Tue 3 Mar 2009
At first you might think that the Water Wheel “Memsie” 2007, from the Australian wine region of Bendigo, is simply charming, but a few minutes in the glass alter that perception. The wine — a radiant golden blend of 44 percent chardonnay, 32 sauvignon blanc, 13 semillon and 11 roussanne — is charming, but it unfurls detail and dimension that go beyond its price. First come aromas of peach and pear, the peach slightly macerated; then the kick of lime and orange rind, followed by honeysuckle and dusty meadows. The texture grows lush, round and soft, though crisp acidity enlivens the package, lending a strain of keen nervosity. There’s spice a-plenty, like a wooden spice box emptied out, with roasted lemon and lemon balm flavors wrapped around a core of lemon drop and Bit o’ Honey; there’s candied ripeness here (like pineapple and grapefruit) but the wine is dry. Waxy white flowers dominate the finish, along with a burgeoning tide of earthiness and minerality. This is quite a production, which would take nicely to the simplest preparation of white fish, like cod and halibut, or grilled shrimp or — in a radical move — a goat Gouda or Comte cheese. Excellent, for drinking through the end of 2009. About $16, a Great Bargain.