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. www.darenberg.com.au
Monday, May 22, 2017
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.