February Wines of the Month: Clos Clare Watervale Riesling 2011 & Filipa Pato Nossa Calcario Branco 2010

There’s a common thread between my February Wines of the Month. Both are made by producers from famous winemaking stock. Clos Clare is made by Sam, Tom and Olivia Barry whose dad is Peter Barry of Jim Barry (their grandfather), while Filipa Pato is Luis Pato’s daughter.

Here are my notes on the wines:

Clos Clare Watervale Riesling 2011 (Clare Valley) 

When the Barry brothers (Jim Barry’s sons Peter, Mark and John) acquired the historic Florita vineyard (from whence came John Vickery’s renowned Leo Buring Rieslings), they sold off a small 5 acre corner of it to help finance the purchase. Jeffrey Grosset made the wines on behalf of owner Ian Sanders. In 2007, Peter and Sue Barry reacquired it for their children, Sam, Tom and Olivia. I reckon Jim Barry would be proud of his grandchildren’s wine. With its brown flute bottle, it’s got a distinctly retro look and I could have sworn it had been made with a touch of lees influence and splashing, but apparently not. At any rate, it has a really attractive talcy/soft mineral quality cut with a tight and bright squeeze of lime with sorbet-like clarity; taut acidity lends gravitas. A cool customer – not as generous (fruit overt) as many a Watervale. Very good.  It’s ambitiously pitched at £23.50 RRP, but then it has tip top vineyard and winemaking pedigree!  Due in anytime at at Swig.

Filipa Pato Nossa Calcario Branco 2010 (Bairrada, Ois do Bairro)

Made from 100% Bical from Ois do Bairro’s stony clay over extremely chalky subsoil, which Pato says accounts for the smoky quality. A creamy nose, with discernable structure – a ripple of muscle beneath – doesn’t give too much away. In the mouth, it’s textured and creamy yet not creamy, muscular yet light with subtle, scented white peach, close to kernel rather than sweet and ripe, with almonds and a hint of smoke. A beautifully balanced, very complete yet unworked wine, which kept drawing me back to the glass (and bottle!) Long, layered, textural and complex it’s outstanding. 12.5% abv.  £22.50 at The Bottle Apostle.



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