First taste: Pierro LTC 2012 & Fire Gully Chardonnay 2011

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Waking up to snow this morning, it’s hard to believe that Australia has been in the grip of unprecedented heatwaves.  In Western Australia, the heat came a little earlier – the last week of 2012 was the state’s hottest in 80 years.

It was a year (2012) which kicked off with a heatwave that, from a wine perspective, meant “things jumped into a fairly quick ripening phase” (see Virginia Willcock’s Margaret River vintage report here).  So I was interested to taste my first 2012 Margaret River white last night – Pierro LTC 2012.  Here’s my note:

Pierro LTC 2012 (Margeret River)

“LTC” has two meanings.  The wine was originally known as ‘Les Trois Cuvées’ but, since Chardonnay guru Mike Peterkin’s classic Western Australian blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc also features a little touch of Chardonnay, it also stands for, you guessed it, a little touch of Chardonnay.  In this warm vintage, it’s a sleek yet satisfying wine, its white asparagus and sweet white peach adroitly balanced by lemony, well-integrated acidity.  Long and lithe, it put me in mind of a rich, precocious Sancerre from a hot year. A great food wine.  13.5%

Fire Gully Chardonnay 2011 (Margaret River)

Fire Gully is Peterkin’s second label, which is sourced from a neighbouring Wilyabrup vineyard of that name which he acquired in 1998.  In contrast with the creamily textured Pierro flagship Chardonnay, the focus here is on primary fruit, which it has in abundance. Ripe juicy pear, dried pear and pineapple fruit is cut with zesty, vibrant acidity.  There’s a touch of complexing creaminess to the mid-palate and a hint of cedar too.  Well done, with clean, crisp, perfumed (rock melon and dried pear) finish.  13.5%

Incidentally, Margaret River (indeed Wilyabrup) fans might be interested to know that Emma Cullen (Vanya Cullen’s niece) will be presenting a Cullen Chardonnay tasting in London on 14 March – click here for details.

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