Monday, July 26, 2010

Lerida Estate 2008 Botrytis Pinot Gris

Lerida Estate has the midas touch not only with pinots noir; but also with pinots gris, producing outstanding wines year in, year out. This is a stunningly good dessert wine made from botrytised grapes grown on the estate vineyard at Lake George, outside Canberra. It is a totally indulgent wine with a range of enticing flavours on a rich, complex palate; apricots, spicy apples, nuts, spice and marmalade characters are all present. It is unashamedly sweet and smooth but has a zingy acid finish. Great with fruit tarts but even better with offal dishes, pates, terrines and blue cheeses. Spectacular. $45.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yabby Lake 2008 Chardonnay

If I have to listen to one more person tell me they don't like chardonnay, I'll rip their head off. Chardonnay is not what it used to be - and is all the better for it. This is an absolutely cracking wine from the Mornington Peninsula, searingly clean with lovely intense grapefruit and white stone fruit flavours, impressive texture, flinty minerality, focus, restrained oak and refreshing acid. It's a wine in which everything is beautifully balanced. Kudos to winemaker Tom Carson for a job well done. $44.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Charles Melton 2010 Rose of Virginia

Charlie Melton is one of the great characters of the Barossa - and one of the region's best winemakers. Vintage after vintage this wine, named for his wife Virginia, is one of Australia's best dry rosés - and has built up something of a cult following. This co-fermented blend of grenache, cabernet, shiraz, pinot meunier and mataro is at once rich and powerful, youthful, crisp, spicy and gloriously gluggable. The natural acidity makes it wonderfully food friendly - and it was a clear winner in a tasting of over 20 current release rosés. An Australian benchmark. $23.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Shelmerdine 2007 Merindoc Shiraz

I've been very impressed with the 2007 shirazes from Heathcote in Victoria; wines that for the most part manage to combine power with elegance. This, made by the very talented Sergio Carlei, and the 2007 Heathcote Estate are among my favourites. The Shelmerdine wine has a brambly nose, is richly coloured and has a wonderful array of dark berry and black chocolate characters on the palate, along with integrated French oak. A savoury, serious wine that will doubtless evolve impressively over the next few years. Pair it with a winter game stew. $65.