Oakridge chief winemaker David Bicknell is known as something of a style-setter in the Yarra Valley, producing cutting edge chardonnays and pinot noirs with remarkable regularity. One of Bicknell's vinous loves, however, is cool-climate cabernet sauvignon, which is enjoying a renaissance in the Yarra. The 864 is only produced in outstanding vintages and Bicknell says this is best he has ever made. Even give the hype that drives the wine industry, that is a statement to be taken seriously. New in the marketplace, this is a star. Made with "minimal intervention" it is is pretty and poised with time on skins and 15 months in quality oak barrels adding to its precocious appeal and forward cassis flavours. $78. www.oakridgewines.com.au.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
There is no end in sight for the remarkable rosé boom, which has seen wine lovers moving from regarding pink wines as inconsequential quaffers to serious food wines. Rosés, of course, are drier and more savoury than ever before and appealing to whole new demographic - no surprise given the value offered by this one from Jon Hesketh and Phil Lehmann. This is a clean, lean and fresh rosé that uses fruit sourced from several different regions of South Australia. Made from free-run juice from petit verdot and shiraz grapes, it has a fun label by artist Georgina Hart and is exceptionally good buying given its RRP is just $14. www.heskethwinecompany.com.au.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Down The Lane is a new drink-now range of wines from De Bortoli with labels that pay homage to Melbourne's legendary laneway culture of pubs, clubs and eateries. This and the rosé are the standouts and offer excellent terrific value for those looking for well-priced, food friendly quaffing wines with bright acid and plenty if flavours. This blend of two Italian varieties (with a touch of vermentino added to make it a fun trio) is crisp and clean and quite dangerously easy to drink. It's worth buying a dozen to have around the house just because. This is unoaked, vegan-friendly and terrific for just $12. www.debortoli.com.au.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Most Australian wine drinkers equate Beaujolais with fresh and fruity Beajolais Nouveau, which was all the rage a couple of decades ago. Fortunately there is a whole lot more to Beaujolais than frivolous Nouveau - and the gamay grape is an absolutely stellar drink for Australian conditions. This one, imported by DiscoverVin, is a medium-bodied, textural French red made by one of Burgundy's star winemakers that is both fleshy and minerally, and extremely food friendly. If it's been a long while since you tried a Beaujolais, this would be a good choice to break your pleasure drought. It is very good value for $33. www.discovervin.com.au.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
TarraWarra winemaker Clare Halloran has no less than four cool-climate chardonnays in the current range. This is the entry level estate wine, with a few fewer bells and whistles than its more expensive siblings, but it stands alone as a delightfully elegant Yarra Valley chardy; more artist than artisan, estate-grown and hand-picked, it has clean lines with citrus zest notes, hints of roasted cashews, along with a crisp, clean finish. Tight and fresh, this is very food friendly, too. Think roast pork with crackling, chicken dishes or perhaps pan-fried John Dory. Great value from an excellent vintage for $28. www.tarrawarra.com.au.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Looking for a seriously delicious red blend for under $20? You won't go wrong with this blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, malbec and merlot from one of Langhorne's Creek's best wine producers. Sisters Rebecca and Lucy Wilson are very much in the groove over recent vintages producing reds, particularly, with real personality. Generously flavoured but tightly controlled, this is a perfect all-purpose red that is dark and full of flavour but also boasts some impressive structure. You could grab a bottle of this to pair with pizza and pasta, but it has the quality to also partner a classic Sunday family roast.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Late-ripening montepulciano is a red wine grape planted widely throughout central and southern Italy, where Coonawarra's di Giorgio family has its origins. This medium-bodied wine is all about the fruit; it is a perky little number with red fruit flavours to the fore and hints of fresh pepper. Plumpish and low in acid, it's a wine offering immediate enjoyment - and is extremely food friendly. I'd love some of this with a traditional thin-crust pizza; or maybe some penne boscaiola. There is a lot of everyday enjoyment here. $23. www.digiorgio.com.au.