Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wickhams Road 2012 Yarra Valley Chardonnay

If there were to be a competition to find the label offering the best value wines in the land then Wickhams Road would be a very serious contenderWickhams Road is the budget label of respected Yarra Valley winery Hoddles Creek, which embraces sustainable agriculture and organic methods. This is an excellent chardonnay from a serious cool-climate wine region at a price that beggars belief. It is a lip-smackingly delicious, thoroughly modern chardonnay in the style of Chablis with white stone fruit, citrus and mineral notes to the fore along with crisp acidity. Try it with flathead and chips. There is also a Gippsland chardonnay in the range that is equally excellent. $18. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Coldstream Hills 2011 Pinot Noir

The 2011 vintage was a problematic one for red wines in the Yarra Valley - and Coldstream Hills produced no reserve or individual vineyards reds. The good news, however, is that all that premium fruit went into the standard pinot noir - which while still tightly wound is a wine of immense promise. A recent online tasting hosted by founder James Halliday and winemaker Andrew Fleming underlined that the Coldstream Hills wines are very much "in the zone" right now and I enjoyed this pinot for its medium-bodied elegance, dark cherry and cranberry flavours, stalky elements, earthy delicatessen notes and well integrated French oak. It's a wine that will evolve in time, but its a classic cool-climate vintage wine right now for those who enjoy the style. $35.   

Monday, February 4, 2013

Alta by Sarah Fletcher 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

The trendies have already started chuckling at the mere thought of drinking sauvignon blanc; a variety that has become almost laughably unfashionable among the industry set. Their loss. Sauvignon blanc is popular with the general public for a reason - and this is a beautifully crisp, precise and intense wine without any overt herbaceousness. Gooseberry, fresh grass, passionfruit and grapefruit characters rule the roost here, aided by some subtle oak to add interest on the palate, which finishes crisp, dry and downright delicious. Pair it with Thai seafood dishes. $22.