It’s time to dig out your swimmers, summer is just around the corner for those in the Southern Hemisphere and the mercury is rising by the day!
While the warm weather and longer days mean those afternoons tucked up in front of a fire are far behind us, it gives us an excellent excuse to quench your thirst with some excellently refreshing white wine while soaking up that vitamin D!
To help you on your way, The Wine Pig has put together a list of wines which we think you should be drinking this summer.
Burnbrae, Mudgee – 2016 Cuvee Chardonnay
There is no season, time or occasion that a glass of bubbles is anything other than entirely appropriate, and in the summer sunshine, it would almost be rude not to have a glass of Aussie sparkling in hand. Burnbrae’s Cuvee is excellently crisp and fresh with plenty of citrus and toasted hazelnuts. A real crowd pleaser!
Howard Vineyard, Adelaide Hills – 2016 Clover Sauvignon Blanc
Howard Vineyard’s 2016 Clover Sauvignon Blanc was grown under perfect conditions, beautifully ripening the fruit. This single block wine is wonderfully fresh and refreshing, packed with grapefruit, citrus and tropical notes. Super easy drinking for any occasion, and any time of the day…!
Molly’s Cradle, Hunter Valley – 2016 Verdelho
If Sauvignon Blanc isn’t quite up your street then a gorgeous Hunter Valley Verdelho might be more what you’re after. It’s still fruity and packed full of citrus but instead of a crisp, sharp finish, it’s got a natural sweetness to balance out that zesty finish.
James Estate, Hunter Valley – 2013 Reserve Fume
Made from the winery’s Hayshed Block Semillon and McCormick’s Sauvignon Blanc grapes, James Estate’s Reserve Fume wine is utterly delicious. Perfect for those looking for something a little more adventurous than your simple zesty white wine, it’s still packed with the refreshing lemon and citrus notes but ends with a gentle smokiness that keeps you wanting more.
Mr Mick, Clare Valley – 2016 Riesling
From Tim Adam’s more everyday affordable range, the Mr Mick Riesling is your classic Aussie style example of this iconic European wine. Its packed with lemon, orange and lime but with a floral undertone and slight sweetness to help balance the natural acidity. Easily lovable, dangerously drinkable!
Mount Pleasant, Hunter Valley – 2016 Elizabeth Semillon
Love Semillon? Love dry white wine? You’ll love this! It’s difficult not to fall head over heels for a good old Hunter Valley Semillon, and Mount Pleasant’s version is right up our street! Again, it has the citrus notes we love in a summery white wine, but with an extra tinge of toasted apple and finishing with a buttery texture.
Eagles Rest, Hunter Valley – 2011 Maluna Chardonnay
It’s no secret that The Wine Pig has a huge appreciation for all things Chardonnay, and this one is no exception. It’s unsurprising this one has won so many awards given the amazing power and fruit depth in awesome wine. It’s rich, oaky, clean and utterly, utterly delicious!
From a dry pinot noir to a sweet white zinfandel, Aussie Rose is extremely diverse and adaptable enough to suit just about any occasion.
As spring is back in the air and the days are getting longer, there has never been a better time to drink pink!
The Wine Pig sends a big congratulations to all the winemakers and their wines that made our ‘top favorites’ list.
For the Rose wine lover in all of us.
TarraWarra Estate, Yarra Valley – 2015 Pinot Noir Rose
TarraWarra Estate’s beautiful blush Pinot Noir Rose is one of our favorite go-to’s. It’s deliciously fresh, dry and packed full of succulent strawberry notes. It’s definitely worth stocking up your fridge with this beauty in time for the warmer evenings!
Mount Pleasant Estate, Hunter Valley – 2015 ‘Singing in the Rain’ Rose
Picked early, specifically to make a rose, rather than using the juice that has been run off reds as an afterthought, gives this wine a huge amount of its character. The Shiraz-based wine is pale salmon pink in colour has earthy and slightly floral undertones but with a powerfully juicy red berry finish. Delicious!
James Estate, Hunter Valley – 2014 Reserve Ben Braggie Vineyard Rose
Using perfectly ripe Cabernet Franc, James Estate ran the juice straight out of the skins to ensure they made a light, fresh style of Rose. And wow, did it work! It’s dry and fresh but beautifully balanced with lashings of notes which scream strawberries and cream. Definitely get this one on your shopping list!
Mr Mick, Clare Valley – 2016 Rose
Made from Sangiovese grapes, Mr Mick’s latest Rose is impressively fresh and delicious with lots of fruit – apple, raspberry and red cherry – to make a bright and cleansing wine with a dry finish. It’s dangerously drinkable and perfect for any occasion, with or without food!
Spinifex, Barossa Valley – 2015 Rose
Made from Grenache (52%), Cinsault (30 %), Mataro (14%) and Ugni blanc (4%), this pink wine is much more fragrant and fleshy. It’s super dry and savory with a oaky hint, making it stand out from all the rest. Anyone who doesn’t believe that Australia can produce a good Rose needs to drink a glass of this ASAP!
Mount Pleasant Wines relatively new team member, Jim Chatto, this year became the vineyard’s fourth-ever chief winemaker since Maurice O’Shea established the winery back in 1921.
Joining from just down the road at Pepper Tree Wines, Jim brings with him a number of awards and exceptional passion for the purity of Hunter Valley wines.
Here, the very excited Wine Pig is lucky enough to find out what drives one of the region’s most loved winemakers.
Why did you decide to become a winemaker?
I started out in hospitality. The hours and thus lifestyle weren’t for me. However, it was through hospitality, I grew to love wine and the vitality of the folk involved. I was strong at science, yet fancied myself as an artist – winemaking kind of ticks both boxes.
What attracted you to the Hunter Valley wine region in particular?
I fell in love with the 1984 Lovedale Semillon tasted at university. I was keen to learn about such a unique style of wine.
Can you describe your winemaking style, and how it differs to your peers in the region?
I keep it simple, and don’t try to fight nature. Site and season make a great wine. The winemaker is there to guide it through the stages, and ultimately realise potential that was on the vine. I’m not sure this is particularly unique.
Which of your wines are you most proud of and why?
2014 Mount Pleasant Rosehill Vineyard 1965 Vines’ Shiraz. Possibly the best wine I will ever make.
What most surprises people about you or the wines you produce?
Might have to ask some ‘people’? Maybe that; I am pretty ‘down to earth’ about what I do and how I approach things; this is reflected in the wines I make.
What are you drinking now, and what are you cellaring?
It’s still pretty warm in the Hunter. I am mostly drinking fresh young whites and medium bodied reds. I am cellaring everything I can get from the 2014 in the Hunter Valley. It’s a once in a lifetime vintage that is guaranteed to reward cellaring.
If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what would that be?
1978 DRC La Tache, Oh and Comtes de Champagne from Taittinger :)
What is the most exciting thing coming up for both you and the business over the next 12 months?
The release of the Mount Pleasant 2014 Reds. Feedback so far from critics and consumers alike has been overwhelming.
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