesling is of the delicate, floral type - it's much better, shall we say 'mannered' than its staunch and steely rivals from Clare and Eden. It has a slight spread of lemon butter on its cracker, and would be schmick with garfish, fresh thyme, lemon and black pepper. Delicious rather than vicious.

Murrindindi Vineyards The AMC Yea Valley Chardonnay 2010
$45; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 93 points

As does the Riesling, this elegant Chardonnay shows its posh schooling in the most polite and refined manner. Reaching a proper age, it has nutty nougat aromas where many others display expensive oak and other faddish artifice. Its palate is creamy and smooth, and has a profound calming effect. It seems to have an uncanny ability to satisfy. It's a much more rewarding wine than the cheap Chablis Chardonnays which are suddenly replacing Kiwi Savvy-Bs in the waterside bistros out east. I wouldn't waste it on salt'n'pepper squid, which is where so much of that Kiwi battery water deservedly meets its fate. This is no mere greasecutter. It makes me think more of a delicate veal scaloppini, with a creamy lemon and caper sauce.  It'll hit the shelves (gently) in a week or so; perhaps best to ensure supply via the Murrundindi Vineyards website. A whole tenner cheaper is the Family Reserve 2012 model (13.5%; screwie), which has a little more edge in the division many call 'mineral'. To me it's like the best bone china, ground to powder.  To balance this in the typical son of Cuthbert manner, the wine has a swoop of perfectly smooth butter, much like that lovely Riesling. Once again, it's a beautifully elegant, refined thing. 94 points

Murrindindi Vineyards Family Reserve Yea Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
$25; 14% alcohol; screw cap; 92++ points

Here it is again: uncommon polite elegance. It's rare to find a young Cabernet this supple and silky, and authoritative in such an understated way. It is blackcurrant without the leafy greens most Cabernets display - it has a beautiful, confident polished sheen. There is oak, but it's most subtle in a cigar box/cedary manner, and serves only to add tantalising counterpoint to that delightful Bordelaise syrup. I can't recall any South Australian Cabernet offering such satisfaction in such an elegant frame at a price anything like this. With the April release of the whites will come another lovely red, the Family Reserve Shiraz 2012 ($35; 14%; 93+) which seems to me to be a much better cool area Shiraz than the 2011 Best's which won the Jimmy Watson last year. This has the classic Murrundindi restrained elegance yet packs that template with silky unction and wholesome ripe blackberry syrup without showing the slightest hint of jam, goo, or gloop. If you're tired of drinking tattooed steroidal boofheads, get on the net and buy yourself a mixed dozen from this overlooked corner of the Alps. I'll take the blame.


1 comment:

@GeoffSlattery said...

Superb (and correct) review of latest Murrindindi Vineyards releases by @whiteswine Oz's best wine writer. #buynow