Saturday, May 21, 2016

Thomas 2014 Deju Vu Shiraz

Andrew Thomas has just released all six of his shirazes from the much-acclaimed 2014 Hunter vintage; and the good news is that they live up to the hype, with the Kiss Shiraz ($75) leading the charge with macho aplomb. This is probably more old school Hunter Burgundy in style and is certainly lighter and more savoury with immediate drinkability. It is an individual vineyard wine from the light, sandy soils of the Trevenna vineyard and a splash of semillon verjuice has been added (I'd have guessed pinot noir), to pretty up the red fruit. Only older oak has been used to add textural interest - but is almost imperceptible on the palate. Smooth, supple and downright lovely. $30.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Jim Barry 2016 Watervale Riesling

It is always interesting to follow the race to be the first to release new-vintage wines; and this was the first 2016 to land on my doorstep. If it is a harbinger then there will be plenty of smiles because it is, as is usually the case, a wine that offers outstanding value. This is the entry level Jim Barry riesling but it offers classic Clare Valley/Watervale pleasures with zingy lemon and lime sorbet notes on the palate along with grapefruit notes. There's plenty of refreshing acidity but it is beautifully balanced for a wine so young. A great partner for spicy Thai dishes, fresh oysters or simply as an after-work reviver. $19.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

De Bortoli 2013 Bella Riva Sangiovese

A lovely wine for everyday drinking this. Soft, savoury and supple, it is extremely food friendly and dangerously quaffable. This is made from fruit grown in the King Valley in north-east Victoria - a region where Italian varietals like sangiovese thrive. It has been matured in older oak for 18 months and is drinking beautifully right now. This slightly rustic number would pair beautifully with a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise, or a pizza fresh from the wood oven. Great value, too. $15.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Best's Great Western 2012 13-Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

This spectacular individual vineyard cabernet sauvignon was one of my favourites from a most rewarding weekend spent in the Grampians region of Victoria, enjoyed during a class given by Viv Thomson and winemaker Justin Purser. While Best's, celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, are probably better known for shiraz than cabernet, this is a ripper of a wine that took out the trophy for the best cabernet at the 2013 Victorian Wine Show. There are small amounts of merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot in the blend, which carries its 14.5% alcohol with nonchalant ease. It is a wine with a bit of a swagger with dark berry fruit aided and abetted by spice notes and impressive tannin structure. Well worth 96 points - and it will cellar well. This is made only in seriously good years - and 2012 was a classic. It might be hard to find, but contact the Best's cellar door, or try the new-release 2013 instead. $35.