The Art Series range represents Leeuwin’s most elegant and cellar-worthy wines from each vintage, and while I have no doubt this will cellar well, it will call for great willpower to not drink it right now because it is magnificent in its youth. With striking artwork from Kim Maple, entitled Influence, the wine lives up to to its billing as an Australian classic. It is a chardonnay of poise and precision, at once delicate and at the same time assertive it has the core strength of a ballerina. With layers of flavour including flintiness, nuts, Asian spices and bright, tight fruit on the grapefruit/ Packham pear side in of the spectrum this is downright delicious. This one merits 99/100. $104. https://leeuwinestate.com.au
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Talented St Hallett winemaker Toby Barlow and his team specialise in shiraz at a range of different price points. The Barossa Valley winery's collection includes the $100-a-bottle Old Block, an Australian classic. In less rarified air is the reliably excellent Faith Shiraz, a popular everyday drinking red option since 1994. There's plenty of guts here, oodles of flavour, youthful vibrancy and a lot of enjoyment for not a lot of dollars. Pair this with a steak and mushroom sauce, or maybe a gourmet burger. Good drinking for $23, or less on special. www.sthallett.com.au.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
This impressive red is the baby brother of the world-renowned Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon and Vasse Felix Tom Cullity - and it proved a major hit with my tasting group. It's a delicious medium-bodied cabernet with plenty of complexity but it opens up more quickly than its more expensive siblings. There is a splash of malbec in the mix, too, along with softness and immediate appeal. A red where big is not best, but balance is key. From young vines from a very good vintage, this has excellent length and and palate interest. Excellent drinking.
Saturday, April 6, 2019
There is terrific value to be found in this crisp and lively blanc de blancs style from Blue Pyrenees. Chardonnay fruit from the Pyrenees and Macedon Ranges in Victoria has produced a bubbly full of the joys of life with an impressive mousse, zingy palate and plenty of length. Grapes for this wine are picked at night to ensure maximum freshness. This is very stylish and refreshing with Granny Smith apple and kaffir lime juice notes. $36. www.bluepyrenees.com.au.