Saturday, November 30, 2019

Gomersal Wines 2016 Premium Barossa Valley Shiraz

Calling all fans of big, ballsy Barossa Valley shiraz; here's one for you. Fermented on skins for 11 days and then matured in a combination of new and aged American oak hogsheads for three years to add additional intensity, this is a front-row forward of a wine, but with some deft ball-handling skills (sorry AFL followers). Think aromas of dark plums, inky currants and chocolate along with a palate with dark berries and licorice notes. It's big, it's Barossan but it still has some structure and finesse. Try pairing with a fillet steak with mushroom sauce, or sticking away in the cellar for a decade. $

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wicks Estate 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

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.   

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Spinning Top 2018 Pinot Noir

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

West Cape Howe 2019 Pinot Grigio

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

Grant Burge 2013 Meshach Shiraz

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.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Rusden Christian 2018 Chenin Blanc

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.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Parker Coonawarra Estate 2017 Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon

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.