Friday, April 19, 2024

Grosset 2022 Gaia


Jeffrey Grosset may be best known as Australia's pre-eminent maker of fine rieslings, but he is certainly no one trick pony. The Grosset range of biodynamic wine excellence now comprises 11 wines, nine from the Clare Valley and two from the Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills). If you are looking for a stylish red full of complexity and palate interest then this will fit the bill. A blend of 95% Clare Valley cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc, it is impeccably balanced - a thing of beauty. Taut still, but with classic briary/wild hedgerow characters, dark currant flavours and well-integrated French oak, this can be enjoyed right now as you admire its length and polish, or be cellared for a decade or two. Dinner party coming up? Buy a couple of bottles. Happy to give this one a cracking 97/100. $108 but worth it. Fillet mignon anyone?

Friday, April 12, 2024

Battle of Bosworth 2023 Puritan Shiraz


So you like shiraz with plenty of flavour but are on a tight budget? The Puritan might just be answer to your prayers. From the Battle of Bosworth winery in McLaren Vale - shiraz heartland - this ticks a whole lot of boxes for everyday drinking pleasure. Organically grown with minimal preservatives, this is bright, fresh and juicy with plenty of immediate drinking please on offer. Given the fact that it has seen zero oak, it is probably best enjoyed over the next couple of years - but would be no hardship. Vibrant and vital, this would be brilliant with a barbecue. Bring on the snags and burger patties. Super value at $25   

Friday, April 5, 2024

AC Byrne 2023 Margaret River Chardonnay

That you can buy wine this good for $11 a bottle is nothing less than miraculous - and an absolute godsend in these difficult economic times. Yes, it's another Aldi special, so supply might be limited, but there is some very deft winemaking here. Taste this blind and I reckon most drinkers would expect to pay $25 upwards for a wine of this quality. Who is A.C. Byrne? They almost certainly don’t exist, but does it matter? The value here is exceptional. Margaret River chardonnay was apparently handpicked, whole-bunch pressed with the cloudy juice sent to large format oak for fermentation and aged for nine months. Classic chardonnay flavours: white stone fruit, crispness, vibrancy and flinty hints. Bring out the pork spare ribs. $11.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Schubert Estate 2017 The Lone Goose

The Schubert family has been growing grapes in the Barossa Valley over almost 110 years. More recently they've been making some excellent estate wines. The limited-release 2017 Lone Goose Shiraz Viognier recently picked up a Diamond Trophy Award at the 2024 Sakura Women’s Wine Awards in Japan, along with being given the ‘Grand Prix Pairing for Japanese Cuisine - Sukiyaki’. Regular readers will be aware of my disdain for show awards but this really is a wine of exceptional quality: a shiraz viognier blend sourced from a 25-year-old vineyard block on the Roennfeldt Road estate that is basket pressed and matured in seasoned French oak barriques for 20 months. Classic Barossa flavours here, but also exceptional balance and elegance with excellent tannin structure. Devastatingly drinkable. $100 but numbers are limited.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Vasse Felix 2022 Chardonnay


You know you've got a good 'un when you underestimate the price of a wine by a considerable margin. I expected this captivating chardonnay to retail for around $70. The fact that it sells for $25 less than that should have you rushing out to sample a bottle. Very rarely do you find wines at this price point that tick so many quality boxes. There's a come hither nose, while the palate is complex and stylish but immediately drinkable with quality fruit spending time in French oak barriques to add complexity. Soft, smooth and chalky on the finish. The grapes come from a selection of Vasse Felix’s premier plots and this is a work of art. Soft, smooth and chalky on the finish. Think a vinous Banksy. A confident 96 points from me. $45.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dandelion Vineyards 2022 Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz

Serious Barossa shiraz for $30 is good to find, and this one from Dandelion VIneyards delivers great value for money. This is made using fruit from some gnarly old vines, some over 100 years old. Open fermented, hand plunged twice a day and then basket pressed into mainly older French barriques, this is very approachable in its youth and would pair brilliantly with a gourmet Angus beef burger. It can sometimes be found on special and is certainly well worth keeping your eyes out for. $30.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Tapanappa 2023 Tiers Chardonnay

Simply superb. A classic cool-climate chardonnay from an iconic 45-year-old vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, this is a benchmark of excellence from vastly experienced winemaker Brian Croser and his Tapanappa team. From a cool vintage, this is a wine of intensity and panache; a wine that first demands "taste me" and then "think about me". A cerebral blend with apple, stone fruit and nutty flavours in perrfect harmony, it is classically varietal with bright acid on the finish and the structure to suggest cellaring would pay dividends. Pair with roast pork and crackling, or a Mediterranean vegetable tart. Savour its amazing length, This is not cheap at $110, but it would elevate any dinner party. 96+ points.