Friday, July 28, 2023

Vasse Felix 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

A Margaret River classic that continues a marvellous level of consistency across many vintages. This is the 49th release of the wine that began the Vasse Felix success story. From another top vintage in Western Australia, winemaker Virginia Willcock is delighted by the intense concentration of fruit flavours, although perhaps less happy with the low yields. This is a seriously luscious cabernet with some malbec and a dash of petit verdot and merlot adding alternative palate interest. Wild ferment and extended maceration help create a wine that combines power and finesse in equal measure. If you are looking for an impressive dinner party wine that offers excellent value then this fits the bill. It deserves to be paired with maybe a roast lamb en croute, or beef wellington. I'd drink a bottle now, and put a couple away. $55.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Kumeu River Estate 2022 Chardonnay


This is an absolutely delicious new release from the Brajkovich family, whose range includes several chardonnays. This is mong the most affordable but it really is a stellar drink from an outstanding vintage in the Auckland region. Sourced from six different vineyards, it is a wine with plenty of concentrated stone fruit flavours but also some devil may care flamboyance with length and complexity; style and substance. Throw in green citrus and apple notes, some almond meal, complexity and suppleness from barrel fermentation and bracing acidity. Very, very good drinking right now, so don't hesitate and get lost in the scramble. Distributed in Australia by Deja Vu Wines. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Shaw + Smith 2023 Sauvignon Blanc


The wine business is also a fashion business in which styles fall out of favour and then come back into vogue. It is quite remarkable, then, that Australia's pioneering sauvignon blanc - a cracking option to Sancerre - has remained a benchmark, and retained its popularity, for well over three decades. There is one simple reason: it is a bloody good drink, well priced and superbly consistent. This new release is super fresh and vibrant with classic tropical fruit/grapefruit flavours, green tinges and hugely refreshing acidity on the palate. The perfect partner for fresh oysters, or fish and chips. I've been a fan since the first release 34 years ago - and it remains as good as ever. Don't bother cellaring this; just savour its youthful exuberance. $32.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Mike Press 2023 Rosé

When Joseph Burton, who distributes Mike Press Wines in Tasmania, offered me the opportunity to try some new releases I was delighted. The veteran winemaker's wines are a byword for value, and I hadn't seen them for a couple of years. This is one of the stars of the show, a single-vineyard, Provence inspired, pinot noir-driven young rosé from the Adelaide Hills that is impressively full of youthful vitality. It is a serious rosé, dry and textural, with a frivolous price well under $20. It paired superbly with some blue-fin tuna caught off Eaglehawk Neck, but would also go well with Middle Eastern dishes and spicy chicken. Plenty of flavour, plenty of length and a great price. I'm still working through the range but the merlot also shines. $18.