Australia has been a source of very good, value-priced wine since the early 1980’s. And I’m not talking about critter labels. I mean real wine—dry table wines which are varietally-correct and well balanced. For the most part though, the wines we’ve seen on our shelves have been limited to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and, sometimes, Merlot.
That’s all good but, when I recently received samples from MWC, I was happy to see some varietal variety being introduced. McPherson Wine Co. is based in Central Victoria and has extensive vineyards in both Goulborn Valley and the Murray Darling area. They have several different lines of wines though, including MWC, and source fruit from other growers for some of those. That’s what MWC did for the two wines below, both based on varieties that do best in cool climates.
2015 MWC Pinot Noir Victoria, Australia 89 14.0% 750ml screw cap $15
This MWC Pinot Noir is 100% varietal, sourced from a single vineyard Yea Valley. That’s not far from the cool-climate growing region of Upper Goulburn in northeast of Yarra Valley in central Victoria. The grapes were picked in the cool of the night and fermented in stainless steel tanks to maintain brightness and fresh fruit flavors.
The 2015 MWC Pinot Noir offers enticing, ripe, red cherries and raspberries on the nose, accented by spice and dried flowers. Flavors are darker and a bit more savory than the aromas: black cherry, dark mineral, spice and cola. Medium-bodied with light texture and subtle juiciness, this is a wine that drinks very well on its own but will also go nicely with food. Try it with grilled chicken or salmon. Drink now through 2021.
2015 MWC Pinot Gris Victoria, Australia 88 13.5% 750ml screw cap $15
Pinot Gris—as a dry wine, not the “Pinot Grigio” we see in the U.S. with obvious sugar on the palate—can be a delightful alternative to Chardonnay. They aren’t buttery or heavily oaked and, while fresh, don’t have the aggressive acidity or pungent aromatics common to Sauvignon Blanc.
The grapes for this wine, 100% Pinot Gris, were grown in the Strathbogie Ranges. The eastern part of that low-mountain region is cooled by maritime breezes and altitude, making it a good spot for both Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
This wine is identifiable as Pinot Gris with a glance. It has a pale, coppery hue owing to the variety’s pinkish skin.. You’ll find nicely ripe pear, stone fruit and lemon with a chiffonade of fresh herb on the nose. The palate is dry and gently fresh with medium+ body and very fine, silky texture. Flavors of pear, stone fruit and lemon echo the nose, joined by a hint of lightly buttered, yeasty bread and, on the finish, mineral. This is a very pleasing, easy-drinking wine that is satisfying on its own. It will also pair well with chicken, seafood, Panzanella salad and light cheeses. It would be great on a by-the-glass list or as a house white. Drink now through 2019.
MWC wines are imported by Hudson Wine Brokers.
Copyright Fred Swan 2017. Photos courtesy of McPherson Wine Co. All rights reserved.