Monday, January 24, 2011

Heggies 2010 Riesling

There is no grape variety in Australia that offers better value for money than riesling; and few labels can match Heggies (and sibling Pewsey Vale) when it comes to quality. The fact this wine can sometimes be found for well under $20 is both a surprise and a blessing for drinkers. From the high country of the Eden Valley, this is a wine of finesse and balance that's a very pale straw colour. There are classic lime and grapefruit aromas with luscious lemon/lime zest on the palate, minerality, zingy finishing acid and great drinkability. A prince of a wine at a pauper's price.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whicher Ridge 2010 Riesling

The Frankland River region of Western Australia is producing some wonderfully poised rieslings and while this is only the second release from Whicher Ridge, it is right up with best. It's a svelte, citrus-driven style with not an inch of extra meat on its bones. Lime, grapefruit and lemon peel aromas and flavours dominate on a wine that is more on the flinty, river pebbles, minerally side of the spectrum and has some lovely linearity and crisp, cleansing acidity along with admirable 12.5% alcohol. One of those wines where one bottle may not be enough, and two would fit the bill a whole lot better. Pair it with fresh grilled sardines. $28.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Story 2009 Associates Grampians Shiraz

Rory Lane makes three excellent The Story shirazes using Grampians fruit and this entry level offering sells for around $22-24, which is far too cheap. I emailed Rory and told him as much - but even rising winemaking stars need cashflow. While the juicy Sableux and earthy Westgate weigh-in at around $45, this is an excellent way to acquaint yourself with The Story label. Fruit-driven with myriad berry and currant characters, it is slightly spicy with appealing bright acid, whole-bunch pressed, of medium weight with sensible 13.5% alcohol and with a very high drinkability factor. Give this a go next time you are looking for an affordable red to accompany bistro dishes. $22-$24.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Invivo 2010 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

I can hear the wine snobs scoffing from here. Marlborough sauvignon blanc may be a little passé in trendy circles, but there are still an awful lot of people out there who love it - and this is one of the best releases from 2010, a delightfully perky wine full of youthful exuberance. More restrained and elegant than many of its counterparts, this has tropical/floral aromas and is is driven by subtle citrus and gooseberries on the palate. Nicely textured with mere hints of herbaceousness, this is a delightful wine for enjoying well-chilled over summer. $18.