Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Brown Brothers Winemaker's Series 2021 Fiano


This is one the brightest, most vibrant, liveliest fianos that I have tasted. Fiano is a white Italian grape variety that is grown primarily in the Campania region of southern Italy and on the island of Sicily but has also adapted very well in several regions of Australia. This is a simply delicious white wine for enjoying lightly chilled; aromatic and zingy with citrus fruit flavours to the fore. Fermented in strainless steel with zero oak maturation, this is designed to be enjoyed young and would be fabulous with fritto misto, sashimi, or old school fish and chips. $25. www.brownbrothers.com.au

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Smart Dog 2020 Alentejo Shiraz Trincadeira

Looking for a good everyday quaffing red? You won’t go wrong with this lively and juicy Portuguese import that is an exclusive to Aldi stores - one of several very good buys currently on offer. This is an inky, floral and fresh blend of a grape with which Australians are very familiar, alongside a native Portuguese variety. This is surprisingly smooth and stylish with plenty of action on the palate. A dark and spicy red that’s perfect for a barbecue, or paired with a pizza, pasta dish or Portuguese spicy chicken. $6.99.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Yalumba 2018 The Signature


This is the 48th release of Yalumba's classic cabernet/shiraz blend and it is dedicated to retiring managing director Nick Waterman. You'd have to imagine Waterman would be pretty proud of the wine bearing his signature: it is a classic that winemaker Kevin Glastonbury describes as "one of the very best vintages we've had in recent times". This is a rich, concentrated wine, but at the same time elegant and approachable. It demands to be enjoyed with roast lamb en croute. Fresh, beautifully integrated with lovely balance, dark cassis, toasty oak and leafy hints on the palate. Superb now, probably even better after a decade in the cellar. $65. www.yalumba.com/

Monday, May 30, 2022

Pazo Celleiro 2021 Albarino

The Spanish grape variety albarino produces wines that are perfect for the Australian lifestyle: bright and fresh with some palate interest. This forward young wine is fun with or without food and hails from the Salnes Valley, one of the coolest and wettest appellations in the Rias Baixas region. Although there are cool breezes at night from the Atlantic Ocean, warm days ensure the wines show generous fruit with plenty of zingy acidity. Imported by Fourth Wave Wines, whose imports always offer excellent value for money. $25.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Little Giant LGF 2021 Grenache

There are few wine styles that offer better value in Australia right now than sensuous, juicy grenache. Made from 100% single vineyard McLaren Vale grenache by winemakers Cory Ryan and Mike Brown, this is seriously delicious as well ticking a whole lot of hip boxes by being certified biodynamic, organic, vegan friendly and sustainable. That's a big box of hip right there. Fortunately, it also tastes great with a vibrant nose leading on to a light-to-medium-bodied palate full of subtle appeal. Designed for immediate enjoyment and the short, squat bottles feature a hairy-nosed wombat on the labels. Pair with duck or mushroom dishes. $30. www.fourthwavewine.com.au/  

Monday, May 16, 2022

Hoddles Creek 2021 Estate Chardonnay

Here we go again. Value with a big V as a new Hoddles Creek 2021 Yarra Valley Chardonnay hits the stores: and it is still under $25 for an exemplary cool-climate chardonnay that ticks a whole lot of quality boxes with citrus and stone fruit notes on the nose, freshness, minerality, good length and bright acid on the palate with just a smidgen of oak adding some palate interest. The wine is left on lees for just under a year before the various components are blended, cold stabilised, fined and filtered. Seriously good wine that deserves to be matched with a rich pork belly dish. $25. www.hoddlescreekestate.com.au/

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Serafino 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon


Value with a capital V here, with a bold and bodacious McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon that will provide plenty of drinking pleasure for those who enjoy red wines with plenty of grunt but also maintain a sense of style. Serafino is the label of industry icon Steve Maglieri, who has been producing McLaren Vale standouts for over half a century. This is a full blooded and complex blend of fruit from several different vineyards that is dark and inky with black fruit flavours, and oak playing a key support role. It has already picked up a show trophy and is a bargain at $28, although it can sometimes be found on special for a couple of dollars less. https://serafinowines.com.au/