Sunday, November 25, 2012

Schwarz 2010 The Dust Kicker Grenache Shiraz Mataro

The word from those in the know in the Barossa is that Jason Schwarz is a winemaker to look out for. A recent tasting of some of his standout reds confirmed that view - and this is an absolutely cracking red blend for the price; with all the Barossa power and intensity present but with a lightness of touch that makes it stand apart. Schwarz is a self-taught, low-intervention maker who has worked in Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone, Stellenbosch and the Napa Valley, so his wines speak of their sense of place without being weighed down by it. This is a simply gorgeous blend of three varieties that thrive in the Barossa with quality fruit the key. It's spicy, medium-bodied and disturbingly drinkable. $20.

Monday, November 19, 2012

McGuigan 2011 Reserve Shiraz Cabernet

McGuigan is a label that has been collecting a number of international gongs recently - and it is easy to see why when you take a look at the new releases under the Reserve label, which offer a whole lot of bang for your buck. This wine is the classic Australian blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon sourced from several regions of South Australia. I liked the bright fruit, well integrated oak, softness and sheer drinkability of this wine. If you are looking for subtlety, or individual vineyard characters, look elsewhere. This is what it is; an impressively  well balanced and flavoursome red perfect for a barbecue or for matching with pizza and pasta dishes. $16.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kirrihill 2012 Slate Creek Riesling

I am an unashamed fan of both the quality and value offered by the single-vineyard rieslings that Kirrihill produces from the Clare Valley. With 2012 an outstanding riesling vintage, it is no surprise that the new-release Slate Creek riesling is an absolute stunner. It has all the classic  varietal virtues with floral aromas, delightfully crisp citrus flavours, flinty minerality and  refreshing acid. Checking through my back notes, I find I was also enthused about the 2011 release of this same wine, so I am nothing if not consistent. Immensely enjoyable. Drink now with spicy Thai dishes. $18. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oakridge 2011 864 Charlie's Block Yarra Valley Chardonnay

There's has been plenty of negativity surrounding the 2011 vintage but I'm seeing many  admirable wines; particularly those from producers who pay attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery. This is an absolutely stunning Yarra chardonnay, still a youngster in real terms but starting to drink superbly. It's part of the Oakridge Single Block Release range, made from fruit grown by the Aloisio family at Seville. Straw coloured, this is a wine with excellent  acid balance and searing minerality that winemaker David Bicknell says is just starting to hit its stride. You'll find restrained stone fruit and zingy citrus notes on the palate of this long, graceful cool-climate wine. Try it with glazed pork belly. $77.