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JOHN ROZENTALS looks at a couple of McLaren Vale whites with a definite Mediterranean flavour.

April 15, 2020 Beverage, Headline News No Comments
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Hastwell & Lightfoot have released three new vintage wines from South Australia’s McLaren Vale —  the Hastwell & Lightfoot 2019 Fiano, Hastwell & Lightfoot 2019 Vermentino and the Hastwell & Lightfoot 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fiano, a variety that hails from southern Italy, performs particularly well in McLaren Vale.

“There is a noticeable move by many winegrowers to white varieties more suited to the region’s Mediterranean climate,” said Hastwell & Lightfoot family member and General Manager, Kishan Sidhu.

“This innovation and vision stem from the strong collaborative nature of our winemakers and grape growers.

“There is a lot of support and sharing of knowledge and experiences within the McLaren Vale wine community.

“It has been a relatively recent move to these emerging varieties. Only 20 years ago McLaren Vale was producing white varieties such as chardonnay and sauvignon blanc which weren’t too enticing.

“In 2000, we have moved on and let the cooler regions grow those traditional white wines. The Vale’s warmer, Mediterranean climate is perfect for these Italian and Spanish varieties, and the results are showing.

“We produce wines that are made to accompany food.

“We have four separate vineyard blocks that all contribute to the finished blend,” said Kishan about the new cabernet.

“And there is also a small component of cabernet franc which adds another dimension and ‘lift’ to the wine.

“We are aiming to make the fruit the focus of this wine while ensuring it has longevity and, as with all of our wines, is one that is made to complement food.”

WINE REVIEWS

Hastwell & Lightfoot 2019 Vermentino ($25): The variety hails from southern Italy and is ideally suited to the warmth of McLaren Vale’s Mediterranean climate. In this case it has produced a bright, fresh dry white that combines the crispness of nectarines on the cusp of ripeness with zesty citrus flavours. Drink as you would riesling, ideally with fresh, firm, simply grilled white-fleshed fish.

Hastwell & Lightfoot 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon ($25): This dry red sports the new H&L livery and is one of the winery’s foundation wines, a variety that has been grown and made for over 30 years. It shows the Vale doing what it does best: making full-bodied dry reds that are uncompromising in their flavour. Drink with lamb while seeking out flavours of dark berry fruits.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Hastwell & Lightfoot 2019 Fiano ($25): I’m with the people at Hastwell & Lightfoot in saying that McLaren Vale has largely been wasting its time chasing varieties such as chardonnay which quickly over-ripen in its heat. This is a dry white that has retained its natural acidity and texture and suits a range of lighter dishes. “It’s a taut wine made to get the taste buds working,” says the media release. I whole heartedly agree.

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