Wednesday Wines – Episode 21

Episode 21 – 19th August 2020

Australia and New Zealand step up this week with one perfect red under a tenner and one perfect white just over!

2019 The Listening Station, Shiraz, Victoria (£8.00,

My pals at WoodWinters are offering this tremendous wine at the most competitive mark imaginable and it is a definitive WW, sub-tenner candidate!  I love the label and it seems that this listening station is hearing, loud and clear, what we are all talking about.  We, as a thirsty, but educated, wine community desire purity, balance and value for money more than anything else in our wines.   In red wine terms, this bottle could be as close to the model as it gets.  Victorian Shiraz is always a little brighter, a little less ‘black’ and more ‘purple’ than the wines made over the border in South Australia.  It is often a touch savoury – salty and herbal – and this balances the exuberance of the plum and mulberry fruit.  The Listening Station has terrific fruit and it also tucks a tiny amount of oak into the mix to add class.  It not only looks the part, but it tastes delicious, refreshing and accurate, too.  It is also eight quid.  Give the brilliant WoodWinters team a call right now.

2019 Mt Difficulty, Roaring Meg, Pinot Gris, Central Otago, New Zealand (£15.99, reduced to £13.99 each Mix Six until 26 October,

Matt Dicey is a very perceptive winemaker and his entire suite of wines at Mt Difficulty is sublime, but I rarely write about Roaring Meg PG and when I tasted the new vintage at a recent Majestic tasting it reminded me of what a thrilling wine it is.  The trick here is that this is categorically not a ‘Grigio’ style.  The Cromwell basin is not Grigio territory!  Here PG grapes ripen fully and this means a more expressive shape of white wine, more akin to Alsatian Pinot Gris.  But Matt’s skill is not only found in the vineyard husbandry which provides the building blocks for this wine, but also in its sensitive winemaking.  The juice was settled overnight and racked bright the next day.  Fermentation was cool to retain a nice, brittle exoskeleton, but the fermentation was stopped just short of dryness and this brings a pliable and flirtatious core to this seductive wine.  It was not filtered and no oak blurs the purity of this being.  The resulting stats tell the story perfectly – 13.2% and 3.5 g/L sugar.  This is a light, smooth, slightly off-dry wine with such purity and precision it defies its £14 price.  Get in quick because this is a limited release wine!