Posted: 7 Jan 2015

A wine collector’s favourite Aussie tipples

Wine guru Luke Campbell has made a career out of helping people set up and manage their own wine cellars. So what’s the secret to success in cellaring your own wine?

Luke, the director and lead wine consultant at Vinified, recommends leaving wines in their boxes or original packaging, as some insulation is better than none. “But don’t worry about humidity so much. Melbourne’s relative humidity averages 65 per cent, which is near enough to perfect. In most domestic circumstances the humidity argument becomes mute.

“As a general rule, more expensive wines improve with age. They are sometimes made with better fruit and more complex styles of oak. The most inexpensive wines do not benefit from ageing.

“And here’s another rule to remember. Whether you enjoy Pinot Noir now or not, make sure you put it in your cellar. Your palate will change over time. Nine out of 10 Vinified members wish they had started cellaring Pinot Noir earlier.”

These are Luke’s top 5 Aussie wines to get you started.

1. Quealy Balnarring Pinot Grigio Friulano

Mornington Pennisula, RRP $23

This is a reunion of two great Italian white varieties. Think honey and hay, alongside fresh pears, pine nuts and bitey acid. It’s a beautiful summer drink and a great match with Asian cuisine, seafood pasta or a simple Caesar salad. Drink Now.

2. NV Airlie Bank sparkling by Punt Road

Yarra Valley, RRP $25

Beautiful and fresh with citrus fruits and apricots on the nose plus hints of bread and donuts in the mouth. This sparkling is perfect with salmon and oysters. Cellaring now for up to three years.

3. 2014 Mac Forbes ‘Rs7’ Riesling

Strathbogie Ranges, RRP $29

Mac and his team emphasise a more savoury, food-friendly expression of off-dry Riesling. The juice is handled with a few hours skin contact, fermented wild on solids in large barrels and bottled without filtration. The RS7 is intensely tangy with lots of citrus peel complexity underpinning super bright, shimmering, pithy, salty and mineral fruit. A mouth-watering, energetic wine with a long smoky finish. Delicious.. Cellaring seven to 10 years.

4. 2013 De luliis ‘Sunshine Vineyard’ Semillon

Hunter Valley, RRP $32

Mike De Iuliis is cleaning up at the national wine shows. His Semillon is a crisp, clean wine with intense citrus flavors, balanced by structured acids adding length to the palate. Planted on the sandy loam soils of Black Creek, this traditional Hunter Semillon shows all the hallmarks of a classic. Fresh lemon and limes dominate the aroma and the palate is lively and fresh. The natural acid ensures great length of flavor and gives the wine structure that will hold it in good stead for the future. Cellaring for five years.

5. 2013 Ministry of Clouds Tempranillo Grenache

McLaren Vale, RRP $32

Ministry of Clouds is the name of a new selection of wines developed by two of the wine industry’s bright young talents, Julian Forwood (ex Wirra Wirra) and Bernice Ong (ex Woodstock). This 52-48% blend has silkiness and plenty of length on the palate. Fragrant and luscious and matured in old oak.

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