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Thursday, 8 July 2010

Black Stump Verdelho - Chardonnay - Pinot Grigio from Laithwaites

If the the three grapes in this Black Stump wine from Laithwaites wine were actresses, Pinot Grigio would be played by the cool, haughty newcomer Kiera Knightly, Judi Dench would be the versatile and classy Chardonnay and Verdelho would be the girl next door - sweet and pleasant but not really a star in its own right.

Black Stump contribute several wines wines to Laithwaites' list including a Reserve Shiraz Viognier (reviewed here earlier). To those not familiar with Aussie slang, a black stump is an imaginary marker beyond which civilisation as we know it ceases; beyond the black stump, then, is equivalent to "the back of beyond" or "out in the sticks".

The wine hails from the catch-all area of South Eastern Australia (New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, and parts of Queensland and South Australia), so there's not much sense of place to be gained here.

Given all this, it's easy to imagine this wine as a throw-it-all-in-and-see sort of thing, but actually it's very focused and there's nothing coarse or uncivilised at all.

On the nose, the Pinot Grigio dominates with mineral, flint and white pepper. The palate is crisp and well-structured with white peach and lime, nicely balanced with a good complex finish. It's hard to tell exactly what the other two varieties are adding but presumably the Chardonnay here rounds out the Pinot Grigio, and the Verdelho adds a touch more richness and a hint of spice.

In any case, it's a well-made wine which has impressed a number of judges - it has three awards:

- Vinalies Internationales Paris 2008, France

- International Wine Challenge 2008, United Kingdom

- Decanter World Wine Awards 2008, United Kingdom

 At £6.99, it's also reasonable value.


Laithwaites - http://www.laithwaites.co.uk/

International Wine Challenge - http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com/


  1. For pinot lovers, Pinot Noir Wine Australia is another suggested wine. Pinot Noir Wine Australia from Cooks Lot Winery, a 3.5 star rated winery 2011. This superb 2008 Pinot Noir wine has aromas of cherries, raspberries and spice which follow through to a well structured palate with earthy plum notes and silky tannins that linger on the palate.

  2. The 2008 vintage pinot noir was one of the coolest vintages in many years. This Pinot Noir has been matured in French oak barriques and has the aromas of cherries, raspberries and spice which follow through to a well structure palate with earth plum notes and silky tannin. Well rounded and a beautiful mouth feel. 3.5 stars Wine Companion.