Curious Case June-23

Our Curious Case is a monthly enigma, a mystery to be unveiled upon arrival. It might contain a classic red, white, rosé, orange, or sparkling wine from a renowned region or an obscure gem from a distant and unconventional vineyard with indigenous and rare varietals. Join the intrigue and indulge in the thrill of discovery.

We thought we'd put a bit of focus on our Down Under wines this month. Winemaking in Australia dates right back to the first days of European settlement in the early 1800s and soon became one of their important exports. Things took a bit longer in New Zealand, where, on the whole, the climate's a bit cooler, but since the 1970s, when the Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough began to conquer the world, they're also firmly established on the world scene.

We couldn't cover all bases in just a six-bottle mixed case, but we've come up with a selection that's an interesting mix of regional classics and a few that you might not automatically associate as coming from these parts. Without giving too much away, there's a Barossa Shiraz and a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which are emblematic wines of Australia and New Zealand respectively which we've coupled with two other reds and whites which show that there's a lot more worth exploring from Down Under.

So if you fancy a brief look at some of the tried and trusted and newer styles being made in this part of the world this month's Curious Case is definitely worth snapping up.

£90.00 per case
free delivery, or collect from the shop.

What's in it?
As usual the contents of The Curious Case remain a mystery until the end of the month. Nonetheless, we would like to offer some tantalizing hints to whet your appetite and ignite your inquisitive spirit. Are you curious?

Wine #1 - A classic Shiraz from the Barossa region of South Australia. It's laden with ripe dark berry fruit flavours.

Wine #2 - The cooler climate of Tasmania is ideal country for Pinot Noir. This unoaked, fruit-driven number is a perfect example.

Wine #3 - This super Kiwi red comes from Nelson, a region that's not as well known as its South Island neighbour Marlborough.

Wine #4 - The Clare Valley, not far from Adelaide in South Australia, has made a name for superb Rieslings. This wine shows them at their best.

Wine #5 - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is what put New Zealand on the wine making map. Our pick for this case shows it in all its tropical glory.

Wine #6 - The South Island's Otago region is more known for its reds, but this cracking white is very much worthy of attention.

The Courtesan Riesling, Clare Valley 2021

In a nutshell:
A dry and minerally Riesling from the famed Watervale sub-region of the Clare Valley.

The lowdown:
Unusually the vines for this wine are grown on their own roots - not grafted - and the yields are pretty low which helps the fruit quality. On the palate it has a mouth watering lime citrus tang with notes of elderflower, grapefruit, ripe melon and hints of quince. And it leaves with a very clean and dry finish.

When to drink:
A natural food partner to asian dishes typically containing ginger, lemongrass or coriander. White fish also works well.

Suitable for Vegans

Pa Road Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2022

In a nutshell:
A classic style New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with bright fresh flavours from the Marlborough region.

The lowdown:
The te Pa estate has been around for almost 800 years under the guidance of the MacDonald family and is spread over 400 hectares of vineyards in Marlborough's Wairau and Awatere regions. They have a wide range of wines and have won international acclaim under the expert supervision of Chief Winemaker Sam Bennett. The fruit from the MacDonald Home Vineyard came from the Seaside Blocks which are compositionally higher in sand and shingle. The resulting wine shows aromas of grapefruit and mandarin, with some tropical and floral notes. The palate displays nectarine, grapefruit, and passionfruit flavours. It has great fruit weight and a lovely long finish of nettles and citrus.

When to drink:
This wine would suit lighter meat and vegetable dishes.

Roaring Meg Pinot Gris 2021

In a nutshell:
Fruit filled, rich, but unoaked New Zealand pinot gris from the southern region of Otago.

The lowdown:
This is a variety not seen a lot from in this part of New Zealand, but the Mount Difficulty winery who make this wine do a pretty good job with it. An aromatic fruit salad nose leads on to quite a rich and full bodied palate with apricot, peach, melon and mango fruit flavours with touches of spice. The well controlled acidity balances nicely with the hint of sweetness on the finish.

When to drink:
A satisfyingly full and complete wine that'll go well with south asian and oriental dishes.

Suitable for Vegans

Seifried Estate Nelson Zweigelt 2019

In a nutshell:
A rich deep & fruit filled red made from an Austrian grape variety grown in the unusual location of Nelson, New Zealand.

The lowdown:
The grapes for this wine are grown on the Brightwater Vineyard, which is situated 15km from the coast, the soil is a combination of rocks and boulders, which vital for ripening this grape variety. Zweigelt is a red grape variety originating from Austria, and there are only 11 rows planted at the Brightwater Vineyard, totalling less than 1 hectare. The grapes are de-stemmed and fermented on their skins and hand plunged twice a day. Following fermentation the wine was gently pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and three year old French oak barriques. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation and remained in barrel for 12 months. The wine has a deep dark red tone with dense dark fruit aromas. The palate has rich fruit weight with dark plums, Christmas cake and mocha flavours. Tannins are generous and well proportioned with succulent fruit weight.

When to drink:
Would pair really well with lamb and poultry dishes.

Suitable for Vegans

Devil's Corner Pinot Noir, Tasmania 2020

In a nutshell:
A fruit driven, generously flavoured unoaked Pinot Nior from the cool climate vineyards of Tasmania

The lowdown:
Pinot Noir is a speciality of Tasmania, the climate here is cooler than the rest of Australia which suits this grape variety down to the ground. The vineyards that produce this wine are situated on the island's east coast and in the Tamar Valley surrounding the capital, Hobart. Light in both body and colour, even by Pinot Noir standards, this wine offers violet and redcurrant aromas, with red cherry flavours and featherlight tannins on the palate. It's, nonetheless, a very rewarding and pleasing mouthful.

When to drink:
Definitely a drink-now wine. Great for any occasion drinking by itself or pair it with poultry, or vegetarian dishes.

Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz 2019

In a nutshell:
An intense, berry fruit laden Shiraz from South Australia's Barossa Valley.

The lowdown:
Elena Brooks has proved herself as a talented winemaker and this Shiraz, one of the their flagship wines, stands out as the perfect example. The grapes come from a vineyard where many of the vines exceed 100 years of age, so old some remain on their own rootstocks. After a natural fermentation the wine was matured for 18 months in a mix of new and previously filled French oak barriques and then bottled without filtration or fining. It's full of bold black fruits, eucalyptus and liquorice on the nose while rich, sweet wine gum fruit, spice, pepper and mocha notes play on the tongue. It's deliciously supple with a smooth mouthfeel and fine, grippy tannins following right to the lingering finish.

When to drink:
Really impressive Aussie Shiraz at a remarkably good price. Great with big meaty dishes, roasts, hearty stews or barbecues.

Suitable for Vegans

Mixed Cases (50)

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