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Wednesday 29 June 2011

The Future's Bright, The Future's Orange*

The Orange region first came to my attention when, for a while, it appeared I might be posted to West Wyalong, NSW - a mere 220KMs from the town of orange.

Being a diligent, and often thirsty, sort I did my homework.  Starting to sample the wines of Orange.  The move never transpired, but the awareness of the Orange GI did.

The Orange GI is fairly unique in Australia in that it is defined by height above sea-level, and at a minimum of 600m is Australia's highest altitude wine region.

The team at Taste Orange brought some of the Orange producers on a roadshow and visited Brisbane on 21st June.  My time was limited, there were more producers than I could get round too, but here are a few standouts from the tasting. 

Orange Mountain 2009 Chardonnay, $25, 13.5% 
No malolactic fermentation, minimal lees contact.  Resultant wine gives some good biting back acid.  Up front: varietal stonefruit and some toasty oak present from the 60% of new oak.  The remainder is 1-2 years old.  Good cellaring prospect, 5-10 years at a conservative estimate. 

Mayfield Vineyard/ Iceley Road
2008 Mayfield Riesling,$28, %12.5
From a vineyard located at 920m; atop rocky and stony soil, minimal topsoil comes this Riesling exhibiting generous minerality.  This wine is made from the free run juice, imparting a feeling of delicacy coupled with the minerality.

2009 Icely Road Riesling, $19.99, %12.2
This comes from fruit off of the same vineyard as the Mayfield Riesling, the wine coming from the second pressing.  Slightly more floral and fuller in the mouth; an element of sweetness too.

2007 Mayfield Chardonnay, $30, %13.3
This wine sees 30% new oak, imparting a light creamyfeel to the mouth.  Good persistent acidity, generous minerality along with varietal almond and grapefruit character 

Printhie Wines 2010 Mount Canobolas Collection Sauvignon Blanc, $35, %13
Barrel fermented in 4-5 year old imparts some funk on the nose, depth and interest on the palate.  Textural with crispness and acidity on the finish. 

Ross Hill Cabernet Franc 2009, $40, %14.5
This wine had been on my "must taste" list for a while.  Joyously fragrant, with a lovely minty touch.  The palate: light, pippy blackcurranty goodness.  Powerful, balanced.  A pleasure to behold. 

* For the origins of this slogan, see:


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