Monday, November 22, 2021

Ross Hill 2019 Harry Pinot Noir

Pinot noir and affordable do not often share the same sentence. Pinot noir is a pernickety grape, difficult to make well, and the best examples are invariably expensive. Here, however, is an exception to the rule; a delicious cool-climate pinot noir from a family winery at Orange in western New South Wales that delivers plenty of quality bang for your buck. For a start this tastes like pinot noir, not a generic soft dry red, with classic red berry and undergrowth notes and subtle older French oak. It retails for around $30 - a bargain. Harry, by the way, is one of the grandchildren of winery founders Peter and Terri Robinson. When he's old enough he'll love drinking this. $30.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Fringe Société 2020 Grenache Blanc


Regular readers may remember I recommended the gamay in this range a short while back. It may be a little too early to contemplate a trip to the south of France, but this delicious young white from the Pays d'Oc appellation offers an affordable, drinkable alternative made at a good co-op in the town of Cebezan. Think a vinous cocktail of stone fruits, tropical fruits and some citrus notes; a very refreshing drop with no discernable oak. Yes, grenache blanc is related to the red grape variety grenache. Fruity and fun and terrific value for $20. Distributed by the Joval Wine Group.    

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Serafino 2021 Bellisimo Montepulciano


Juicy, slurpable, food-friendly summer drinking with an Italian accent? This McLaren Vale release delivers at a very reasonable price. Montepulciano is a red grape variety found throughout central and southern Italy that has proved a huge success in warmer regions of Australia. Bright fruit and savoury spice notes combine impressively in a wine made by the Maglieri family, who themselves have Italian origins. This will pair with dishes ranging from from spatchcock to lamb kofta. Lovely stuff. $24.       

Monday, November 1, 2021

Berton Vineyards 2021 Winemakers Reserve Aranel


Aranel is an extremely obscure hybrid white wine grape derived from grenache gris and Saint-Pierre Doré (both almost equally rare). It originates in the Auvergne region of France and has, bizarrely, found a home in the New South Wales Riverina region. This is well worth seeking out as it is light, fresh and citrusy with floral hints on the nose and offers zingy summer refreshment when served well chilled. It paired very pleasingly with chilli chicken dish. $20. It will be released this week, so get onto before it sells out.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Glaetzer-Dixon 2018 Mon Pere Shiraz

It is a decade since the 2010 vintage of the Glaetzer-Dixon Mon Pére Shiraz stunned the Australian wine industry by winning the coveted Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Melbourne Wine Show. A shiraz from Tasmania? Seriously? Ten years on and this wine remains a benchmark. Made predominantly from the Upper Derwent Valley, with about 10% of the blend from the Coal River Valley, this a a lovely medium-bodied, cellar-worthy shiraz with red and black berry fruit, white pepper and deli notes along with a smooth, elegant finish that is given added texture by 30% new French oak. The wine pays tribute to winemaker Nick Glaetzer's father, Barossa vigneron Colin Glaetzer. $65.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Eldridge Estate 2021 PTG


Eldridge Estate winemaker David Lloyd has been doing it tough recently. Friends helped out in 2020 as Lloyd recovered from a stage 4 diagnosis of Burkitt Lymphoma to his current state of remission. This is one of his first releases from 2021 - a personal favourite of mine. Inspired by the Passetoutgrains blends of Burgundy - hence the name PTG - this Mornington Peninsula wine is a blend of gamay and pinot noir designed for enjoyment in its youth. It's vibrant, light and joyful with red fruits to the fore and can easily be enjoyed chilled with a picnic. Lovely stuff. $36.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

West Cape Howe 2019 Styx Gully Chardonnay


It doesn't matter whether you are buying an entry level bottle, or something a little bit more expensive given West Cape Howe is one of those wine producers that always delivers excellent value for money. This Mount Barker chardonnay from West Australia's Great Southern is a case in point with delicious citrus and green melon characters on the palate and barrel ferment and quality oak adding textural interest. This elegant and restrained wine would pair with poultry dishes, roast pork or pan-fried seafood and tastes more expensive than its asking price. $30.