Monday, May 16, 2022

Hoddles Creek 2021 Estate Chardonnay

Here we go again. Value with a big V as a new Hoddles Creek 2021 Yarra Valley Chardonnay hits the stores: and it is still under $25 for an exemplary cool-climate chardonnay that ticks a whole lot of quality boxes with citrus and stone fruit notes on the nose, freshness, minerality, good length and bright acid on the palate with just a smidgen of oak adding some palate interest. The wine is left on lees for just under a year before the various components are blended, cold stabilised, fined and filtered. Seriously good wine that deserves to be matched with a rich pork belly dish. $25.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Serafino 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon


Value with a capital V here, with a bold and bodacious McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon that will provide plenty of drinking pleasure for those who enjoy red wines with plenty of grunt but also maintain a sense of style. Serafino is the label of industry icon Steve Maglieri, who has been producing McLaren Vale standouts for over half a century. This is a full blooded and complex blend of fruit from several different vineyards that is dark and inky with black fruit flavours, and oak playing a key support role. It has already picked up a show trophy and is a bargain at $28, although it can sometimes be found on special for a couple of dollars less. 

Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2021 Elsa


I can hear the back row from here: "$75 for a sauvignon blanc? Are you out of your mind?" The thing is that this is no ordinary sauvignon blanc; in a way it is akin to the great white wines of Bordeaux and is certainly one of the finest examples of the style in Australia. This is the third vintage of Elsa from the Mugford family in Margaret River - and a triumph from a difficult vintage. The sauvignon blanc has been picked riper, barrel fermented, is more assertive and the alcohol is up to 13.5%, adding richness and texture to the refined palate. Think tropical notes, hints of minerality and subtle oak. Pair this with a roast chicken for maximum pleasure. $75.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Leconfield 2021 Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is very rarely seen as a stand-alone varietal, being largely used as a small portion of red blends in its native Bordeaux, but this Coonawarra offering is something of a revelation. I used it as a mystery wine for my tasting group and it garnered close to total acclaim. Winemaker Paul Gordon has managed to harness the late-ripening cherry/plum flavours and allied them to restrained oak characters and hints of coffee beans and spice. Very soft, very smooth, very stylish and excellent drinking for $32. Pair with a rare steak.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Flametree 2021 Chardonnay


Flametree is a Margaret River winery that does not always get the attention given to some of its high-profile neighbours - but it always delivers well-made wines at a sensible price. This new-release chardonnay is a case in point, offering very appealing drinking without breaking the bank. There is a melange of bright citrus and stone fruit flavours here, youthful vitality and some deftly judged oak influence. Wild fermentation has added structure to a wine that is gently assertive, Enjoy now, or cellar for a couple of years. Pair with anything from pork spare ribs to a goat cheese tart. $30.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Longview 2021 Vista Shiraz Barbera


This blend of a classic Australian grape with a favourite Italian varietal is something of a revelation. The pair might be an unlikely cross-cultural combination but this Adelaide Hills combo works brilliantly, producing a "drink now" red that offers spectacular value. This is a stonkingly food-friendly wine (think pasta dishes or a gourmet pizza) with crunchy bright fruit to the fore but also some structure and savoury notes. I'd snap some up at $23 - it probably won't last long.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Leeuwin Estate 2021 Sauvignon Blanc


Fashion be damned. There is still a place in my wine fridge for a quaffable, well-priced sauvignon blanc like this one from one of Margaret River's star producers. Smart sauvignon blanc producers are dialling up the fruit and dialling down the green herbs and this hits the target for late afternoon or early evening refreshment. I tried it at a trade tasting. It is varietal but nicely nuanced, very refreshing and easy to drink. Pair with canapes or some freshly shucked oysters. $26.