Paul Hotker and the winemaking team at Bleasdale in Langhorne Creek have been gaining plenty of attention recently, both for the quality and value of the many wines in their range. With a magnificent pedigree, this offers serious cabernet quality at a ridiculously reasonable price. Ready to enjoy now, but cellar worthy for a decade or more, it is a bold but elegant red offering aromas of fresh berries, dark chocolate and violets leading on to a palate with cassis and spicy oak, alongside soft tannin structure. Beautifully balanced.Pair this with a minute steak, fries and a fresh salad and you have an affordable feast. $20. www.bleasdale.com.au.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
This is the time of year when crisp, dry and vibrant Clare Valley riesling comes into its own. As the sun shines, so does one of Australia's greatest white wine styles; and few producers do it better, or better value, than David O'Leary and Nick Walker. This is a delightful hand-crafted wine from one of the best cooler pockets of the Clare, producing intensely flavoured but beautifully balanced fruit. Organically grown and made, this is ridiculously good for the RRP of $25, and can sometimes be found for even cheaper. Perfect for summer seafood and poultry dishes, it is well worth snapping up by the case. Think flower blossoms, lemon rind, minerality and brisk acidity. 95/100? No problem. $25. www.olearywalkerwines.com
Sunday, November 12, 2017
How good is this? Yarra Yering Dry Red No.1 is a blend of cabernet sauvignon with merlot, malbec and a touch of petit verdot that is is one of Australia's icon wines. Planted on a historic Yarra Valley site by the late Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969, the fruit is being taken to another level by the very talented Sarah Crowe. It is a complex little number with briary notes, dark plum and berry flavours, cedary oak and amazing softness on the palate. It just slides down, even as a new release. History, however, tells us that it will cellar for several decades. If you are looking for a present for a serious wine buff you won't go wrong with a bottle or two of this. One of my favourite wines of the year and 97.5 points. $100. www.yarrayering.com.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
The 2017 vintage was a tricky one in Marlborough, which means volume is down for the release of this iconic favourite, the wine that sparked the sauvignon blanc boom. Quality, fortunately, is maintained. With wine fashion as fickle as ever, it is remarkable that Cloudy Bay has maintained its cult following for three decades; but the appeal is quite stunningly consistent. It's fresh, it's vibrant and concentrated and it delivers exactly what its legion of fans want with citrus aromas, juicy nectarine and tangy white peach on the palate and some vibrant minerality. A bit like The Bachelorette. Hugely popular; not to everyone's taste but hard to ignore. Fabulous with sushi or sashimi.