Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Wickhams Road 2021 Chardonnay

The Wickhams Road range has to be one of the best value labels in Australia for "drink now" chardonnays and pinot noirs. The entry-level label of excellent Yarra Valley producer Hoddles Creek, these wines retail for under $20 - which is just ridiculous. Fruit-forward but beautifully balanced at 13% alcohol, this is made from cool-climate Woori Yallock fruit and pairs beautifully with roast pork and crackling. $19. www.hoddlescreekestate.com.au/

Monday, November 22, 2021

Ross Hill 2019 Harry Pinot Noir

Pinot noir and affordable do not often share the same sentence. Pinot noir is a pernickety grape, difficult to make well, and the best examples are invariably expensive. Here, however, is an exception to the rule; a delicious cool-climate pinot noir from a family winery at Orange in western New South Wales that delivers plenty of quality bang for your buck. For a start this tastes like pinot noir, not a generic soft dry red, with classic red berry and undergrowth notes and subtle older French oak. It retails for around $30 - a bargain. Harry, by the way, is one of the grandchildren of winery founders Peter and Terri Robinson. When he's old enough he'll love drinking this. $30. www.rosshillwines.com.au

Monday, November 15, 2021

Fringe Société 2020 Grenache Blanc


Regular readers may remember I recommended the gamay in this range a short while back. It may be a little too early to contemplate a trip to the south of France, but this delicious young white from the Pays d'Oc appellation offers an affordable, drinkable alternative made at a good co-op in the town of Cebezan. Think a vinous cocktail of stone fruits, tropical fruits and some citrus notes; a very refreshing drop with no discernable oak. Yes, grenache blanc is related to the red grape variety grenache. Fruity and fun and terrific value for $20. Distributed by the Joval Wine Group.    

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Serafino 2021 Bellisimo Montepulciano


Juicy, slurpable, food-friendly summer drinking with an Italian accent? This McLaren Vale release delivers at a very reasonable price. Montepulciano is a red grape variety found throughout central and southern Italy that has proved a huge success in warmer regions of Australia. Bright fruit and savoury spice notes combine impressively in a wine made by the Maglieri family, who themselves have Italian origins. This will pair with dishes ranging from from spatchcock to lamb kofta. Lovely stuff. $24. www.serafino.com.au       

Monday, November 1, 2021

Berton Vineyards 2021 Winemakers Reserve Aranel


Aranel is an extremely obscure hybrid white wine grape derived from grenache gris and Saint-Pierre Doré (both almost equally rare). It originates in the Auvergne region of France and has, bizarrely, found a home in the New South Wales Riverina region. This is well worth seeking out as it is light, fresh and citrusy with floral hints on the nose and offers zingy summer refreshment when served well chilled. It paired very pleasingly with chilli chicken dish. $20. It will be released this week, so get onto www.bertonvineyards.com.au before it sells out.