It is hard to go wrong with an Oakridge chardonnay. No matter the price point, winemaker David Bicknell and his team have the Midas touch. Made using fruit from a grower in Woori Yallock, owned by a guy called Henk, this Yarra Valley wine offers whole lot for not a lot of money; it was hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, fermented in large-format oak and spent 10 months on lees. The end result is a wine that is right in the zone; with plenty of depth and structure, but - more importantly - serious instant drinkability. 96/100. $42. www.oakridgewines.com.au
Monday, December 24, 2018
A McLaren Vale shiraz with quality and style that won't break the bank - what's not to like? This is a really lovely wine from the talented Corinna Wright that underlines the strengths of Fleurieu shiraz without in any way being a blockbluster. It's full-bodied, with dark fruit and chocolate/coffee hints, leading to black berry and plum notes with licorice, but also has some appealing light and shade. Terrific value. $30. www.oliverstaranga.com
Sunday, December 9, 2018
Red wine doesn't get any more quintessentially Australian than this juicy, earthy, intense old-vine grenache from McLaren Vale in South Australia. It is made from grenache vines that have grown for 89 years - formerly as bush vines but now trellised to keep them ripening evenly as they grow older. There is a whole lot happening here from spice notes on the nose and palate, dark fruits, savoury undertones and well integrated French oak. If this were human it would come with a broad smile and a cheery G'day. 14.8% alcohol and begging to matched with charred meat on a summer barbecue, and cricket on the telly. $28. www.maxwellwines.com.au.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
An increasing number of Australia's finest rieslings are being made in West Australia's Great Southern region. This is a prime example; crisp and as effortlessly impressive as a Smokey Robinson vocal. From an excellent riesling vintage, this offers fragrant aromas and zippy minerality on a palate with citrusy acidity to the fore. It finishes bone dry with plenty of length. An excellent accompaniment to whiting or crustaceans over the summer. $25. www.singlefilewines.com.