Saturday, December 8, 2018

Pike & Joyce 2018 Descente Sauvignon Blanc

I get it. Sauvignon blanc is not for everyone. But when done well, like it is here, is is a bloody brilliant wine for summer enjoyment; fresh, zesty and vibrant and a perfect foil for crustaceans and grilled fish dishes, as well as oysters. This is a zingy wine for immediate enjoyment made from 100% Lenswood fruit, which presents with citrus and tropical flavours and zingy acid on the finish. A classic cool-climate white with widespread appeal to all except insufferable wine snobs. $26.         

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Shaw + Smith 2016 Adelaide Hills Shiraz

Many people regard the cooler Adelaide Hills as being ideal for sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, but shiraz also thrives in them, thar hills, albeit in  different style to those found down the track in the warmer Barossa. This is a classic cooler-climate shiraz with a sense of delicacy and femininity (am I allowed to say that?) allied to medium-bodied strength, spice notes and fine tannins. This might not be quite what you are expecting from an Aussie shiraz, but it remains a red of with definite swagger and style. 92 points. $48.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Woods-Crampton 2018 Sleeping Dogs Red Blend

The current releases from Aaron Woods and Nick Crampton, using the skills of the Sons of Eden winemaking team, are right in the zone. I could just as easily have recommended the Shiraz or the Pedro GSM, but this unusual blend of bonvedro, mataro and graciano grapes just got the verdict in the photo finish. There is a delightful combination of bright Australian fruit and Spanish savoury notes to be found here. Oak influence in minimal, 15% of the fruit is whole bunch, and the end result is damn good booze perfect for quaffing after work. Recommended. $24.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

DAOSA NV Natural Reserve

I was chatting a couple of weeks ago to Brian Croser, one of the eminence gris of the Australian wine industry, and he mentioned that he thought DAOSA was one of the better sparkling wines in the country. Now Brian might be a little bit biased given the Designated Artisans comprise his daughter Lucy and her husband Xavier Bizot, whose family owns the venerable Champagne House Bollinger. Made in the methode traitionelle, of which Xavier has considerable knowledge, this is produced from Piccadilly (Adelaide Hills) fruit, including some reserve material, and spends 18 months in bottle before being disgorged with a low dosage. This is 85% pinot noir and 15% chardonnay, dry, refreshing, long, complex, elegant and delicious. $40.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

De Bortoli 2017 Yarra Valley Section A5 Chardonnay

Lovers of cool-climate chardonnay in Australia have never had it so good, with the Yarra and Mornington Peninsula, in particular, producing a number of wines of style and elegance. This is in the leading pack with more than a hint of Burgundy about the package; a a single-vineyard wine from the elevated Dixon's Creek sub-region of the Yarra. The vines were planted over 40 years ago and 2017 was a superb chardonnay vintage for wines like this. Winemaker Steve Webber describes it as "fine, citrusy, nutty, textural and considered". It is certainly worth considering for pairing with a roast loin of pork. $55. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Turkey Flat Vineyard 2017 Grenache

If you enjoyed your red wines with bright, juicy, jubey fruit then this new release from Barossa Valley producer Turkey Flat will be right up your funky laneway. Grenache thrives in the Barossa but in recent times it has been used more for fortified wines than table wines. This is made largely from vines that are close to 100 years old, providing fruit intensity and plushness in the mouth, aided by toasty oak. Pair this dark, down and dirty red with a traditional roast lamb. $40.   

Monday, October 8, 2018

Oakridge 864 Drive Block Funder & Diamond 2016 Yarra Valley Chardonnay

Why would you pay more for a Yarra Valley chardonnay than some from Burgundy you ask? Well, this is no ordinary Yarra wine; it is a hand-picked, single-vineyard release from one the finest patches of wine dirt in Victoria made by chardonnay maestro David Bicknell and his team at Oakridge. The 864 range aims to show off the best regional terroirs, but in this case has also produced a world-class chardonnay. Think wild yeast fermentation, quality French oak (although only 20% of it new), 15 months on lees and lots of attention to detail. And unlike most Burgundies it comes under a reliable screw cap closure for. Immense drinking pleasure to be found here. $85.