BASICS Australia grows a huge assortment of grapes. A lot of their vineyards must irrigate because of low rainfall, however terroirs are starting to be mapped out in certain areas. Adelaide Hills is a cool climate area that is getting a lot of attention now. South of Adelaide is Clarendon Hills, old-school producers with 10 vineyards: Brookman, Hickinbotham, Sandown, Blewitt Springs, Clarendon, Liandra, Piggott Range, Romas, Astralis and Kangarilla.
PICKS Loved Giaconda, a 2006 chardonnay by Natua Vineyard, from Victoria, the best by far. A decent, good drinking everyday white was Jim Barry Silly Mid On, from Adelaide Hills, also a 2006. We tried 5 wines by Clarendon Hills, which were all good: two grenaches were my favorites, a 2004 Blewitt Springs, and a 2003 Hickinbotham; a syrah 2004 Moritz, very full and fruity, great to drink on its own; a merlot 2004 Brookman had a nice bite to the finish, and a great cabernet sauvignon called Sandown, 2004. See more Lever House Wine Club in the OUT AND ABOUT section.