Saturday, November 30, 2019
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
A cool-climate sauvignon blanc from the Adelaide Hills that tastes like savvy blanc used to taste: brisk, fresh, clean and crisp with plenty of varietal fruit. This new release has already picked up a top gold at the 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Show thanks to its tropical fruit aromas and lively balance. This wine just screams "summer picnic" and is probably best enjoyed while young and vibrant. It is silly value at $20 a bottle and would be a terrific Christmas party choice. www.wicksestate.com.au.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
It a tough business nowadays finding affordable pinot noir wines that actually have some pinosity rather than being soft, dry reds that happen to be made from pinot noir. Finding sub-$20 pinots of quality is even harder, but this one from Marlborough in New Zealand delivers in spades. The back label doesn't give much away but the contents of the bottle speak for themselves with their fruit-forward, juicy flavours. For the technically minded, the wines in the range are made with a low-sulphur regime, wild yeast ferment and lees ageing. The lively fruit flavours score a KO win. $19.95.
Monday, November 4, 2019
Many wine drinkers are guided by price. Others by quality. This ticks both boxes. If you want a white wine for under $20 that offers immense drinking pleasure then you can't go past this new release from perennial over-achiever Gavin Berry at West Cape Howe. The fruit for this is sourced from several different West Australian vineyards but the end result is very pure and cohesive with shimmering bight citrus and pear notes and a hint of chalkiness. Crisp and dry, this is one for enjoying young and chilled with summer dishes like picnics. The new lightweight bottle is another bonus. $17.
Sunday, October 27, 2019
In an era when wineries release one-off collectibles for over a thousand dollars a bottle, paying $200 for a high-quality red of long-term provenance seems fair. Meshach is the flagship shiraz of the Grant Burge portfolio, made from hand-picked grapes sourced from near-century-old Barossa vineyards. Meshach (named after a Burge ancestor) is only released in exceptional vintages - and only when it is deemed ready. This is a wine of intensity, grunty but still impeccably balanced. It is full-bodied, earthy and spicy with sweet, dark fruit and plenty of length. History tells us this will age for up to 25 years if cellared well. Impressive. $199. www.grantburgewines.com.au.
Monday, October 21, 2019
Chenin blanc is a key white wine variety in the Loire Valley of France and hugely popular in South Africa, where it is often called steen. It has never made much impact in Australia perhaps because it can be neutral if its natural vigour is not controlled in the vineyard. This is anything but neutral; a high-acid wine that was hand-picked early, basket-presssed, barrel-fermented and briefly matured in French oak. The nose offers glimpses of citrus and tropical fruits and that carries on to a nicely-textured palate. There is a lot of length here and plenty of refreshing acid focus. Low in alcohol, too, at just 10.6%. Well worth sampling. $28. www.rusdenwines.com.au.
Sunday, October 6, 2019
Classic cabernet sauvignon from the heart of Coonawarra's terra rossa strip. From a single-vineyard site, this has everything you'd want in a top-notch Coonawarra red; fruit intensity, balance, structure and potential for longevity. All that's missing is the hefty price tag. A wine this good would cost three times as much if it was made in the Napa Valley. One for sipping and savouring with a hearty end-of-winter casserole. $34. www.parkercoonawarraestate.com.au.