Wine Review: Pikes, Domaine Le Flaive Dominio do Bibei

PIKES Tradionale Riesling 2013
Clare Vally, South Australia. RRP: $22
If you ever find yourself in South Australia on holiday then I would highly recommend you take the time to visit Pikes. It is located in the idyllic Clare Valley’s classic Australian landscape surrounded by rolling hills and gum trees. Pikes have been producing some pretty nice wines there since 1886 and they are easily recognised by the large pike fish with the sharp teeth on the front labels.

The Traditionale Riesling 2013 is Pikes’ 29th consecutive release of this much-loved Clare Valley wine. I definitely see its appeal. There is white nectarine and notes of sweet orange blossom to entice, plus plenty of lemon sherbet and lemon rind tang offering a good acid backbone. The palate has the perfect amount of that mouth-watering quality and acid crunch akin to biting into an unripe white nectarine.

This is the sort of wine I enjoyed drinking recently on holiday on the veranda in muggy northern NSW. It quenched the thirst and put simply, this is a delicious Riesling that is really far too drinkable.

Stockist: Dan Murphy stores or check out your local independent retailer.

Burgundy, France. RRP: $45.00
This renowned French estate is located in Puligny-Montrachet in the northern part of the Burgundy region of France. This wine, on the other hand, is sourced from select biodynamic 20-year old vines in the southern portion called Mâcon. There is a strict attention to detail, from the handpicked fruit, fermentation using natural yeasts and fining and filtering only where necessary.

The resultant wine is a wonderfully pure expression of the Chardonnay grape. On the nose there is elements of mandarin peel and honeydew but overall the impression is one of restraint. The palate is a little more indulgent with mouth filling texture and a delicate buttery character that is distinct to Mâcon examples of this grape variety. The medium-length finish brought about a lingering raw almond note that created a little bitterness.
Chardonnay can come in all manner of shapes and sizes when we speak in terms of texture and flavour. The Domaine Leflaive is smooth and not as full-bodied as some, but would be an ideal wine chilled on a summer’s day and a good accompaniment to chicken curry dishes or roast poultry courses.

Stockist: King & Godfree, Carlton.

Ribeira Sacra, Spain. RRP: $45.00
Ribeira Sacra is a Spanish wine region located in the northwestern Galicia area of Spain where the red Mencía grape reigns supreme. The gnarly vines are planted in difficult steep hillside slopes over valleys and canyons that go on to produce a unique red wine. Dominio do Bibei’s Lalama is a blend of native varieties including 90% Mencía, 7% Garnacha (Grenache) and 3% Mouraton.

Lalama pours as a dark, inky violet that offers aromas of white rum-soaked fruit with hints of coconut, orange rind and blackberry. The palate has a gentle acidity to start with a more savoury mid-palate, followed by soft medium-weighted tannins and a lovely dried herb character to finish.

Lalama is dark in flavour, yet has restraint to its structure. This wine may be no Dolly Parton with a lack of sweet fruit and plumpness in areas. Yet for what it lacks in fruit generosity on the palate, it makes up for in the savoury flavour spectrum of cocoa, herbs and spice. Perhaps a little more like the lithe and androgynous Grace Jones.

Stockist: Cloudwine in South Melbourne or online at:

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