Friday, April 26, 2024

Howard Park 2023 Miamup Chardonnay

A stylish, composed and immediately enjoyable chardonnay from a family-owned premium wine producer in Margaret River for $30? Sounds too good to be true, but fortunately it isn't. My wife and I both had the same reaction: "This is delicious isn't it?" Miamup Chardonnay is made from a selection of vineyard blocks and clones, the majority in Wilyabrup, and fermentation and malolactic occurs in a combination of older French oak and stainless-steel tanks. None of which matters a jot if you are looking for affordable vinous gratification, which this offers in spaces. It has crunch apple and pear flavours, a hint of grapefruit and lemon sorbet raciness. There is lively acidity and some minerality on the finish in a wine designed for immediate enjoyment. Pair with pork ribs, or a spicy chicken dish. $30.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Grosset 2022 Gaia


Jeffrey Grosset may be best known as Australia's pre-eminent maker of fine rieslings, but he is certainly no one trick pony. The Grosset range of biodynamic wine excellence now comprises 11 wines, nine from the Clare Valley and two from the Piccadilly Valley (Adelaide Hills). If you are looking for a stylish red full of complexity and palate interest then this will fit the bill. A blend of 95% Clare Valley cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc, it is impeccably balanced - a thing of beauty. Taut still, but with classic briary/wild hedgerow characters, dark currant flavours and well-integrated French oak, this can be enjoyed right now as you admire its length and polish, or be cellared for a decade or two. Dinner party coming up? Buy a couple of bottles. Happy to give this one a cracking 97/100. $108 but worth it. Fillet mignon anyone?

Friday, April 12, 2024

Battle of Bosworth 2023 Puritan Shiraz


So you like shiraz with plenty of flavour but are on a tight budget? The Puritan might just be answer to your prayers. From the Battle of Bosworth winery in McLaren Vale - shiraz heartland - this ticks a whole lot of boxes for everyday drinking pleasure. Organically grown with minimal preservatives, this is bright, fresh and juicy with plenty of immediate drinking please on offer. Given the fact that it has seen zero oak, it is probably best enjoyed over the next couple of years - but would be no hardship. Vibrant and vital, this would be brilliant with a barbecue. Bring on the snags and burger patties. Super value at $25   

Friday, April 5, 2024

AC Byrne 2023 Margaret River Chardonnay

That you can buy wine this good for $11 a bottle is nothing less than miraculous - and an absolute godsend in these difficult economic times. Yes, it's another Aldi special, so supply might be limited, but there is some very deft winemaking here. Taste this blind and I reckon most drinkers would expect to pay $25 upwards for a wine of this quality. Who is A.C. Byrne? They almost certainly don’t exist, but does it matter? The value here is exceptional. Margaret River chardonnay was apparently handpicked, whole-bunch pressed with the cloudy juice sent to large format oak for fermentation and aged for nine months. Classic chardonnay flavours: white stone fruit, crispness, vibrancy and flinty hints. Bring out the pork spare ribs. $11.