Swanny’s top whites from 2014

In 2014, we had the opportunity to try a wide range of Rieslings. Originally from the Rhine region in Germany, the variety is grown all over the world, including in Canada where among the snowy vineyards, it is used to make ice wine. It doesn’t get that cold here but Riesling grown in Australia, does produce some wonderful and exciting wines with some fantastic aromas and flavours. Lime, piercing acidity, hints of honey and lovely tropical fruit…that’s just the beginning. We chose two from Australia in our top picks.

We also loved the Chardonnays. Grown in Burgundy since the 15th century, this grape variety is very popular with many countries around the world are making some stand-out Chardonnays including Australia. Some are aged in oak, some partial, some see no oak. A mix of apple, pear, citrus flavours as well as hints of mineral notes are some aromas associated with different chardonnays. Our top whites of 2014 included 3 from WA. It’s a coincidence three of us chose wines from WA but it highlights some great winemaking and talented winemakers.

Here’s our top picks:

Cullen Chardonnay 2003 from Margaret River was Steve’s favourite, one of the first wineries in Margaret River. Steve decided to have the magnum to share among family and friends for Christmas Day, a very good choice and the guests were pleased!

Lenton Brae Chardonnay 2011 from Wilyabrup in Margaret River was a favourite for Jack. Located on Caves Road in Margaret River, it was set up in 1982 with 10 hectares of vineyards planted the following year. Currently sold at $42.99 a bottle.

Dave chose the Picardy Chardonnay 2012 at $45.99. Situated in the cooler region of Pemberton, it was established by Dr Bill Pannell and Sandra (former owners of infamous Moss Wood), in 1993.

Our top Rieslings of the year both came from the Clare Valley; Jim Barry Florita and Grosset Springvale Riesling.

Stef chose the Jim Barry Florita Riesling 2013, ‘Florita’ named after the 75 acre vineyard bought by the family in 1986. Available in-store for $56 per bottle.

The 2013 Grosset Riesling comes from a smaller, 6 hectare plot vineyard, called Springvale and is $44 a bottle.

Two of us chose the Laissez Faire Fiano 2013 by Larry Cherubino. Laissez faire from the French meaning, ‘letting things take their course’ is synonymous in this wine. There is minimal intervention with the aim to create a ‘sense of place’ in this wine from Frankland River. Unfortunately it’s all sold out now at $35 as well as Michael’s favourite; Scott’s Fiano 2014 from the Adelaide Hills which was $27 each. But as soon as we have more stock, we’ll let you know.

A blended white was Alan’s top choice; the Pierro Sem Sauv Blanc LTC (Little Touch of Chardonnay) 2014. It’s been a popular wine among the team over the past year and we can see why especially at the moment on promotion from $36.99 to $29.99 by the 6 bottle case.

Next week we’ll be writing up some more of our favourites in the newsletter.