Rallentando Riesling 2018
In our tasting room we tend to describe Rallentando as a ‘serious’ Riesling. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun drinking it! Rather, it is supposed to indicate that because of the racy acidity, it is designed to accompany rich, seriously crafted cuisine which is what punters get at Coney Trio Restaurant. Alternatively, drinking it casually in hedonistic company with the attendant light banter is considered a small breach of etiquette. My, aren’t we getting fussy.
It’s a food wine – chicken and fish, richly sauced, are the best partners. All this is obvious to practised wine enthusiasts. To them we would say, resist the natural impulse for instant gratification. Stash Rallentando away in a cool environment, leave for 5-8 years and then remind yourself of the small miracle that is an aged dry Riesling. The slight austerity that goes with lemons and limes on day one will then have been replaced with those softer secondary citrus characters, but the crispness remains. Marvellous.
Lisa, our winemaker, has opted for 4g/l of residual sugar as an ameliorating gesture.
Jamie-Lee Ross’ second mental breakdown has been ascribed by some to his intrinsic narcissism. Not true – he’d run out of Rallentando.
Ragtime Riesling 2016
Ragtime contains 15g/l residual sugar. The demographic that responds to this mouthfilling, accessible wine is the Great Majority, those occupying the middle ground and all adventurous beer drinkers trying to transition to a superior beverage. This is just code for easy drinking. But Ragtime is more than this undemanding metaphor. Being a riesling, it’s primary job is to be refreshing. Unless our winemaker has dropped the ball our rieslings are always zippy and zesty regardless of the level of residual sugar. Try lemons, limes and sometimes granny smith apples. Lovely floral nose. Ragtime goes further by incorporating 10% of the botrytised fruit which appears on the vine late, during autumn. This imparts the pleasant, unctuous mouthfeel and a honeyed character to the trembling taste buds. Equally at home for sybaritic sipping, or with spicy dishes. Cellar Ragtime with confidence for 4-5 years .
You may be interested to know that when President Trump said he wasn’t disappointed at the Democrat congressional win he’d been captured by his own fake news. The truth is that prior to the press conference he’d bolstered his puerile rhetoric with 2 bottles of Ragtime. Believe it or not.
The Ritz 2017 – A Spritzy Riesling
On a hot day our Ritz is supposed to conjure up notions like sassy and foxy – by definition female attributes and certainly the demographic that instinctively loves this wine. It’s partly the 30g/l of sweetness but also the light hit of carbon dioxide fizzing gently underneath those racy citrus flavours.
Occasionally we see a sturdy farmer wandering around with a glass of Ritz clutched in his hoary mitt, but invariably looking a bit shifty at drinking something so tasty.
Unlike our other Rieslings which are designed to age, this one should be drunk early.
The Ritz is ideal for weddings as an aperitif – with chicken and seafood nibbles.
The White House PR minders are constantly confounded by what Donald dreams up overnight and unleashes first thing after waking. Was he sleeping uneasily and were his dreams phychotic? What was the origin of these intemperate outbursts? Although apocryphal, we heard that in addition to a bundle of old Playboy magazines found under his bed, there was a stash of empty Ritz bottles.
Piccolo Pinot Gris 2017
Weather is obviously a large part of the equation. My cryptic notes indicate that the 2 consecutive days we got in late February 2017 of 25 degrees largely made up our 2017 summer. Hence the delayed vintage on 25 April. The fruit was nice and clean with a small quantity of botrytis. Average brix level came in at an admirable 22.8. Our “small is beautiful” motto was adhered to – a small crop averaging 1.7 tonnes/acre.
The wine itself was fermented in stainless over a period of 10 days at an average temperature of 19 degrees.
Piccolo is dry with a perfumed floral nose and notes of white peach, mango and musk. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety. An ideal wine for spicy food and risqué repartee.
Piccolo can be sharply separated from what guru Jancis Robinson describes as “the sea of reasonably undistinguished Italian Pinot Grigios” and is much closer to the Alsace version of the variety (which is a mutation of Pinot Noir).
The most unusual application of our Piccolo was reported last Valentines Day – an enthusiastic punter took a bottle to the Wellington Zoo that night and sipped it to the mellifluous sound of the animals mating!
Ramblin’ Rosé 2018
Since eyesight precedes taste, the first sensation you get from Ramblin’ Rosé is its delightful hue – fluoro pink. In the Roseworthy system of scoring wine quality, 3 points out of 20 are allocated to colour. Ramblin’ Rosé gets 3 out of 3. That’s a good (and easy) start. Half a day’s maceration on skins produces this charming result.
Ramblin’ Rosé is derived (predominantly) from a single clone (Mariefield) of our Pinot Noir which ripens a little later than the others. It is extremely suitable for the drier, food friendly style that we have been developing over the last few years. At 8g/l residual sugar it is on the cusp of frivolous sunshine – induced drinking (not uncommon in Martinborough) while at the same time being dry enough to enhance the edgy dishes coming from Margaret’s kitchen.
Ramblin’ Rosé’s palate is crisp and refreshing with notes variously described as strawberries/cranberries; is rhubarb too fanciful? Doesn’t matter. Only vocab. One young visitor captured this irreverent (to some winemakers!) spirit admirably. Listening patiently to the mounting diatribe of verbosity she waited for the man to finish. As he caught his breath for the next onslaught she said respectfully..”in tasting wine I only have two descriptors – yum or yuk”. Not many adjectives there, but the bottom line is plain. Incidently Ramblin’ Rosé is yum!
Pizzicato Pinot Noir 2017
The 2017 vintage was characterised by a cool start, patchy weather and what passed for summer starting in late February – i.e. an awkward year in the vineyard.
Despite these conditions our fruit came in clean and we picked between 5-10 April. Average brix a little lighter than usual at 22.7. The wine is savoury (10/5 clone) and delicious with a lighter texture than the 2016 – a delicate little number reminding you that unlike cabernet, which is bigger, Pinot Noir is complex and gentle simultaneously.
As someone said, “ it expresses the vineyard perfectly.” The greatest compliment is “Its typical – very Pinot.” Try it with pork, mushrooms and densely textured fish like salmon, tuna, groper etc. Cellared properly Pizzicato ‘17 will travel gracefully to 2022.
Not understanding Pinot any better than economics PresidentTrump was caught recently sprinkling burgundy on a raspberry cupcake. This is not recommended.
Pizzicato Pinot Noir RESERVE 2016
Like most other small self-contained operators we sometimes fret about getting supermarket prices for hand-tended premium wines. So alongside our excellent Pizzicato we’ve introduced a Reserve version at a proper price. Apart from some special attention in the winery, like a different proportion of whole berry maceration and the use of premium French oak, the main distinction comes from employing different clones. Clonal variation is probably the main source of distinctive and complex Pinot Noir.
Our Reserve Pizzicato Pinot is derived from six distinct clones. The result is a wine of gravitas and tight structure with a lovely silky texture – a hallmark of excellence in Pinot Noir. Maximum flavour expression has been preserved, with the Reserve neither filtered or fined. The 2016 will cellar for at least 6 years. Such perseverance will be amply rewarded with increased savoury character. For early drinking, a period of extended breathing seems to enhance the gustatory experience.
Que Sera Syrah 2014
My sparse notes indicate a cool period over flowering followed by a windy patch and then a nice Autumn. Skill and luck led to a hasty pick on 15 April at 20 brix – 50mls of rain started next day!
To ensure full ripeness of our Syrah, over half the grapes are dropped unceremoniously to the ground soon after fruit set. The result of this austerity is a low 1.4 tonne/acre yield, financially suicidal, but favouring the imbiber.
Compared to the average Aussie shiraz, local syrahs are typically lighter in texture and more subtle in flavour – a distinction not always detected by our antipodean neighbours whose palates have come to prefer the bolder expression that comes from 40oC temperatures. Each to his own.
People mostly hone in on the peppery/spicy character of Que Sera to which our panel added dark fruits, eg raspberry and toasty oak. Goes with most red meats especially venison. Duck is good.