Monday, June 28, 2010

Penfolds 2006 St Henri Shiraz

St Henri is often an unsung hero when it comes to Penfolds' range of premium reds but there's no chance of the 2006 being overlooked - it's an absolute ripper. It's a gloriously out-there wine in which pure fruit flavours are the focus, with oak influence negligible. It has bright, concentrated fruit flavours on the blueberry side of the spectrum, some light spice elements, lovely length on the palate and plenty of weight, while being beautifully balanced. It's drinking superbly right now (our bottled seemed to miraculously evaporate) but this is a proven cellaring prospect. Australian shiraz doesn't get much better. $90.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mitolo 2010 Jester Vermentino

The Italian grape vermentino is creating quite a buzz in Australia with the late-ripening variety, which hails from Liguria, Sardinia and Corsica, producing fragrant, crisp and dry whites which are perfect for enjoying in their first bloom of youth. De Bortoli Hunter Valley and Trentham Estate have also enjoyed success with the grape and this is a really lovely wine made from fruit grown at Willunga in southern McLaren Vale that's ideal for enjoying chilled. Its minerality, acidity and dryness make it an attractive partner for seafood and spicy dishes. $24.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cullen 2008 Diana Madeline

Vanya Cullen is an extraordinarily talented winemaker and her top-of-the-range red is always eagerly awaited. This is biodynamic and beautiful; elegant and complex but not at all green and stalky. It’s a million miles away from most Australian reds in style with just 12.5% alcohol, but I like it a lot. If I’d been told it was from a left bank Bordeaux producer from a goodish year I wouldn’t have been at all surprised. If you enjoy big Barossa reds this cabernet merlot won’t thrill you, but if you favour reds that are stylish, medium-bodied and intriguing then you’ll be captivated. And it will almost certainly cellar well for a decade or two. Treat yourself. $105.

Monday, June 7, 2010

K1 by Geoff Hardy 2009 Viognier

A lot of Australian viogniers are, how shall I put this gently, overtly apricoty. They can resemble canned apricot juice - and not in a good way. Not so this excellent viognier from the Adelaide Hills, which can be considerable cooler than the grape's Rhone home. The nose is white peach and spice, the palate pleasantly rounded thanks to barrel fermentation and with elegant peach and pear flavours with hints of Asian spices and nuttiness. It's a bit like a carnvial in your mouth. There's no doubt this is one of the most accomplished, and interesting, Aussie viogniers I've tried. $25.