Saturday, July 22, 2017

De Bortoli 2017 Villages Grenache Rosé

De Bortoli Yarra Valley winemaker Steve Webber's love of pale and savoury rosé wines was prompted by a family holiday to the south of France, where he and wife Leanne de Bortoli engaged with the benchmark rosé wines of Bandol. Now de Bortoli are among the Australian leaders when it comes to the style, and this wine made from Heathcote grenache fruit has been given a subtle label makeover for the new vintage. It is salmon pink in colour with wild strawberry and herb garden aromas leading to a cherry briskness on the palate. Barrel fermentation has added texture but this is primarily a fun, fresh wine that will come into its own as the days grow longer and warmer. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians. $20. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Taylor's 2014 St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon

I've been very impressed with the wines from Taylor's recently. From the entry level Promised Land wines to premium offerings like this one, there is a definite line of quality. There are some that immediately strike a chord; and this is one of them, a delightfully put-together cabernet sauvignon crafted from Clare Valley vines that were first planted in 1892 on terra rossa soils over limestone. This is a wine that combines power and complexity; with flavour profiles ranging from cassis to dark olives. A wine of structure and refinement. $70.

Monday, July 10, 2017

McW Reserve 660 Tumbarumba 2016 Chardonnay

One of the standouts in an impressive new range from McWilliam's, this is a stylish new wave cool-climate chardonnay made from fruit grown at high-altitude at Tumbarumba in southern New South Wales. It is crisp, clean and very refreshing with an impressive amalgam of stone fruit, citrus, mineral and nutty characteristics that reflect the fact the grapes were grown at an average of 660 metres above sea level. There is plenty of zippy, refreshing acidity on the finish here as well, making for some darn fine drinking. Pair this with an old-style roast pork dish. $25.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mitolo 2016 The Nessus Shiraz

This is a quintessentially Australian red wine; bold and full of flavour; ready to enjoy right away with meaty dishes or hard cheeses but capable of being cellared for a few years. I marked it down as being much more expensive than it actually is; making it a very good option for the price. Made from shiraz grapes sourced from the southern end of McLaren Vale, it is forward, fruit-driven, soft and smooth. Older oak plays a laid-back but solid support role but it is the dark, supple fruit that leads the way. Very gluggable. $15.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Yarran B Series 2015 Petit Verdot

The Riverina Winemakers' Association recently got in touch with wine writers to highlight the significant number of local producers who are succeeding with wines made from alternative grape varieties. From Saint Macaire to Lagrein, local producers are pushing the boundaries. This lovely wine from talented young winemaker Sam Brewer at Yarran Wines particularly caught my fancy. Petit Verdot is a Bordeaux variety often used in blends but performs well in the warmer local climate. Dark and structured with plenty of palate interest. Also look out for the Warburn Estate 1164 2014 Montepulciano and the McWilliam's Family Winemakers 1913 Touriga 2016, both of which also impressed. The Yarran wine is $24.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sandpiper 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Looking for a red wine with a little bit of style and class that won't break the bank? This little number from Barossa winery Thorn-Clarke will do the business - and leave you with some change from a $20 note. Estate-grown fruit offers up varietal blackcurrant and dark chocolate notes with some well-integrated oak. With some plum and spice notes bringing support, along with some suppleness and length, this was a particular favourite with my wife, who preferred it to several more expensive Barossa offerings because of its astutely judged balance. Very nice indeed. $18.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Hardy's 2015 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay

Single-vineyard, or single-site chardonnays are all the rage right now, but two of Australia's benchmark chardonnays are blends of fruit from multiple regions. As is the case with Penfolds Yattarna, the Eileen Hardy draws on fruit from Tasmania, the Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba in New South Wales. The blend, which changes from year to year, worked a treat in the excellent 2015 vintage, producing a wine of both style and substance. There are ripe stonefruit characters, lean minerality, citrus crispness and cleverly judged oak. Named as a tribute to the family matriarch, this will probably cellar for well over a decade. An icon that merits 95/100. $95.