A superb example of briary, juicy southern Rhone village red from Stephane Vedeau, one of the premier vignerons of this beautful region. A blend of 80% grenache and 20% syrah from organically farmed vineyards with old vines, this is bursting with dark red fruit flavours and spice notes. It is a big wine in the French scheme of things but very well balanced and drinkable even its youth. It is imported by Single Vineyard Sellers. $58. www.singlevineyards.com.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Franco d'Anna from Hoddles Creek is an extremely versatile winemaker. As well as producing wines that over-deliver in quality for both the Wickhams Road and Hoddles Creek labels, he also crafts small quantities of very classy boutique wines under the playful 1er Yarra Valley banner; poking of fun at the grandoise labels of the great wines of Burgundy. What is in the bottle here has certain parallels with Burgundy; it is lean at 13.2% alcohol, has classic vibrancy and intensity (think citrus and flint) and is made without fining, filtering or additions, letting the fruit write the narrative. If this was Burgundy, though, you'd be paying a substantial whack more than $40. Bargain. www.hoddlescreekestate.com.au.
Friday, March 27, 2015
It is an absolute mystery to me how Champagne sales continue to soar in Australia, how prosecco is all the rage but classy cava is all but ignored. If you are looking for sparkling value there is plenty of it in this new release; which is lean, minerally and very dry with just a touch of mustiness about it adding character and interest. Extremely food friendly, this proved a most amiable companion for char-grilled octopus and sardines in olive oil. $25. www.seguraviudas.com.au/
Saturday, March 14, 2015
There is all the power and persistence you would expect from a young Barossa shiraz here, but also with a little elegance and swagger. There's the intense aromas and dark black fruit notes you would anticipate, but also a plush, relaxed attitude, perhaps due to the use of an old-style basket press in the winery. There are also some spicy elements in the background of this layered, textural wine and overall this is more a smart and savvy middleweight than some of the region's heavyweights. It would be superb matched with lamb cutlets and short-crust vegetable tarts. Lovey stuff. $35. www.thistledown.com.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Crisp, fresh Hunter semillon is a quintessentially summer drink, full of vibrancy and intense citrus and green apple characters. There’s plenty of zesty mineral acidity here as well, making this a very refreshing drop whether you pair it with some freshly shucked oysters, fritto misto or some basic fish fingers and chips on a sunny lunchtime. Either way, this is a lovely wine from a cracker vintage made from fruit grown in one of the oldest vineyards in the Hunter Valley. $27. www.audreywilkinson.com.au/