Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Mount Horrocks 2021 Nero d'Avola

It is a complete mystery why we do not see more wines made from Nero d'Avola in Australia. The Sicilian grape variety is very compatible with Australian conditions and produces medium-bodied European-accented wines that are perfect for the local lifestyle. Stephanie Toole at Mount Horrocks planted Nero d'Avola in 2007 after trying a Sicilian wine in Italy. She's been leading the charge ever since with food-friendly wines that are made using older oak, adding texture. This has lip-smacking red and dark fruit notes allied to some black cherry flavours and is beautifully balanced. Pair with pasta with a game ragu, or maybe a cheese platter. Ready for immediate enjoyment. $45. https://www.mounthorrocks.com/

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

d'Soumah 2022 Tutto Bianco


An unusual white blend from the Yarra Valley - but also a very refreshing and vibrant drink perfect for enjoying with fritto misto, or fish and chips. It is a crisp and lively blend of savagnin, chardonnay, viognier and pinot grigio, all grown on the estate-owned Hexham Vineyard. All four varieties are picked and fermented separately with the chardonnay and viognier going into barrels and savagnin and pinot grigio in tanks. The parcels are later blended together to craft a quintessential summer wine. Very well priced. $28. www.soumah.com.au   

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Brokenwood 2019 Graveyard Shiraz

Oops. I messed up with this one. When it arrived I put it aside for a month or two to ensure it was in peak form when I tasted it. Graveyard is one of Australia's great red wines, and you don't want to risk it being suffering from bottle shock after travelling all the way from the Hunter Valley. Somehow it got shuffled back on the tasting bench, only be discovered last week. At four years of age it was drinking magnificently - but it is now sold out at the winery and in short supply in retail. Apologies to the Brokenwood team. For anyone able to source a bottle, or pluck one from their cellar, it is a classic, pulling off the difficult trick of combining power and elegance - like a prima ballerina. There is dark brambly fruit, spice and a supple palate with delightful balance and impeccable structure. Pair with a rabbit casserole. $350. https://www.brokenwood.com.au/

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Chateau Tanunda 2022 Grand Barossa Chardonnay


The Barossa is not normally where I would look for a chardonnay: the Yarra Valley, perhaps, the Mornington Peninsula, the Adelaide Hills, or Tasmania. That said, this is a well-priced and rather delicious chardonnay that has been picked early to retain fresh fruit flavours and some brisk acidity. Very stylish given its price point, this is surprisingly vital and elegant as well as being extremely food Very food friendly, this is largely unoaked, but a portion was matured in older French oak to add some palate interest and structure. Drink now, chilled, but not too chilled. Pair with some pork chops slathered in mushrooms. A well balanced wine from a good vintage. A solid 93 points from me. $25. https://www.chateautanundacellar.com/

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard 2018 Cabernet Shiraz


Here's a mature wine - ready to enjoy right now - that is also a current release from Brian Croser's excellent Tapanappa stable of wines. Fresh and juicy, but also stylish and sophisticated, it is a blend of Australia's two classic red varieties from two regions: the cabernet from the Whalebone Vineyard on the Limestone Coast and the shiraz grapes from Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills. It has dark mulberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours and savoury notes in impressive harmony. There is a lot happening on the palate but the end result is a wine of balance and structure, with impressive tannins. There is some cedary French oak on the scene, as well, but playing a support role. Pair with a lamb casserole and enjoy with good friends. $55. https://tapanappa.com.au/

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Moss Wood 2020 Ribbon Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

The Mugford family at Moss Wood rarely puts a foot wrong, regardless of the grape variety, or the vintage. This is a classic Margaret River cabernet from the Ribbon Vale vineyard; very stylish but with a hint of confident swagger. The dark cabernet fruit is aided and abetted by small amounts of cabernet franc, merlot and malbec in a classic Bordeaux blend. This is concentrated, but has an elegant tannin structure that makes it immediately accessible - while it is also a very solid cellaring bet. Enjoy with a roast lamb and all the trimmings. $76. www.mosswood.com.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Jean-Claude Mas 2021 Pay d'OC Le Rosé


Pale, dry and delightfully French - this would make lovely Valentine's Day gift. This Languedoc rosé is part of the new - and striking - Le Fleur collection from Jean-Claude Mas, a master of both winemaking and marketing. From vineyards planted on an old saltwater marsh, this savoury and saline drop is a blend of grenache gris, grenache noir, pinot gris, cinsaut and the rare caladoc hybrid. A very fresh and vibrant wine, it is perfect for picnics, or for supping on the back porch. The range also includes a n equally impressive 2021 pinot grigio. Both are $19.99 at Dan Murphy's stores. https://www.paulmas.com/