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Why do we love this case?

Sometimes ‘old world’ brings images of musty wineries, where snobby, moustachioed codgers charge absurd prices for glorified grape juice. Time for a rethink. This mixed six represents the cutting edge in quality and value in a white-winemaking tradition that’s 2000-odd years young. Each bottle is full of of character and flavour - no dust or protruding nose hairs in sight. From unpretentious-but-noble white Burgundy to boundary-pushing Soave, you’re about to invest in half a dozen ‘wow’s.

Every case includes a bottle of each of the following wizardly wines:

White
Other White
Côtes du Rhône

Jeantet Laurent La Croix de l’Ermite Crozes-Ermitage Blanc 2016
Cinnamon
Floral
Peach
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Decanter
16/20 Richard Hemming MW, JancisRobinson.com

Lovers of luscious whites listen up. There doesn’t seem to be a burning following of Crozes-Ermitage Blanc in Australia, but all that’s about to change… one impressive case at a time. You’d be Crozey not to give it a go when it’s this delicious. Cheap shot? Maybe, but you’re still here. Why wait for your Tahbilk marsanne to age another decade when you’ve got such ripe, viscous white wine dripping in honeydew melon, persimmon and guava flavours right here, right now. There’s a delicate vegetal element in the background, like white asparagus and chopped cucumber. Roasted barley rounds out the nose, and adds a savoury, almost-saline moreishness to a fine and fresh palate. It’s special stuff and there’s bugger all made, so tune in before it gains hipster fanfare and is suddenly silly money.

White
Riesling
Austria

Allram Heiligenstein DAC Riesling 2016
Apple
Floral
Spice
Medium-bodied
Chalky
Delicate
International Wine Challenge
Falstaff Magazine
Decanter
Decanter

Eddie the Wine Guy is razzing up some rizza at the Tasting Bench, and this is his standout. I tune in to what he says, because he’s very considered and eloquent, and easily quotable. “Really lovely, little bit of residual sugar there, but definitely not as sweet as your German Mosel styles. Also the acidity wasn’t quite as searing - it almost had a nice rounded quality and a bit riper fruit. It kind of reminded me a little bit of Great Southern, but with better acidity. You could age this, but you don’t need to. This could be lovely with a fish curry. Not oily, but getting into that slightly richer territory, like a Clare or Eden Valley riesling. I like it, but it’s not crazy different.” Thanks for making my job easy, Eddie! I know have this in my glass too, and I can confirm that it’s delicious. Totally see the Great Southern reference, and the unctuous silkiness that it’s got going on. A little bit of spice, too, and the result is eminently drinkable, while still grandiose. Yum, in other words. Different enough to be exciting, and well worth the detour.

White
Chardonnay
Burgundy

Deux Roches Pouilly-Fuissé VV 2016
Floral
Minerally
Peach
Medium-bodied
Chalky
Concentrated
Stephen Brook
Emma Dawson MW
Matt Wilkin MS
Decanter

Around here, we respect our elders. The older, the wiser, the better, we reckon. Especially when it comes to vines. Because, you know - the older, the better, the tastier. Just like this ‘Vieilles Vignes’ (meaning ‘old vines’) chardonnay. Crafted from three different parcels of Pouilly, Solutré and Fuissé, the grapes matured on vines wiser than Yoda. Driven by silky texture and gentle stonefruit intertwined with macadamia shortbread flavours, this is free-run Burgundy juice at its finest. Enjoy, you will.

White
Other White
Italy

Ilatium Morini Soave Campo Le Calle 2017
Citrus
Dried Apricot
Peach
Medium-bodied
Bright
Elegant

Everything about this wine is ‘Superiore’ apart from not actually being zoned for the Soave Superiore region. Where other Soave is fun and fruity, this single vineyard number is grown-up, poised, stylish. If you’re a serious wine drinker, you’ll love the crystalline elegance and precision. It’s an exercise in winemaking that gives firecracker results. Campo la Calle yields a mineral and floral expression, underpinned by ripe and dry fruit flavours. It’s a beautiful balance of freshness and opulence. Adventurous winemaking, using the ‘appassimento’ method to dry late-harvest garganega grapes for ten days, is behind the unique flavour and finesse. Cin cin!

White
Chardonnay
Languedoc-Roussillon

Fortant De France Terroir D'Altitude Chardonnay 2016
Citrus
Jasmine
Peach
Medium-bodied
Round
Elegant

Overlooking the Languedoc from altitudes of 250-600m, in the foothills of the Cevennes, the soils this wine is born from are exceptionally rich. Seemingly, that translates to effortless richness in the glass. Immediately there’s a round cashew note, with melon in the middle, laced with gentle asparagus and perky, subversive blood orange. It’s a silky-smooth nose that leads onto an impactful palate. Round, silky, long and fruit-forward for a Southern French chardy. They call it full-bodied, and I’d say it’s somewhere between medium and full in an Aussie context. Absolute crowd-pleaser, absolutely over-delivering at this price. Mini Burgundy? At this price, you betcha. It’s got value moves that Burgundy can only dream about.

White
Other White
Loire Valley

Domaine Salmon Grande Réserve Muscadet 2017
Apple
Creamy
Orange
Medium-bodied
Bright
Elegant
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
Wine Enthusiast
Editors Choice Wine Enthusiast

A lovely creamy-tropical nose, like a pineapple and lime Splice, maybe even a scoop of mango-peach sorbet on the side. Some fresh Provençale herbs thrown over the top, the rim of the glass adorned with a pithy orange wedge. The palate is very moreish, with those tropical flavours following through. Laser-like acidity meets rounded, biscuity mouthfeel. It’s also scored a reiteration of one of Head Buyer John’s most infamous quotes: “Beautiful easy drinking muscadet to have with a fishy fish”. And now he gets to relive that wonderful quote because he forgot to change the notes since the last vintage. Everyone’s welcome.

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