By David Ellis from VINTNEWS.
Eden Valley in the Barossa may be one of our smaller winemaking regions, but even so, it is home to some exceptional makers and at the same time some equally exceptional histories to many of their properties.
Among them is Eden Hall that dates back to the 1840’s, where wine grapes were planted in the early 1900’s and ripened out 70 years later in favour of sheep grazing, and went back to winemaking again in the 1990’s (while still keeping some sheep.)
Now it’s released what’s believed to be the Valley’s first-ever Gruner Veltliner, a wine whose homeland is Austria, is made to a lesser degree in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and is fast becoming popular in the USA and here in Australia.
Eden Hall had a trump card up their sleeve when it came to making their pioneering drop: one of their winemakers, Christa Deans spent time in Austria working in wineries there and getting to learn all she could about Gruner Veltliner.
Hers is a ripper drop with a rich palate of nectarine and white peach fruit flavours and back notes of citrus and grapefruit and a mineral finish. A naturally food-friendly wine with anything from chicken dishes to seafoods, vegetarian and even light red meats, it’s a perfect match with Weiner Schnitzel… which after all is the national dish of Austria from which this variety originated. Eden Hall’s Gruner Veltliner is $35 a bottle online with discounts for six or more: check out www.edenhall.com.au
One to note: the Hunter Valley’s Briar Ridge Wines has released a 2015 Fiano, a Southern Italian varietal that in Australia has been mostly made until now in warmer regions such as McLaren Vale, Riverland, the Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills.
Winemaker Gwyn Olsen brought in fruit from the Hunter’s Howards Vineyard for this new-direction wine, a drop with an interestingly lively palate of ginger spice, cumquat and hazelnut to the fore and a quite lovely zestiness. While it’s an enjoyable buy-now, drink-now wine, Gwyn says it’s showing all signs of developing further complexity over the next five years; pay $28 and enjoy with pasta dishes or seafood.