Previously we found Australia’s Old Bridge Cellars red wines to be hit and miss, so we turned our attention to its whites, a wide variety of varietals representing white wine’s greatest hits. Still hit and miss, but on the whole a solid improvement over the reds. Thoughts on each — reasonably affordable, every one of them — follow.
2011 d’Arenberg Riesling The Dry Dam McLaren Vale – A tart and easy Riesling, with distinct grapefruit notes. Good balance, some minerals, and a lightly (and lightly pleasant) sour finish. B+ / $15
2010 Plantagenet Hazard Hill Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Western Australia – Also quite tart, with good tropical (pineapple) notes and a very long, lasting, lemon-flecked finish. B+ / $13
2010 Brokenwood Cricket Pitch Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – As simple as this wine looks — both in the bottle and the glass — it unsurprisingly follows through on the palate: refreshing and clean. Lemony, lightly grassy, and with good acid, it isn’t a challenge but it’s quite delightful. A- / $19
2009 d’Arenberg Viognier Last Ditch – Very easy for a Viognier, including lighter nectarine and lightly sour gooseberry character. Unusual. A slightly meaty nose is the only failing here. B / $23
2010 Leeuwin Estate Riesling Art Series Margaret River – Lots of lemon, big mineral character, moderate body, and a good balance. Nice for a Riesling, but nothing fancy. A- / $25
2009 Plantagenet Chardonnay Mount Barker – The sole bomb in this group, a sour and unripe Chardonnay that tries to cover up its grape problems with oak. C+ / $16