Saturday, February 25, 2017

Yangarra 2016 PF Shiraz

Here’s a very good McLaren Vale shiraz that will appeal to those with green tendencies. The PF Shiraz is made from grapes grown on a certified biodynamic single-estate vineyard, farmed without herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals and made without additions of any kind, including preservatives, acid, tannin or finings. It is a bright and juicy young red, full of intense shiraz flavour and is best enjoyed in its vivacious youth. $25.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Marques de Riscal 1840 Tempranillo 2016

Interest in wines from both Spain and Portugal is growing in Australia, where there is increased appeal in their subtle and savoury flavours and alcohol levels that are often lower than equivalent Australian reds. From the newer vineyards of Castilla and Leon region in northern Spain (not traditional heartland Rioja) and made by one of Spain's most highly-rated wineries, this is a very good introduction to the wines of the Iberian peninsula. It is dark and inky with tempranillo blended with small portions of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. There are black fruits with hints of dark chocolate and smoky oak, but the focus is one quality fruit. This is bottled under screw cap for the Australian market and can be found at Dan Murphy's stores. $16. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Wild Rock 2016 Pinot Gris

Wild Rock is the entry level range of esteemed New Zealand producer Craggy Range and this is one of the new releases under the new-look branding. The pinot gris has dropped "sur lie" from the label and is presented in a more fruit focused style. I liked it a lot for its everyday drinking appeal. It is a pale, but intense Marlborough wine with delightful floral aromas and stone fruit flavours. There is some honeyed fruit sweetness but it finishes dry and should have widespread appeal. This would match well with Asian cuisines. One that would benefit from immediate enjoyment. $18. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hurley Vineyard 2014 Garamond Pinot Noir

I first came across Kevin Bell and Tricia Byrnes a decade and a half ago when they were trying to find a retail outlet in Sydney to sell their wines. I was blown away with the quality they were producing as part-timers (Kevin is a Supreme Court judge and his wife a lawyer), and was, fortunately, able to assist. Their wines have only improved since then, and the Hurley pinots are among the finest on the Mornington Peninsula. This is a few months down the track from release and looks spectacular, with everything you'd want in a high-quality pinot. It looks, to use a cliche, distinctly Burgundian, with a bright red fruit bouquet, and an impressive balance between fruit, savoury/sous bois notes and quality oak. Superb - and cellar worthy. I'm edging towards 97/100. $85.     

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

La Prova 2016 Aglianico Rosato

As the rosé revolution grows and grows, this is one of the styles that is proving most popular; dry, savoury and cheeky in the European mould. This one from Sam Scott in the Adelaide Hills is made from the Italian grape variety aglianico, which originated in Greece but is now popular in southern parts of Italy. This is a delightfully poised rosé, perfect for pairing with picnics or Middle Eastern cuisine. It's vivacious and cheeky; desperately drinkable with some interesting textures. The kind of wine you'd like to take to a party. $25.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Taylors 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

I really couldn't care less what the bearded hipster habitues of oh so funky inner-city wine bars have to say. They can keep their 100% full-bunch wines from the slopes of Mt Etna that have been matured in amphorae. On a hot summer day in Australia, with the sun beating down, a lot of wine drinkers want refreshment, flavour and some crisp acid. This new-release sauvignon blanc from Taylors, which sources fruit from the Adelaide Hills, delivers drinkability in spades - but it won''t be getting too many sommelier recommendations. It is fruity, zesty and fun - everything you'd want in a young sub-$20 white. Chill it, get it in ya. $19.     

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Shingleback 2015 Aficionado Shiraz

Family-owned and -operated Shingleback in McLaren Vale produces a wide range of mainly red wines, including several that are sold exclusively in various supermarket chains. This is one of those; a very drinkable young shiraz at a price that is particularly attractive when cash is tight at this time of the year. Winemaker John Davey, a former JImmy Watson Trophy winner, has hit the bullseye with this richly flavoured wine with well-balanced oak. It's young, vibrant and an excellent barbecue or midweek choice; powerful but not overwhelming. You won't find too many better quaffing reds for $15.  Exclusive to Vintage Cellars.