What better way to kick off a wine column about Peninsula wines than to feature wines from three of our most visited, boutique wineries? These are three of our favourite producers who also have some of the best cellar door experiences on the Peninsula.
Tucks Ridge Chardonnay
This is the Chardonnay for people who are a bit iffy on Chardonnay (or are ABC: Anything But Chardonnay). When taking out a busload of people, generally at least 20 per cent of the guests won’t like this variety of wine, it’s divisive to say the least. Chardonnay has the reputation of being overly oaked or overly buttery. This is the wine that has changed a lot of minds while still displaying some of the classic Chardonnay characters.
On tasting, this wine expresses a lot of the fruit characters missing in stereotypical Chardy, with apple being dominant on the palate. We love the little hint of butterscotch on the finish that really rounds it out. Enjoy this drop with a roast chicken dinner or scallops. Tucks Ridge Chardonnay costs $32 per bottle.
Quealy Rageous (Sangiovese, Shiraz, Pinot Noir blend)
They called her crazy, but Kathleen Quealy has never been one to play by the rules. This was one of the first red wines produced by the pioneer and Queen of Australian Pinot Gris. Today this unique blend is still a cult classic that sells out every year.
Rageous is a medium-bodied blend with Sangiovese as the dominant variety. When we tasted the new vintage recently, alongside the berry characters we loved the slightly sweet caramel notes, my wife’s exact words were “a delicious caramel bomb”. These became more prominent as the wine aired over the course of the bottle (yes, we drank the whole thing in one sitting, it was that good). Enjoy with lamb or a tomato-based pasta. Quealy Rageous costs $40 per bottle.
Merricks Creek 2016 Pinot Noir
A true family-run business, Peter Parker is obsessed with Pinot Noir. Normally leaving his Pinots in oak for 18 months to round out, this time he decided to bottle some of the vintage after 12 months. The result is a more fruit forward style of wine, which a lot of drinkers prefer to the earthier styles.
Depending on how you like your Pinot, this wine is bright, lively and approachable now, but could also be put down for a while to soften and get a little bit more earth to it (if that is what you are into). Enjoy with lightly spicy Asian cuisine or roasted vegetables. Merricks Creek Pinot Noir costs $50 per bottle.
By Adam Nicholls Director, Wine Compass
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