2021 Briar Ridge Albarino
Brilliant pale straw colour with distinct highlights of green to the edges and a watery hue. Pronounced spicy pear and Jonathan apple aromas are trailed by hints of honeysuckle, lemon butter and cinnamon. Generous, fleshy pear and red apple fruits carry an appealing creamy like texture over a back drop of honeysuckle, lemon butter and delicate spice. Nicely rounded finish with balanced acidity and a long richly textured aftertaste.
Drink over the next 1-2 years.
Maker Alex Beckett has a good handle on this, as he does with fiano, a wine whose evolution I am following with great anticipation. Everything done right: hand picked, fermented spontaneously, with a small portion (15%) in older barriques and a brief period on skins in the press and on lees, post-fermentation. All texture-building exercises. Yet albariño’s pithy stone, frangipani, saline oyster shell to white pepper riffs are not subsumed, but accentuated. Fine textural detail, energetic trajectory and succulent length, the whirl of acidity whetting the palate for the next glass. This is exceptional. Kudos!
Ned Goodwin – James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion