It has been bloody cold down our way recently and this flavoursome tawny from All Saints in Rutherglen, north-east Victoria, proved a formidable freeze fighter. Rutherglen is known for its range of outstanding fortified wines and this is the Brown family's take on a hipper style that appeals to a younger demographic than the tweed-jacketed, leather-patched traditional port and muscat consumer. Drinkers are encouraged to match this with cheese, or hot chocolate, pour it into a cocktail, over ice cream or, best of all, in front of a wood fire. This has raisiny fruit and nutty intensity from aged oak barrels. Not too sweet, not to heavy. Just right. $20. www.allsaintswine.com.au
Monday, July 8, 2019
There is a whole-lot of lip-smacking wine savouriness to be found in this new-release single-vineyard wine from a winery that is fast establishing itself in the Barossa Valley hierarchy. The Mob referred to are not the Mafia, but an errant group of sheep who wrecked this vineyard in its youth. Fortunately the vines bounced back and now produce tiny amounts of impressive fruit. Dark cherry and blackberry flavours and savoury tannins speak of the terroir, but the Italian accent adds an exotic nod. Made in very small quantities, this is food friendly and very seductive. $35. www.atzes.com.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Chris Bendle, whose full-time job is with Franco d'Anna at Hoddles Creek, also makes a range of wines under his own DCB label, albeit most of them in tiny quantities. There are only 159 dozen of this impressive individual vineyard from the cool Lone Star Creek vineyard at Woori Yallock in the Yarra Valley. It spent three weeks on skins and has seen 15% new oak. Malolactic fermentation has added some complexity but this is still a wine full of attractive youthful varietal vigour. Lovely stuff. $35. www.dcbwine.com.au.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
A stunning new release from Geraldine McFaul at Willow Creek on the Mornington Peninsula. The 2018 vintage is described by McFaul as "one of the kindest in memory" with warm, dry weather at flowering and then a mild ripening period. The chardonnay was whole-bunch-pressed to barrels (20% new) and lees stirred as it went through malo. It was then given another four months unsulphered on lees before bottling. The end result is a beautifully constructed, cool-climate chardonnay with a balance between vibrancy and palate interest. $45. www.willow-creek.com.au
Saturday, June 8, 2019
This is an estate-grown Clare Valley red from a stable of proven winners that whispers rather than shouts, with stylish fruit and supple tannins laying the framework. There are some bright red berry characters, subtly nutty French oak (40% new) and some medium-bodied goodness in a wine that can either be enjoyed now or cellared. This could easily be labelled syrah, given its European sensibilities, including the precise spice notes and plush finish. Certified organic and guaranteed gluggable. $45. www.mounthorrocks.com.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
What an impressive collection. The current releases from Yarra Valley producer Bird on a Wire are absolutely front and centre in the pleasure zone. Only 380 cases were made of this stunning mature chardonnay; so speed may be of the essence if you want to snap some up. Winemaker Caroline Mooney, a Yarra local born and bred, has produced a very classy cool-climate chardonnay (the fruit is from chilly Gladysdale) that comes with the happy combination of intensity and elegance - and is very much in a Burgundian groove. Pair with a lightly-spiced chicken dish or a traditional pork roast. Bird on Wire is definitely a label to keep an eye out for. $40. https://birdonawirewines.com.au.