Sunday, September 12, 2021

Three's A Crowd Pinot Grigio


The Murphy family from Trentham Estate has built a major reputation for quality wines at affordable prices, and you certainly can't go wrong with their new-release 1.5 litre wine pouches. The initial releases are a pinot noir and this pinot grigio. "Tasty", "fruity" and "easy to drink" were three of the comments from tasters with whom I shared this. It's an ideal cheap and cheerful choice for a picnic or day on the beach, fresh, zesty and food-friendly. A glass will cost you around $1 - which makes it formidable value, regardless of the format. Chill, quaff. Simples. $16 for 1.5 litres.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Stefano Lubiana 2018 Huon Valley Pinot Noir

The Huon Valley in the deep south of Tasmania is one of the best places on the planet to grow high-quality, cool-climate pinot noir. The Lubiana family purchased the former Panorama vineyard a few years ago, remediated the neglected vines and took out unsuitable varieties. This is made at Granton from 100% grown on the low-yielding Huon vineyard at Cradoc now known as Lucille, which is farmed using organic principles and will eventually be certified biodynamic. This is vegan friendly, floral with bright dark cherry fruit notes, lean tannin structure, hints of minerality and excellent drinkability in its youth. I gave this one 94 points. $62.    

Monday, August 30, 2021

Leeuwin Estate 2017 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon


This one sings. Somewhere between Frank Sinatra at his cool best and Paul Rodgers of Free in full flight. Alison Krauss once described Rodgers' voice as "incredibly masculine, sexy, hardworking". The first two descriptors work for this wine, the third not. It is effortlessly excellent, a masterful expression of Margaret River cabernet that stood out from a bracket of other top-line wines from name producers. It is medium-bodied and stylish, slightly dusty and very beguiling. My bottle threw a bit of a crust, so it might be worth decanting, but either way you will be rewarded by a world-class wine with fine tannins and shiny fruit. Simply gorgeous. 96 points from me. $85. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Santa Margherita 2020 Pinot Grigio


In Australia there remains a lot of confusion between pinot grigio and pinot gris styles but this is the real deal, an authentic northern Italian pinot grigio from a well-established producer in the Adigo Valley region, where pinot grigio thrives as a fresh, crisp, easy-to-drink varietal. This is straw coloured with fresh dry apple and pear fruit characters to the fore and is immensely versatile with food. Try it with anything from washed-rind cheeses to Thai stir fries. Santa Margherita Wines began in 1935 and this offers an authentic taste of cool-climate Italy. Check out Dan Murphy's stores. $22-25. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Kooyong 2019 Ferrous Pinot Noir


There is something very special about this Mornington Peninsula single vineyard pinot noir - and it id very much down to the vineyard in which the grapes are grown. The low-yielding block has a high incidence of ironstone pebbles that deliver wines with concentration and savoury tannic presence - think river pebbles - alongside juicy raspberry and cherry fruit notes. Medium-bodied but with a formidable presence, this is delicious in its youth, but is also a cellaring prospect. 96 points and another winner from ultra-reliable Glen Hayley. $75.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Wines by KT 2017 5452 Grenache Mataro


Kerri Thompson is probably best known for her outstanding Clare Valley rieslings but this juicy red blend offers some of the best value in her range. At four years of age, it is right in the zone with juicy fruity drinkability from two southern French grape varieties allied to some savoury notes on the palate. The former Leasingham and Wirra Wirra winemaker has blended 75% grenache and 25% mataro, 50% whole bunch and basket pressed. The fruit is the star turn with French oak barriques adding interest in the background. Smooth, concentrated and exceptional value.$29.  

Friday, July 30, 2021

Castle Rock Estate 2019 Shiraz

Rob Diletti is a winemaker with a Midas touch - as evidenced by this seriously delicious coolish-climate shiraz that offers superb value for money. Castle Rock Estate is nestled on the eastern slopes of the Porongurup Mountain in the Great Southern of of Western Australia and is named after a prominent nearby granite landmark. This is dark in colour with a beguiling melange of dark fruit, savoury and mocha/chocolate notes. Very elegant with a soft, seductive finish, this is one worth seeking out. Went brilliantly with shepherd's pie. 95 points from me. $34.