2013 has been a quieter wine year. Between the day job and a 1 year old son, there isn’t nearly as much time left over for vinous pursuits. That being said there has still been a reasonable amount of consumption, and some real highlights. As ever, this list is not necessarily the 5 highest scoring wines, but the 5 most memorable. These are wines that really stood out and whose tastes still lingered in the memory months after having been imbibed. In alphabetical order -
2008 Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir (Macedon) – In an environment of ever increasing interest and quality when it comes to Australian Pinot, and a couple of very good vintages of late in many of the Pinot regions (2010 & 2012), this stood out above them all. At 5 years of age it has really started to hit its stride and should drink beautifully over the next 5 years. Generosity, elegance, and complexity all in one.
2009 Domaine Tempier Bandol (Bandol, France) – Given its relative scarcity, Mourvedre tends not to be a regular part of the drinking diet, but when I drink a good one I wonder why I don't make more of an effort. This wine matches perfectly ripe fruit with those appealing gamey, earthy Mourvedre characteristics. Beautiful, prominent tannins. Should be at its best in another 5 years or so.
2010 Marius Symphony Shiraz (McLaren Vale) – McLaren Vale Shiraz would rarely sit in any favourite list for me. This is not a comment on quality, simply a flavour profile that’s not generally to my liking. The Marius vineyard, however, is a unique bit of dirt in this region that is producing remarkable wine. The 2010 undoubtedly displays regional richness, but there is also a freshness and savouriness to match, and beautiful mouth puckering tannins to boot. Such prominent and quality tannins, the result of a long maceration, mark it out as unique amongst Australian Shiraz.
2012 Mesh Riesling (Eden Valley) – I’m always partial to Eden Valley Riesling, and then when you combine a great vintage like 2012 with the gun winemaking duo of Jeffrey Grosset and Robert Hill Smith, there was always a danger this wine would end up in my top 5. It’s incredibly primary and vinous at this stage, and can be enjoyed as such, but the length and latent detail and complexity will see this wine evolve beautifully over the next decade and beyond.
2011 Oakridge 864 Funder and Diamond Vineyard Drive Block Chardonnay (Yarra Valley) – Not exactly a sexy name, but certainly a sexy wine. Intensity, energy, and length, all within a fine boned framework that will flesh out over the next few years. Great Yarra Valley Chardonnay and a superb addition to the 864 stable.
All these wines have found homes in my cellar, and I look forward to drinking and reviewing them as the years roll on.