Hilltops (draw a circle around Young in New South Wales) is a good region for a range of Italian red grapes. As the cherry and prune plum orchards in both regions indicate, there is a fair fit between Hilltops and the landscapes that produce Valpolicella and other good things from the Veneto.
Grove Estate are one of the more established Hilltops vignerons and labels, growing sangiovese and barbera as well as the grapes in this bottling. 2010 was a challenging Hilltops vintage, being the year the drought broke, with the rains coming part way through the red vintage. This wine, well-packaged in a Lean & Green lightweight burgundy bottle, shows little sign of washing out or warm-year over-ripeness.
The nebbiolo dominates the nose and starts into the palate, carrying along cherried and cherry pit notes. Light, bright, direct acid then gives way to a rounder, plum-flavoured finish, showing the primitivo (zinfandel) influence. While a bit of a wine-in-two-acts, there is still good drinking to be had here, especially with food that has a similar balance of acid and richer finishing flavours. I had it with a pasta dish using coppa, broad beans and a little fresh tomato.
$20, screwcap, 14%, purchase, website here.