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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 SCPG (Skin Contact Pinot Gris) shows almost more in common with a Rosé than a white. The natural blushed pink tones of the Pinot Gris skin really getting a chance to shine in this release. This version spent 16 days on skins then hung out in a barrel for a while to really hit its straps. It's a voluptuous version of the variety which doesn't compromise on freshness. It's excellent drinking all round. Only 100 dozen made.
What it Tastes Like
Dizzyingly floral perfume - musk, turkish delight, middle eastern spices and roses. The smells escape from the glass in a puff. It's round and cuddly but framed by lovely grippy tannins. They're gentle, chalky, sure, but never severe. Tastes of rosewater and cooled rosehip tea. Pinot Gris out on the town. Very nicely done.
Yarra Valley Pinot Gris from Coombe Farm in the Coldstream subregion. 100% whole bunch wild ferment that extracts colour / flavour / aroma and tannin in a carbonic way. 16 days on skins then pressed to an old barrel where it goes through full malo prior to 6 months ageing at cool temps. No adds apart from a bit of sulphur at bottling. No fining or filtration. Just a rack or two to get off solids.
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.
Pinot Gris is a variety that can take on many forms. In one instance it’s crisp, racy and light as in the case of Pinot Grigio, the next it’s round and voluptuous, and sometimes it presents as pinkish or even red! This versatility makes it an incredibly interesting grape. It loves skin contact, it loves lees stirring, it loves anything a winemaker can throw at it, but always it will show lovely perfume, tasty fruit and excellent mouthfeel. It might just be the most underestimated white variety in the country.
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