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Brian Elliott: High praise for 100 top tipples from Australia

Clare Valley winery lauded in influential review by Jukes, writes Scotland on Sunday wine columnist Brian Elliott

Published: July 26, 2016
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Although his UK newspaper columns give him a pretty high profile here, Matthew Jukes (pictured) enjoys almost “wine god” status in Australia.

Consequently, his annual 100 Best Australian Wines (£16 plus VAT from is an absolute “must” for wine enthusiasts. So are the UK-wide roadshows that support it.

Numbered among the winners is 2015 Riposte by Tim Knappstein “Foil” Sauvignon Blanc (£15.99 at Inverarity One To One) – commended for the “gooseberry and elderflower” aromas it contains and overall “buoyancy and gravitas”.

Certainly, I have been impressed by that wine’s very “un-Australian” grassy, gooseberry influences and tongue nipping acidity – although its nutty suggestions of pear, pea shoot and nutmeg help too.

The review’s overall Winery of the Year is the acclaimed Jim Barry operation in Clare Valley – which makes the excellent, good value, crisp and well-defined 2014 Lodge Hill Riesling (currently £9.99 at the Co-op).

There is a bedrock minerality here that is attractively bolstered by lime and apple acidity with hints of mango as well as those classic riesling kerosene aromas – which are so much more appealing than they sound.

Partly because it faithfully reflects – in simplified form – the style of other (seriously expensive) Wakefield reds, the Matthew Jukes selection includes another Clare Valley favourite, 2014 Wakefield Estate Shiraz (£8.99 until 29 August at Majestic).

Enjoy, in particular, its full, rounded but soft, bramble fruit with limited tannin, firm acidity and suggestions of vanilla, cloves and other sweeter spices.

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Finally, then to what Jukes describes as “one of the most succulent, shiny and buoyant pinots in the world” – Tasmania’s fresh and floral 2014 Josef Chromy Pinot Noir (£19.87 at Exel Wines, Perth). Its impressive cocktail of flavours include pepper, liquorice and cocoa that delightfully embellish the wine’s savoury, textured cherry and raspberry fruit and the bold acidity – but limited tannin – that supports it.


2015 Henry Fessy Coteaux Bourguignons
France, 13.5 per cent

Tracy Gabriel
This new appellation includes some Henry Fessy vineyards originally within Beaujolais and, given the serious hail damage thereabouts this year, now would be a good time to try it out. This particular example has impressive, bright, ripe, fresh cherry and raspberry fruit with touches of cinnamon but no oak and little, if any, tannin.
£9 at M&S

2015 Pujalet Côtes de Gascogne
France, 11 per cent

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Perfect light, fresh, summer white wine from the go-ahead Plaimont operation in South West France. Using that region’s usual grape suspects (colombard and ugni blanc), it provides vibrant lime and grapefruit acidity with suggestions of pear that are shrewdly balanced by aromatic hints of peach, yet a firm savoury edge too.
£5.49 at Waitrose

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