Saturday, November 28, 2015

Parker Coonawarra Estate 2010 First Growth

This is a Coonawarra take on the great first-growth wines of Bordeaux, produced only in classic years and released when ready to be enjoyed. It is always made predominantly from cabernet sauvignon, usually with small additions of other classic Bordelaise grapes; in this case just over 3% of petit verdot. It is a wine with classic appeal; powerful but elegant and matured in quality French oak that supports rather than intrudes. This comes from a great vintage and is pretty much guaranteed to cellar well for a couple of decades. A very sophisticated Christmas present. $110.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wickhams Road 2015 Gippsland Pinot Noir

Quality pinot noir for under $20 a bottle is a trick very few wineries can pull off - but Franco d'Anna from Hoddles Creek manages it not once, but twice, with a pair of 2015 wines from the Yarra Valley and Gippsland under the Wickhams Road label. The Yarra Valley version is slightly more elegant, the Gippsland wine a little brighter, as well as a tad more earthy and savoury, but both offer quite astonishing value for money. There's balance here, unmistakable pinosity, and length, too. You might not find the subtleties of Premier Cru Burgundy, but just take a look at the price tag. It's well worth buying a case of this for Christmas as it is one Australia's greatest wine bargains. $18-20.    

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Smokin' Gun 2015 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

It is fast approaching that time of the year when we are looking for cheap and cheerful wines to serve at Christmas parties or family gatherings. We are not looking for anything too complicated, or with cellaring potential, just something that is going to quench our guest's thirsts. And if you are looking for great value, you've come to the right place. This is a fresh and lively West Australian blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc sourced from Margaret River and the Great Southern. It is unoaked and lively and designed for enjoying in its youth; with or without food. This would be a great after-work pick-me-up, or a good companion for fish and chips or Thai dishes like a green chicken curry. Widely available in WA and the ACT, or contact Bennett Street Distributors. $10-12. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Penny's Hill 2013 Skeleton Key Shiraz

Sometimes a wine leaps out of the of glass and demands immediate attention. On other occasions a wine creeps up on you and you suddenly realise you are on your third glass. This delightful McLaren Vale shiraz, designed for the cellar but delicious in its youth, fits firmly into the second category. Made from fruit grown on slightly cooler higher-altitude vines than is the norm in the Fleurieu, this is a red that offers flavour and balance in equal measure. French oak (30% new) adds some complexity and sophistication but does not intrude. If you like your reds rich, with soft supple tannins, then you'll enjoy this plummy/dark berry-fruited number right now. But there is certainly incentive enough to put a few bottles away. $35.