Oliver’s Taranga Vermentino 2021

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Previous generations of the Oliver family probably never heard of varieties such as Vermentino or Fiano or Mencia (who had?), but Corrina Wright, sixth generation and the family winemaker at their 100 hectare property in the middle of McLaren Vale, has shown everyone just how well suited they are and how good the wines from these unfamiliar grapes can be. I first met Corrina what seems a million years ago when we were both students at the Len Evans Tutorial and so I have followed her subsequent career with considerable interest, though little surprise. She is one seriously talented individual, as is evident throughout this collection.

The team give each wine a little story about what happened that year. For this wine, ‘the year that Corrina’s bulldog, Marj, joined the team’. Sometimes they can seem a little stretched but, as always, what is in the bottle is far more important than what is on it. Part of their Small Batch program (where they have less than two tonnes of a particular grape), this is near crystal clear. Aromas emerge of nuts, citrus, stonefruit, quince, even a hint of oystershell, with that appealing minerally background. Neatly balanced, this is a clean, refreshing style. There is a note which I can only describe as river stones from a fresh flowing trout stream. Good acidity. That minerally undertow is never far away. A lovely aperitif style or even better with fresh seafood.

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