Not many smaller producers would be able to produce a wine of this quality for this price. It is all about economies of scale and this traditional favourite offers excellent value for lovers of refined, potentially long-lived Coonawarra cabernets. This is a red with both power and grace, with dark inky, black fruit characters, quality oak, spice and nutty nuances all combining with impressive cohesion. This would be a perfect partner for a roast lamb, or rump steak, but would look equally at home for a decade in the cellar. $55. www.sthugo.com.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
The more albarino I taste from Australia the more I am convinced it is the white wine variety of the future in warmer regions. The Spanish variety got off to a bad start in the local marketplace when it turned out that fruit that was planted as "albarino" was actually savagnin. Now albarino vines are starting to mature we are seeing impressive results, with Andrew Margan and his team in the Hunter Valley among those leading the way with the Galician grape variety. This is medium-bodied and flavoursome with some bright acid and spicy grapefruit tang on the palate. Serve chilled with seafood or Asian dishes. Yum! $30. www.margan.com.au.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
There may be days when you only have $20 in your pocket but still want to drink something decent. This old favourite comes up trumps on one of those days, offering plenty of power and intensity in a red blend that highlights quality Clare Valley fruit. The Leasingham Bin range has been a reliable source of drinking pleasure since it was launched in 1967 and this is a standout with robust regional character, a plummy earthiness and plenty of depth on the palate thanks to the malbec component; it is a grape that thrives in the Clare. Think dark currants, chocolate, herbs and spices and some impressive structure. This would be terrific with a medium-rare steak and chips. $20. www.leasingham-wines.com.au.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Dalwood Estate is the re-birth of the first wine producing facility in the Hunter Valley - and continues production from the longest-running commercial vineyard in Australia. Established on the banks of the Hunter River in 1828, Dalwood is regarded as the birthplace of Hunter Valley wine. The wines are the first under the Dalwood label since the 1970s (the site was more recently known as Wyndham Estate) and the first since developer and hotelier Sam Arnaout’s Iris Capital group bought Dalwood last December. With talented winemaker Bryan Currie at the helm, the current releases are very impressive. This is a classic young Hunter semillon grown in sandy loam soils. Picked in mid-January, the fruit offers aromatic lemon/lemongrass notes with purity and length on the palate. Pair with fresh oysters for a gourmet treat. $27. http://dalwoodestate.com.au/