Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Castagna Allegra 2008 Rosé

There are many good judges who believe Julian Castagna’s shiraz rosé from Beechworth in Victoria is the best in Australia. I wouldn't argue. It has an attractive fresh nose with plenty of character and texture on the palate. You’ll discover a kaleidoscope of flavours from tangy citrus and stone fruits through to savoury dark cherries. A serious rosé this one. Enjoy with a mezze plate. $38.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cardinham Estate 2009 Riesling

I'm a sucker for dry Clare rieslings - and there were plenty of them from the excellent 2009 vintage. This is fresh and fruit-driven; more Germanic in style than most Clare rieslings with a lovely floral nose. That said, there is still plenty of zingy acidity and lashings of green apple and citrus on the palate, but less minerality than you might expect. This would be brilliant with Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. $20.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leconfield 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Balance is the key to this superb Coonawarra cabernet, which is glorious, even in its youth. You'll find lashings of dark berry fruit here with French oak aiding and abetting but not intruding. There are hints of mint and spice but also plenty of richness and mouthfeel - a consequence of the warm vintage. While this will develop beautifully for a decade or more, it is already elegant and eminently drinkable. I'd pair it with a rack of lamb. $30.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Penfolds 2007 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz

Bin 389 is one of Australia's vinous treasures. Created by Max Schubert, who also made the early Granges, it is sometimes decribed as "baby Grange" because components of the wine are matured in barrels that held the previous vintage of Australia's most famous red. This is a stunning 389, tightly-focussed with bright dark fruits, immaculately integrated oak and ripe tannins. A wine of complexity and structure that will certainly repay cellaring - although it would be superb right now with a roasted lamb, goat or venison. $65.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wine by Brad 2009 Rosé

What a fun wine this Western Australian rosé is; from the zingy fruit on the palate – which finishes quite dry – to the pop art label. There are fresh strawberries and cream flavours, hints of spice, and cleansing acid. Fresh and lively, this is a terrific little wine for picnics or parties. $17.