Saturday, June 24, 2017

Terre à Terre 2016 Summertown Vineyard

Wow! This one really got my clogs cranking. This is the first release of the Terre à Terre Summertown Vineyard Reserve, which is made from tiny parcels of pinot noir planted in the Piccadilly Valley of the Adelaide Hills. The vineyard was originally intended to produce sparkling base material but three tiny parcels were identified as being ideal for table wines. With terroir similar to Burgundy is no surprise that Xavier and Lucy Bizot have produced a wine that has a very strong French accent. Six different clones are fermented in small one-tonne fermenters, with 10-20% whole bunch fruit. The wine is then aged for 6-9 months in French oak (50% new), and bottled without filtration. It is a tad chewy right now but has immense, whisper it slowly, Burgundian potential. 94 points. $40.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bertaine et Fils 2016 Rosé

I am an unashamed fan of the wines imported from France, Italy and Spain by Fourth Wave Wines, who seem to have one of the best contact books around. This is a deliciously crisp and fresh wine under the Bertaine label; guys who have access to some terrific fruit in the Aude region of the Languedoc, between the Pyrenees and the Canal du Midi. This is made from 100% syrah (shiraz) grapes and is pale and aromatic, in the classic regional style, with some fresh raspberry fruit notes. There is plenty of refreshment here when served chilled - and terrific value at $19.     

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

d'Arenberg 2014 d'Arry's Original

There are very few red wines in Australia that can match this shiraz/grenache blend for reliability and affordability. How d'Arenberg manage to keep it priced at under $20 is a minor miracle. Made old-style (think pigeage and basket-pressing), this is a wine that just oozes with personality and drinkability. This was known as "Burgundy" until 1993 as a nod to its juicy, easy-drinking persona. Shiraz and grenache are both varieties that shine in McLaren Vale and the Osborn family has over 100 years of experience. The end result: sweet fruit, gentle fresh leather and excellent architecture. Ridiculous value. $18.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oakridge 2015 864 Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hesketh 2016 Wild at Heart Rosé

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.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

De Bortoli Down The Lane 2016 Pinot Grigio Arneis

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.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Domaine Lupe Cholet 2015 Bois de Chenes Beaujolais Villages

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 $