Friday, February 23, 2024

Zema Estate 2018 Family Collection Shiraz


Family-owned Zema Estate is a Coonwarra producer that usually over-delivers on value - and is known for only releasing its Family Selection reds when they are at their peak. Hence this new release - and its Cabernet Sauvignon sibling - are being released at six years of age. With over four decades of experience - the brand was launched in 1982 - the family focuses on hand-pruning, fruit selection, quality oak barrels, and bottle ageing - all of which are reflected here in a shiraz that is rich, smart and sophisticated with a complex but beautifully cohesive palate. Drink now with a beef casserole, or cellar. Your choice. $50 - but cheaper from cellar door or online.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Paul Mas 2022 Pays d'Oc Marsanne


Looking for a white wine that is full of palate interest but extremely affordable? You can't go past this Languedoc white from one of the many labels of Arrogant Frog proprietor Jean-Claude Mas. This is a great picnic choice with its honeydew melon, pear, quince paste and fresh white peach notes. It is very well balanced, finishes dry and smooth and is exceptionally well balanced for wine in its price bracket. Marsanne is a grape that originates in the northern Rhone and is often used in blends, but here it is grown in the Languedoc, further south, and shines on its own. Some bright acid on the finish so pair with a vegetable quiche. $12 at Dan Murphy's stores - a definite bargain buy.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Kilikanoon 2018 Attunga 1865 Shiraz

If your are looking for a complex, age-worthy shiraz for a special occasion but don't have the budget for a Hill of Grace, Grange or Factor, then this might be a very good alternative. The fruit comes from a Clare Valley vineyard just outside Auburn that was planted in 1865. I shared this wine with my tasting group this week and it met with universal acclaim, well merited given it is a concentrated, intense but smooth-finishing red with a lot of deep, brooding flavour elements including smoky, savoury, dark fruit and chocolate. It has a serious structural side but can be enjoyed right now.  A fillet steak would be an appropriate match. $250.  

Friday, February 2, 2024

Flametree 2022 Chardonnay

Here is a very composed - and well priced - Margaret River chardonnay that is in the zone right now, offering a lot of food-friendly drinking pleasure. Flametree winemaker Cliff Royle has all his ducks in a row with a wine that has plenty of power without being overpowering. This is dry and textural with wild ferment adding to the mix in a positive way. There is some bright citrus-accented acidity on the finish while French oak plays an impressive support role. You could pair this with anything from fish and chips to lobster mornay. $35.