Sometimes, all it takes is a little tenderness; a delicate touch in the winery. By all measure this is a big wine; a powerful McLaren Vale red that's released in a heavy bottle, is presented under cork and decorated with wine show bling. So far, so old fashioned. But winemaker John Davey has not gone the blockbuster route. While this is by no means shy and retiring and carries 14.5% alcohol, it is also beautifully balanced, out-shining a couple of regional rivals at more than twice the price. Named for the Davey Block of the Davey Estate vineyard, these wines are John Davey's personal expression of the McLaren Vale and showcase the best shiraz and cabernet sauvignon that the region is capable of producing. They are true reserve wines, only made in exceptional vintages and designed for the long haul. Thankfully, this also has just a little delicacy that makes it stand out from the crowd. It's medium- to full-bodied with bright blackcurrant fruit, artisan chocolate and earthy notes; voluptuous, long and soft. I liked it a lot. $60. www.shingleback.com.au.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
The 2012 wines from Geelong producer Austins are quite outstanding with the pinot noir from the same vintage also extremely impressive. This is traditionally a very crisp and fresh style designed for enjoyment while still youthful and this is an elegant example with nectarine and peach flavours alongside some crisp citrus notes. There's some delightful crisp acidity but this is no one-trick pony with some creamy textural elements making it a complete package. Impressive, and a good match for poultry and veal dishes. $30. www.austinswines.com.au.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
This is a vibrant young red wine from Sam and Tom Barry, the 20-something winemaker brothers at Jim Barry Wines in the Clare Valley. A blend of Australia’s two most popular red grape varieties, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, it is designed for immediate enjoyment and certainly has slurpability. It’s inky and juicy and unashamedly fruit driven with plenty of length. A terrific uncomplicated barbecue or quaffing red. $19. www.jimbarry.com.