Friday, January 23, 2015

Wickhams Road 2014 Yarra Valley Chardonnay

There are few wineries that can match Hoddles Creek when it comes to over-delivering on quality. In a world where stellar cool-climate wines fetch extremely high prices, the d'Anna family's Wickhams Road range stands as a beacon of affordable quality. In 2014 I felt the Yarra chardonnay just edged out its Gippsland counterpart, but both offer exceptional value. This whispers rather than shouts; it has 12.7% alcohol, citrus and hints of nectarine on an unashamedly fruit-driven palate; nice acid and length, too. Lively, nicely balanced and ridiculously good for $18.     

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sabre by Mitchell Harris 2011

An absolutely stunning sparkling wine from John Harris, which should come as no surprise as he was once chief winemaker at Domaine Chandon. From a cold, wet vintage, this oozes class with bright seaspray and citrus characters to the fore. A blend of pinot noir from the Macedon Ranges and chardonnay from the Pyrenees, it is a bright, linear bubbly with plenty of length and lashings of mineral acidity. This is a dry, aperitif style made in tiny quantities (think less than 250 cases annually). $40. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hecht & Bannier 2011 Languedoc Rouge

So Frenchy, so chic. If you are looking for a lighter-style red wine for summer quaffing then this well-priced import should be on your radar. There is a real French joie de vivre about this certified organic blend of shiraz, grenache and cinsault from St Chinian and nearby Larzac and Agly in the rapidly-becoming-fashionable Languedoc. A fabulous food wine, extremely refreshing with bright fruit and acid, this is unoaked and perfect for immediate drinking, maybe even chilled for a few minutes in the fridge. $27. Imported by

Monday, January 5, 2015

Moores Hill 2014 Riesling

Julian Allport from Moores Hill described the 2014 vintage in Tasmania's Tamar Valley as a “cruel” one, with yields well down on previous years. There is only half as much riesling as from 2013, when stock sold out by April. Fortunately, quality is high, and this is a deliciously crisp and floral dry wine that will delight fans. The palate is a mix of tangy grapefruit notes and mountain stream freshness with plenty of length and zesty, refreshing acid. It was named the best riesling at the recent Taste of Tasmania and looks lovelier every time I see it. Better be quick. $30.