Food

A guide to the season's top wines, from the buyers at Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Cumulus Inc, the Builders Arms Hotel and Meatsmith.

The best wines of autumn 2017

Credit: Earl Carter

Lansdowne, 2016 pinot grigio, Adelaide Hills ($20)

Classic pinot grigio pear and citrus notes, gently creamy texture and smart packaging – a sleek wine at an unassuming price, with very wide appeal.

– Leanne Altmann, wine buyer, Supernormal and Meatsmith

Vincent Carême ‘Le Clos’, 2014 vouvray chenin blanc, Loire Valley ($56)

What more can you want from chenin? Dry, saline and redolent of beeswax and honeysuckle. Incredible concentration offset by lithe acidity. Wine to take you on a journey.

– Leanne Altmann, wine buyer, Supernormal and Meatsmith

E. Pira & Figli ‘Chiara Boschis’, 2015 dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy ($39)

Dolcetto’s fleshy, succulent fruit shines in the hands of one of Piedmont’s most exciting producers. Purple fruit and inky depths, supple tannin for savoury structure – simply delicious.

– Leanne Altmann, wine buyer, Supernormal and Meatsmith

MoFro, 2015 semillon/chardonnay, Perricoota, NSW ($15)

Alan Eacott is the Mo. His son, Trent, is the Fro. They make this racy white blend in the Perricoota region on the Murray River. It offers white citrus and gentle nuttiness, and a level of detail punching well above its weight.

– Liam O’Brien, head sommelier, Cutler & Co

Sassafras, 2016 fiano, Riverland, SA ($25)

Three years into their winemaking project, the two public servants behind Sassafras seem to have a knack for this caper. This is a skin-contact fiano with electric freshness and a briny, sherry-like tang.

– Liam O’Brien, head sommelier, Cutler & Co

Koerner ‘Watervale’, 2016 riesling, Clare Valley ($27)

New-wave Clare Valley by a new generation. Regional typicity? Absolutely – plenty of lime leaf and floral lift here, but with extra layers of chalky texture and fruit density.

– Leanne Altmann, wine buyer, Supernormal and Meatsmith
 

Bodegas Arraez ‘Calabuig’, 2015 macabeo, Valencia, Spain ($18)

Lightly aromatic and well balanced, it’s a great wine to be drinking in the park catching the last of the sunny days. Don’t overthink it.

– Mark Williamson, wine buyer for Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up and the Builders Arms Hotel

Nocturne, 2015 chardonnay, Margaret River ($43)

Fuller flavoured chardonnay is making a bit of a comeback at the moment and this is one of the best I have tasted this year. Luscious, rich and still coiled with a balance of freshness. It matches well with meatier seafood and won’t get lost with a roast chook either.

– Mark Williamson, wine buyer for Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up and the Builders Arms Hotel

Clonakilla ‘Hilltops’, 2015 shiraz, Canberra District ($30)

The glint in Tim Kirk's eye when he talks about his 2015s is well justified. They are bright, high toned, with spice, florals and gamy notes that follow through to a palate that is flavoursome and lithe, and completely devoid of bulk.

– Liam O’Brien, head sommelier, Cutler & Co

Chapter, 2016 malbec, Heathcote ($30)

Malbec is probably going to enjoy a breakout season over the cooler months. It’s not really a household name yet, but I’m sure we will all be slurping some soon. Chapter wines are made hands off and done with best practices in mind. This wine has so much going for it – flavour, aromatics, a nice little bit of tannin. It’s serious, too: if you let the wine unfold in the glass over a few hours it really shows more and more.

– Mark Williamson, wine buyer for Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up and the Builders Arms Hotel

Syrahmi ‘Demi’, 2015 shiraz, Heathcote ($28)

Adam Foster – the winemaker behind Syrahmi – has a really great understanding of shiraz and this “entry level” wine is a true testament to that. It has that Heathcote power but still a liveliness that lifts the wine up and out of the glass.

– Mark Williamson, wine buyer for Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up and the Builders Arms Hotel

Lady and the Hawk, 2016 mourvèdre rosé, Central Victoria ($25)

This wine is dry and full, showing youthful fruitiness balanced with savoury winemaking complexity. It’s a food wine, able to handle cured meats, cheese and the last of the season’s tomatoes.

 – Liam O’Brien, head sommelier, Cutler & Co

 

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Apr 7, 2017 as "The wines of autumn". Subscribe here.

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