A welcome diversion: Deviation Road Loftia Vintage Brut 2009 & Lethbridge Allegra Geelong Chardonnay 2007

Earlier this year, amidst much fanfare, Berkmann Wine Cellars announced the revamp of their Australian wine range – “the most significant range change at Berkmann for fifteen years.”

Well might they be pleased. The new portfolio includes established top brass (Chapel Hill, Fraser Gallop, Katnook Estate and Langmeil), in addition to a couple of exciting new names which Berkmann has introduced to these shores. I recently caught up with a couple of them. Here are my notes:

Deviation Road Loftia Vintage Brut 2009 (Adelaide Hills)

Winemaker & co-owner Kate Laurie studied winemaking in Champagne and it shows in this very accomplished, sparkling wine, with its fine, persistent bead and hints of sweet brioche and nougat. True to Adelaide Hills, it shows great purity and intensity of fruit – bright and juicy green apple, as well as creamier (but muscular) white peach – wed to a tight citric backbone of acidity. Lovely verve and persistence, indeed still going strong seven days on! Class in a glass. 12% £24.99 at All About Wine.

Lethbridge Allegra Geelong Chardonnay 2007 (Geelong)

Apparently so tiny is production, Berkmann Wine Cellars receive the only allocation outside the state of Victoria. I loved this complex, generous Chardonnay, which just gave and gave as it unravelled in the glass. On the nose it shows rich cashew, together with the crackling energy of flinty, toasty reduction notes, which followed through on a powerfully framed palate. Nonetheless, a rich, ripe sheen of golden delicious appley fruit edged with light caramel and butterscotch is somehow lightly worn, deliciously lingering too, with earthy but brilliant basalt minerality – that crackling energy of flinty of reduction. Very good indeed, with admirable acidity for the vintage. 13.7% £38.99 at All About Wine.

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