The Wine Guy: Color it 'pure and subtle' | June 20, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Living - June 20, 2008

The Wine Guy: Color it 'pure and subtle'

by Gregory Peebles

2006 Shoofly "Buzz Cut"

South Australia

BevMo! - Danville, $13.99

For me, aromatic white blends are irresistible all year long but especially during the spring and summer months. They're often quite exotic, hip, easy on the debit card and genuinely tasty. "Buzz Cut" performs well on all measures.

Shoofly is a new venture, founded in 2005. Winemaker Ben Riggs, proud native of McLaren Vale, sources fruit from a "who's who" catalog of quality-driven growers scattered throughout the South Australia appellation. This wine zone contains the world-renowned growing regions of Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek.

Winemakers like Mr. Riggs have mastered multi-regional blending to the point of creating a real Australian art form. With their imaginations and palates as canvases, varietal grapes and barrels as mediums, vineyards and cellars as studios, these Aussie artisans consistently create beautiful works at exceedingly fair retail prices. This interesting fusion is the appetizing result of grapes harvested from the cooler climate, maritime influenced areas of McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek (a "cool dessert").

Check out this extensive field blend: 36 percent Verdelho, 29 percent Viognier, 15 percent Riesling, 9 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 7 percent Chardonnay, and 4 percent Semillon. Everything is vinified and matured in stainless steel, no oak contact at all. Just right for warm weather quaffing.

The wine's color is pure and subtle. Observe the graceful confluence of pale straw and faint lime green.

An alluring Alsatian-like petrol quality is very obvious to the nose. Rich lanolin, pungent cut grass, lemon, quince, wet river stone and Crenshaw melon add to the long parade of aromas.

Chunky layers of stone fruit (peach, apricot and nectarine) are prominent and fully ripe. Equally attractive, yet milder, nuances of pepper, mineral, Red Delicious apple and tangerine appear as the wine warms a bit. As with any high quality white wine, please don't serve it too cold!

As for the finish, it's substantial. Enjoy the lingering peach, nectarine, mineral, green tea and kiwi fruit flavors for several minutes between sips.

Shoofly's Web site ( suggests three food pairings which sound spot-on perfect: coconut shrimp, chili-citrus pork with sautéed pears and pancetta-wrapped scallops. This trio of exciting, festive dishes should indeed be relished with family and friends over a few lightly chilled bottles of "Buzz Cut."

Let your palate be the ultimate judge...

Have comments or questions about wine? Gregory Peebles, wine industry professional and East Bay resident, can be contacted at