Ned Goodwin on what he’s drinking now

By Ned Goodwin MW

26 Mar, 2020

Halliday Wine Companion tasting team member and Master of Wine Ned Goodwin shares his current go-to wines.

Given that my present responsibilities for the Halliday Wine Companion guide see me venture to a warehouse to taste around 30 to 60 wines each day, all Australian, in a normal climate, I pine for savoury expressions from elsewhere: mostly Italian, but also reds from Beaujolais and the Rhone, and wines of both colours from the Loire.

From Beaujolais, think Jean-Paul Thevenet, the doyen of Morgon, Beaujolais’ most sturdy, complex and ageworthy cru, and the peripheral wines from his son, Charlie, too. Effusively joyous and hard to sip over guzzle!

From the Loire, Francois Chidaine has long ushered in the chenin challengers to the Vouvray hegemony – reinforced by the sizzling fusion of fruit and mineral from Guiberteau and the far more affordable, if not a gentle step down, iteration of the holy Breze by Arnaud Lambert.

The Loire’s Clos Rougeard is now verging on unobtainable, driven by the sommelier culture of the US and increasingly, China. But as good – and indeed a wine that electrified me – was a Savennieres from Thibaud Boudignon. I can’t imagine much of it comes to Australia, but if you can find it, it demands immediate attention. As in upright posture, credit card at the ready!

The Rhone is surely the bastion of the world’s greatest value and finery all in one. There are too many to name.

As an overview of Italy (and little more, given the plethora of great producers), I adore fiano and greco from Campania as quintessentially deep Mediterranean varieties, effortlessly melding a stone-fruited viscosity and a pungent mineral tow. I also enjoy verdicchio from the Marche, with its Adriatic salinity and bitter almond finish, and vermentino from Liguria, where it’s known as “pigato”.

Among reds, nebbiolo seen through an alpine lens in Valtellina can be beautiful. But inevitably I return to Barolo, Barbaresco and recently after a long hiatus, Chianti Classico. There’s a renaissance going on in those hills!

All of this said, in the current climate, far from normal, I am drinking anything and everything! Even the Barossa, pure and lucid, has a purpose: to silence the noise.