Alder Yarrow of Vinography is on the ground tasting his way through South Australia, running into “some wines that have totally redefined my understanding of what Australian wine is, and can be.” Two of the regional champions he’s singled out are Shaw + Smith and Mitolo. The wines below are recent releases that won’t be available in the US for a while, but the notes give a sense as to the sheer quality being attained these days in the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale.
Shaw + Smith “M3″ Chardonnay 2008
“Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells beautifully of lemon zest and cold cream with hints of herbal qualities. In the mouth the wine has a wonderful, stony mineral quality with lemon curd and cold cream touched with sourdough toast with butter. Perfectly balanced and really gorgeous, this is an exceptionally well made wine, and one of the better Chardonnays I’ve had from Australia.” 9-9.5/10 Vinography
Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
“Made entirely from grapes dried in the style of Amarone. Dark garnet in the glass this wine has a nose of dried black cherry and chocolate. In the mouth wonderfully aggressive tannins wrap around black cherry and chocolate flavors with notes of leather that linger in the finish. Intense and interesting. And for being made from dried grapes, quite bright.” 9/10 Vinography