Taste of a local drop

Taste of a local drop

Polperro Wine tasting with Sam Coverdale and Travis Schultz at Noosa Food and Wine Festival

Sunshine Coast surfer Sam Coverdale paid his wine-making dues to head up a vineyard of exceptional quality.

The Sunshine Coast is hardly a region that is considered synonymous with the wine industry, nor does it have many reasons to claim ties to viticulture or oenology in general.

So when a local of the region makes a name for themselves in the industry, it’s unsurprising that we’re eager to put them on a pedestal and claim them as one of our own.

And so it is with Sam Coverdale. A surfie dude who grew up riding the waves between northern New South Wales and the Sunshine Coast, he started out his career as a cellarhand at Tyrells at 18 years of age before going on to study Business at UQ and Wine Science at Charles Sturt University.

After working vintages around the globe, he eventually settled on the Mornington Peninsula and in 2006 established his own vineyards and winery, Polperro by Even Keel.

But his ties to the Coast remain strong as his parents are still Buderim residents and he visits as often as he has an excuse to do so. Like at the recent Noosa Food and Wine Festival where I caught up with him to work through his range and find out about the current vintage of his range of balanced and elegant wines.

As you’d expect of a Mornington Peninsula producer, their focus is on the varietals that do best in the region; chardonnay and pinot noir. Sam believes in maintaining a focus on vineyard health and using both organic and biodynamic practices in all of their vineyards. Let the fruit do the work and intervene as little as possible!

While not one of the heroes of the side, the Even Keel Pinot Gris 2017 was a delightful young white. It has a light yellow hue in the glass and a bit of honeysuckle on the nose. Despite having spent six months in the barrel and been through secondary ferment, the fruit still defines the wine, with pear and quince the dominant characters. There’s lively acid on the back end to balance the creaminess found through the middle. It’s a very drinkable wine at the $27 price point.

There are some attractive wines in the Polperro stable, but to my palate, the rock star in the room is their 2018 Polperro Chardonnay. The depth of the wine is as obvious as the intensity of colour in the glass. There are hints of lemon meringue and bunya nuts on the nose followed by cavalcades of peach, melon and yellow stone fruit. There’s just the slightest hint of chalkiness before the fleshiness of the fruit asserts its authority. The malolactic fermentation provides a creaminess to the texture that collides with spice and nut on the conclusion. There’s nice balance, thanks in part to the acidity and minerality that arrives on the after-palate.

At $50 a bottle, you’d be expecting something pretty special; and the Polperro doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find it locally at XO Cellars at Sunshine Beach – and it’s definitely worth the trip!


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