Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Zema Estate 2016 Saluti


Zema Estate are among the quiet achievers in Coonawarra, quietly going about their business making excellent value wines with a minimum of fuss. This special release marks 40 years for the family-owned business with Italian heritage. Made in tiny amounts, this is a blend of the two grape varieties that shine brightest in Coonawarra: cabernet sauvignon (72%)and shiraz (28%). This is a seriously stylish and sybaritic wine with plenty of length, structure and texture, along with a super smooth finish to the palate. Blackcurrant notes, plummy hints, classy French and American oak and that lovely mouthfeel create something special. Ideal for a dinner party or as a gift for a serious wine lover with a cellar. 95 points from me. $125.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Hoddles Creek 1er Yarra Valley 2022 Pinot Blanc


Australian wine lovers are very familiar with pinot noir and pinot gris/grigio, but far less so with their kin, the Alsace grape variety pinot blanc, which was planted 25 years ago in the upper Yarra Valley. It is usually a full-bodied white variety, but this iteration has some more delicate elements; weighing in at just 12.8% alcohol and displaying impressive palate texture and flinty minerality. A lovely - and versatile - food wine for matching with salads or shellfish dishes. This is only made in years when winemaker Franco d'Anna is satisfied with the fruit quality - and you would imagine he was very happy in 2022. $35.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Wynns Coonawarra Estate 2021 The Siding Cabernet Sauvignon


This is an entry level wine in the excellent Wynns range - and represents perhaps one of Australia's best wine bargains right now. Several wine experienced wine writers at this week's Treasury Wines Estates tasting were stunned to find out how little it costs. Think an approachable young red with impressive structure and plenty of youthful joie de vivre. It is food friendly across a range of meals from barbecued meats to pizzas and pastas, and offers engaging drinking right now. Lush and bright with blackcurrant notes and a savoury edge aided by French oak treatment. Impressive. The RRP is $20, but it can also be found even cheaper on special.    

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

O'Leary Walker 2022 Polish Hill River Riesling

It is the perfect time of the year to sample this excellent new release from some of the best in the business. Spring and riesling go together like love and kisses and this is an outstanding young wine, full of bright citrus and notes from the heartland of riesling excellence in the Clare Valley. Winemaker David O'Leary says the "2022 growing season was superb - a long and cool ripening period enabled the vines to maintain a healthy canopy up until harvest". Think zingy fruit, minerality and brisk acidity. This would pair brilliantly with oysters, pan-fried whiting, fish and chips and a range of Asian dishes. It is organic and vegan-friendly and very fairly priced at $30. Lovely stuff.