By James Atkinson

The Adelaide Hills may be best known for its Sauvignon Blanc, but the region has proven it can produce many other varietals to an excellent standard, says Nepenthe winemaker Alex Trescowthick.

Trescowthick recently conducted a vertical tasting of Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay and The Good Doctor Pinot Noir, which belong to the winery’s premium range, Pinnacle

He commented that it was time for Adelaide Hills to increase the focus on some of its lesser known strengths, noting that 22 per cent of the region’s output is Chardonnay, not far off Sauvignon Blanc, which represents 25 per cent of production.

“Before looking at those numbers I would have thought it was 50 per cent Sauvignon Blanc,” he said.

“The big guys like Treasury Wine Estates and Accolade pull out a lot of Chardonnay but don’t have any Adelaide Hills brands, so it goes unnoticed.” [continued below]

The lineage of the Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay dating back to the 2007 vintage – named the World’s Best Chardonnay by Decanter Magazine in 2009 – showed its supreme ageability in the Adelaide Hills.

Trescowthick attributes this to the combination of warm days and cool nights, the latter allowing the grapes to maintain their natural acidity.

He said the region also offers a unique style of Pinot Noir, the warmer days resulting in a slightly higher alcohol content of around 13.5 to 14 per cent and a riper style featuring more strawberry fruit characteristics.

The Nepenthe 2012 Ithaca Chardonnay and 2012 The Good Doctor Pinot Noir both have an RRP of $32. 

The winery’s core Altitude range includes Pinot Noir, Shiraz and a particularly impressive Tempranillo, all priced at $20.

The Shout Team

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