Friday, April 29, 2011

Under&Over 2010 Tumbarumba Chardonnay

This one screams out "bargain". For a start it is made from fruit grown in Tumbarumba, one of Australia's best cool-climate grape growing regions. Secondly, its made by the talented team of winemaker Corey Ryan and marketer Nicholas Crampton, who are producing some top-notch wines. And thirdly it is a very good wine that could quite easily retail for considerably more. It's quite lean and elegant, composed and crisp with grapefruit and pear characters to the fore, only lightly oaked with some nice mouthfeel, length and finishing acid. A wine for snapping up by the case and using as your house wine - your guests will be very surprised when you tell them the RRP is $13.99.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tapanappa 2010 Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir

What a tempting wine this is. OK, it's very youthful - and comes from young vines, too - planted by veteran winemaker Brian Croser at Parawa; a cool, foggy site on the Fleurieu Peninsula, in 2006. The proof is in the pudding, however, and Croser has been proved correct in identifying this as a special site. It's probably a bigger wine than hoped for - the result of a warm vintage - with plenty of appealing sweet fruit, but there's also impressive tannin structure and some silky elegance on the palate to keep the bold fruit in check. Great news for consumers, too, is that the wine is under screwcap; as is the Tapanappa 2010 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay. Only 500 cases were made, so it may pay to be quick off the mark. $39.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dog Point 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

Forget what your fashionable friends tell you. The best sauvignon blancs from Marlborough continue to offer delightful drinking - and this tangy little number is certainly in the upper echelons. The first sip confirmed its drinkability and we continued to enjoy it over three days until the bottle was incontrovertably empty. The bouquet is particularly vibrant with citrus and papaya notes while there is plenty of flavour on the palate with plenty of tropical fruit characters, less herbaceousness than you would expect, some complexity added by a portion of natural yeast ferment and refreshing finishing acidity. A very nice package and ideal for enjoying with shellfish. I'd drink it over the next 12 months. $26.

Capel Vale 2009 Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

Here's a delightful young cabernet sauvignon that offers value with a capital V. Quintessentially Margaret River in style, it is a vibrant young thing with hints of cedary oak and mulberries on the nose. It is well-balanced on the palate, where you'll find blackcurrant fruit flavours along with eucalypt, dark chocolate and mint notes and a tannin structure that suggests this will continue develop for at least five years. I found the wine a most agreeable companion to a selection of tapas but it has enough weight and power to accompany a hearty beef stew. A wine offering a commendable combination of power and elegance. $25.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Morrisons 2009 The Siege Shiraz Durif

Winemaking doesn't get any more boutique. Bob and Dianne Morrison handcraft tiny quantities of wine at their remote hilltop winery in the hills above Glenrowan, most of them rustic and intensely flavoured reds. This blend of 80% shiraz and 20% durif stood out from the pack for me with its appealing dark berry fruit flavours, hints of dark chocolate and serious tannin structure. This is a medium- to full-bodied red that will be an excllent winter warmer. Serve it with roasts, casseroles or hearty pasta dishes. I left the best news for last: it is ridiculaously good value at just $15.