Sunday, August 30, 2020

Geoff Merrill 2016 Cilento Sangiovese

Geoff Merrill was among the first of Australia's rockstar winemakers. With a bushy mustache and cheeky humour he hung around with test cricketers and TV stars at a time when most wine producers were faceless men. Forty years after starting Geoff Merrill Wines - and with assistance from Scott Heidrich - Merrill is still producing some excellent wines. This good-value sangiovese is a case in point; released at four years of age and selling at a very reasonable price. It is named in honour of his great-grandfather Joseph Cilento, who migrated to Australia in the late 1800s and pays tribute to his Italian heritage. Think balance, earthiness, savoury notes and food-friendliness. $28.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Yelland & Papps 2019 Second Take Vermentino

If you enjoy white wines that offer textural elements on the palate then you've come to the right place. This is a white for red drinkers with a whole lot to challenge. It was wild fermented, spent 313 days on skins, is basket pressed, and is unfiltered and unfined. So it ticks a whole lot of hipster boxes. It is also vegan friendly, but most importantly it is a terrific drink. It's all about the structure with a terse nod to sherry, nuttiness and complexity. Different, but delicious. $45.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

d'Arenberg 2017 The Ironstone Pressings

Here's a dark, inky wine that would stand out as being quintessentially Australian in any blind tasting. Reflecting its McLaren Vale terroir, this is a masculine red blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvedre that has plenty of style and swagger; think Errol Flynn as a swashbuckling pirate. You'll find intense dark fruit flavours, earthy notes, well-integrated oak and some Asian spice hints, which all come together as a serious cellaring prospect. $76.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Port Phillip Estate 2019 Balnarring Chardonnay

Port Phillip Estate and sister Mornington Peninsula label Kooyong are family-owned and operated producers whose wines are all estate-grown, -made and -bottled. They also have a reputation for reliable quality that is second to none. Made from a vineyard planted 20+ years ago, this is a delightful young cool-climate chardonnay made using sustainable agriculture and low-intervention winemaking. This has thrilling youthful acid, bright citrus with hints of white stone fruit and pleasing palate tension. Pair with roast pork or salt and pepper squid. It is also vegan friendly, $37.