Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Elderton 2019 Barossa Merlot


Merlot has never enjoyed the same popularity with Australian wine drinkers as it has with their American counterparts, but this is a very impressive wine - soft and powerful - from the Barossa Valley. It has all the plushness you'd expect on the palate, but also structure that hints at medium-term staying power. Dark in colour, this would pair well with everything from a gourmet burger to roast beef and all the trimmings. $35. https://eldertonwines.com.au/product/barossa-merlot/

Saturday, March 27, 2021

MacLean Bay 2020 Pinot Rosé


Over the past couple of vintages, MacLean Bay - based at Bicheno on Tasmania's warmer east coast - have established themselves as one of the better producers of dry rosés on the island state. The 2019 was outstanding and this is a worthy successor - and overdue - as the 2019 had long sold out. It is made from 100% estate pinot noir fruit with classic strawberry and cream flavours. It is fresh and dry with a crisp finish. Great with salads or picnics and good value for $28. An ideal choice for late summer quaffing. www.macleanbaywines.com.au/

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Olivers Taranga Small Batch 2019 Mencia

There are only a handful of producers of mencia in Australia, which on the evidence of this outstanding wine from Olivers Taranga in McLaren Vale is a great pity. This is a pretty red, think Beaujolais with bit more meat on its bones, garlic on its breath and a slight snarl. This Spanish variety, known as Jaen in Portugal, is primarily found in north-west Spain and is undergoing a renaissance in popularity. This has floral aromas and bright cherry flavours, a hint of rustic farm and a lively savoury palate. The winemaking team reckon you should pair it with paella; I'd go for an old-fashioned charcuterie plate with some spicy chorizo.. Either way, give it a go. 95 points from me. $35. www.oliverstaranga.com/

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Alkoomi 2019 White Label Cabernet Merlot

The white label range from family owned- and operated West Australian winery Alkoomi always offers terrific wine value with this new release a case in point. Made with Frankland River fruit from several blocks, it has rare depth and complexity for a $20 red. Blackberry notes jostle with some dark currant flavours and French oak notes on a palate full of personality. Chewy and interesting and a good partner for just about any beef dish. A very good choice for midweek enjoyment. $20. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Chalmers 2020 Montevecchio Bianco


I think I have discovered the perfect white wine for late summer quaffing enjoyment - a little slice of Italy in a glass. This is fresh, crisp, lively, delicious and different. From the Chalmers vineyards at Heathcote in Victoria, this is a co-fermented field blend of six different Italian grape varieties; vermentino, pecorino, ribolla gialla, falanghina, moscato giallo and fiano. The end result is floral with bright acid citrus notes and some chalky texture. Vibrant and well worth seeking out. $24. www.chalmers.com.au/  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Fraser Gallop Estate 2018 Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon


Established in 1999, it took Fraser Gallop Estate less than two decades to join the very top echelon of Margaret River producers. Located in the "golden strip" of Wilyabrup, north of Margaret River township, the estate has 50 acres under vine. Just edging out the 2017 Parterre on my scorecard, this is a classic Bordeaux blend of (largely) cabernet sauvignon with petit verdot. malbec, merlot and cabernet franc. Even in its youth it has appeal but like an elite athlete it is just warming up and would be very much at home in a cool cellar for a decade or so. Classic, stylish, concentrated. 95.5 points. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Clonakilla 2019 Shiraz Viognier


A special occasion to celebrate? May I point you in the direction of the opulent new-release Clonakilla 2019 Shiraz Viognier, a benchmark Australian red blend of red and white grapes (94% shiraz and 6% viognier c-fermented). Winemaker Tim Kirk says yields were down 20% but he cannot recall many vintages with more power and intensity. This is powerful, dark, plush and cellarworthy. Clonakilla is a small, family business at Murrumbateman, outside Canberra, that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Buy a bottle and raise a toast to this Rhone-influenced standout. $120. https://clonakilla.com.au/