Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clairault 2009 Estate Chardonnay

There are some pretty exciting chardonnays out there at the moment, but this shines as one of the best of the new-style wines that are all about pure fruit flavours. savoury complexity and linearity. This is a million miles away from the blousy, oaky chardonnays of a few years ago. It's a wine with all the bells and whistles: 100% new French oak barriques, whole bunch pressing, lees stirring and partial malo mean it has plenty of mealy, nutty interest along with good acid structure but it is still the pristine Margaret River fruit, with nectarine and peaches and cream flavours, that is the star of the show. www.clairaultwines.com.au. $39.

The Idiot 2009 Shiraz by Philip Shaw

Purity of fruit is the key to the success of this easy-drinking cool-climate shiraz from Philip Shaw's 20-year-old Koomooloo vineyard outside Orange in Central Western New South Wales. It's a wine designed for enjoying with food and friends, without too much thought, but it has already won three trophies at the Royal Sydney Wine Show - a tribute to Shaw's ability to craft wines that are crowd-pleasers. Ideal for pairing with lighter dishes, it is vibrantly fruity with lashings of peppery spice and a nice soft palate. The alcohol is pretty low, too, at 13.7%. A really lovely wine. www.philipshaw.com.au. $20.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Medhurst 2010 RedShed Pinot Noir

Former Domaine Chandon chief winemaker Matt Steel is producing some impressive wines under the Medhurst label - using quality fruit from the Yarra Valley vineyards owned by former Southcorp CEO Ross Wilson and his wife Robyn. There is nothing too serious about this bright, attractive, easy-drinking pinot, but it is a wonderful wine for drinking without thinking. Designed for enjoying in its youth, it has some vibrant fruit, nice texture and plenty of youthful exuberance. An ideal picnic wine. $19.50. http://www.medhurstwines.com.au/.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Simonnet-Febvre 2008 Petit Chablis

Wines like this are the essence of pure chardonnay, offering fresh, tangy fruit along with steely minerality. This is a beautiful wine for the price with classic oyster shell, floral and sea spray aromas. It's on the lighter side of the scale when it comes to weight but has plenty of length and zesty lemony intensity, along with oodles of acid on the finish. You'll find it at Dan Murphy stores. It's uncomplicated. lean like a whippet and tightly wound but offers fantastic drinking at the very moderate RRP of $18.95. Brilliant with seafood.