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The Smokestack Lightning wines from Dave Macintosh are interesting takes on white varieties made with some portion of skin contact and as little intervention as possible. They are pure expressions of vineyards with amazing vitality. A cleaner, more grown-up version of the Amber wine scene, you might say. The 2016 SCGZ (Skin Contact Gewürztraminer) is a thrill-seeker's Gewurz, no doubt about it. Gewürztraminer carries it's distinct characters wherever it goes. Here, with a whopping 90 days on skins, there's some parts of the variety's personality which have been dialled up, and some that have been softened, making for a fascinating and texturally intriguing expression of this variety and site. Only 75 cases made of the 500mL bottles.
What it Tastes Like
All the classic calling cards of Gewürz - musk sticks, lychee, but with a asian spice accent and a twist of ginger. It's dry and grippy in the mid palate - firm up front with ripe grape tannins. There's some kind of slight citrus kick there, too. Maybe grapefruit? Who cares. It's just yummy and refreshing and vibrant at the end of the day, at that's what matters.
Yarra Valley Gewurztraminer from the Rising Vineyard in the Christmas Hills subregion. 100% whole berry wild ferment and malo that slowly extracts, morphs and softens colour / flavour / aroma and tannin. 90 days on skins in a stainless vessel. No adds apart from a bit of sulphur at bottling. No fining or filtration.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 500mL
Drink Until: 2018
About the Producer
New Zealand born Dave Mackintosh is the head man at Arfion. After cutting his teeth at Oyster Bay, Dave settled in Victoria’s Yarra Valley and after working with Steve Flamsteed at Giant Steps, began his own brand Arfion: which means ‘Our Wine’ in Scottish Gaelic.
Dave is all about letting the fruit do the talking, guiding rather than forcing, constantly searching for the simplest way to get young, energetic wines into the bottle for people to enjoy. His Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are all effortless examples of wines made with a ‘less is more’ mentality. By working with some of the best growers in the Yarra Valley, Dave has put together a gorgeous range of wines that have interest and drinkability in spades.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
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