Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Murray Street 2010 Semillon

The Murray Street winery in the Barossa Valley is far better known for its gutsy, masculine reds than the small amount of whites it produces, but this wine really stood out from the crowd; my initial note was that it was a "a ridiculously slurpable" wine - and the empty bottle confirmed that impression. Low in alcohol at 11.5% (like its Hunter cousins) this is a wine of purity and intensity that is quite dsiturbingly Hunter-like in style with bright citrus on the nose, lots of mouth-watering flavours and lashings of refreshing acidity. $20. www.murraystreet.com.au.

Monday, May 23, 2011

John Duval 2008 Eligo Shiraz

For almost 30 years, John Duval was the chief winemaker at Penfolds, producing some of Australia’s classiest reds. Now he’s out on his own and the wines remain exemplary while the price tags are considerably lower - if not exactly bargain basement. You get what you pay for, however, and this wine is all class. The name Eligo is from the Latin meaning “to pick” or “select” and Duval uses the best fruit he can source to make this age-worthy gem. Beautifully constructed, this is a complex, serious wine with layer upon layer of flavour and complexity. There is some powerful dark, concentrated fruit, but everything is perfectly balanced. www.johnduvalwines.com. $110.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coal Valley Vineyard 2010 Riesling

Tasmania and the Great Southern region of Western Australia are the two up-and-comers when you are looking for rieslings to challenge long-time champions the Clare and Eden valleys. This is a delightful wine from the Coal River Valley region outside Hobart made in a classic cool-climate riesling style with lime/lemon rind aromas, plenty of bright fresh citrus fruit and minerality on the palate and an impressive acid backbone. Delightfully zingy and refreshing, this is probably best enjoyed in its vivacious youth. www.coalvalley.com.au. $26.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vasse Felix 2009 Cabernet Merlot

Vasse Felix winemaker Virginia Willcock is in a groove right now, crafting some very fine Margaret River wines. This is a great choice for anyone looking for a lip-smacking blend of cabernet, merlot and malbec that ticks all the boxes in terms of regionality and drinkability. There are impressive dark fruit flavours alongside well-integrated tannins, impressively subtle oak and plenty of length. One of those wines with both softness and complexity where the bottle is empty before you notice how much you are enjoying it. $25. wwww.vassefelix.com.au.