Friday, July 19, 2024

Greenskin 2024 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon


I am a big fan of the fresh, easy drinking wines in recyclable pouches from innovators Greenskin in Western Australia. This is a brand-new release, a fresh and feisty 2024 Margaret River blend that is made for Greenskin by Bruce Dukes and Remi Guise from Naturaliste Vintners. It's a perfect choice for a spring picnic by the beach. You'll find lively, crunchy citrus and stone fruit notes and a refreshing acidity on the finish. Decidedly gluggable. Sold in six-packs for $135, which makes it around $22.50 a 750ml lightweight re-sealable pouch. There's a 15% discount if you sign up as a member.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Parker Coonawarra Estate 2022 Terra Rossa Shiraz

In a shiraz-crowded Australian wine landscape there a a lot of choices at twice the price that are not half as good as this impressive example of cool-climate goodness that could easily be labelled syrah given its stylistic attributes. Think laid-back black and red fruit notes and spice elements, grippy but astutely restrained tannins and smooth "drink me now" finish. There is plenty of body here, but also a lot of panache. Good work from winemaking team Ox Hardy and Keeda Zilm. This is also pretty versatile when it comes to food pairings; from pizza and pasta to grilled red meats and casseroles, it would deliver across the board. Seriously good drinking for just $34.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Soumah 2020 Nebbiolo


When just about every member of a tasting group gives a wine the thumbs up you know you are onto a good thing. Nebbiolo is the classic Italian grape that is used in the premium wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, but it also shines in cool climes given the right vintage. This is a lovely example reaching peak drinking; it is perfumed, and lifted, with an amalgam of sweet fruit and earthy notes on the palate. It finishes soft and beguiling with plenty of length and a fair bit happening on the palate. Well worth trying. $56.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Ravensworth 2022 Shiraz Viognier

Ravensworth winemaker Bryan Martin spent many years as a key member of the team at Clonakilla, where the Kirk family have made their shiraz viognier blend an Australian icon. I think this is a little more elegant than the Clonakilla take, a tad less muscular, perhaps more immediately approachable. There is just 3% of viognier in the co-ferment here, but it adds a lot of subtle style to the cool-climate Canberra region shiraz. This is terrific as a young wine, but it will also cellar impressively for a decade or so. There is a lot of winemaking skill here; 15% whole bunch and wild yeasts play a part, too, along with several weeks on skins and seamless older oak. The end result is supremely cohesive. 94 points from me. $52.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Squitchy Lane 2022 Limited-Release Cabernet Franc

Squitchy Lane is a boutique wine producer in the Yarra Valley, owned by former Carlton AFL captain Mike Fitzpatrick, that produces outstanding pinot noir is small quantities. The amount made of this excellent cabernet franc is even smaller, however. Cabernet franc is nearly always used as part of Bordeaux-style blends and rarely given the chance to shine in its own right. When it is, as on this occasion, is produces fragrant and medium-bodied red wines that are super food friendly. The variety was part of the original 1982 plantings at Squitchy Lane and is well-suited to the cooler climate of the Yarra. I enjoyed the melange of classic dark currant and plum flavours with spicy/olive notes and gentle oak. $52.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Kerrigan + Berry 2023 Margaret River Chardonnay

So what do we have here? A very attractive young Margaret River chardonnay from two wise old wine hands. The Kerrigan + Berry wines are a collab between two leading Western Australia winemakers; Gavin Berry of West Cape Howe in the Great Southern region and Michael Kerrigan of Hay Shed Hill in Margaret River. This has terrific immediate drinking appeal, and is made from fruit grown in the esteemed Wilyabrup sub-region. There is plenty of  palate interest but it is a quintessential "drink now" wine full of youthful charm with a high refreshment quotient. There are white stone fruit/citrus flavours with impressive minerality and nice length. Only 11.5% alcohol and Vegan friendly. Lovely stuff. Serve chilled, but not too chilled. $40.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Penny's Hill 2022 Edwards Road Cabernet Sauvignon

The Penny's Hill label may have changed a little, but the value-for-money proposition remains unchanged. This is an appealing and affordable single-site cabernet from McLaren Vale that is dark with classic rich dark berry and chocolate notes along with tobacco leaf and some oaky goodness that impacts but does not intrude. It has impressive length, good structure and has plenty of flavour on the palate while retaining balance. Pair this with a winter roast beef dish, some sauteed mushrooms, or tuck it away for a few years. An impressive each-way bet. $30.