Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hesketh 2021 Dangerous Type Merlot

There are a lot of dull merlots out there in retail land, but this new addition to the Hesketh Limestone Coast range delivers a lot of midweek drinking pleasure at a very fair price. This is a very modern take on merlot with minimal oak influence and a focus on the fresh dark fruit from a cooler region of South Australia. Bright and flavoursome. Pair with anything from a gourmet burger to a spaghetti bolognaise You could even enjoy this lightly chilled. With a top-notch winemaking team of Andrew Hardy and Keeda Zilm, this is a range well worth keeping an eye out for. $16.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Oakridge 2022 Henk Vineyard Chardonnay


This is consistently one of the best sub $50 chardonnays in Australia with winemaker David Bicknell and his team utilising grapes from the outstanding Henk vineyard in Woori Yallock in the Yarra Valley. It is a wine of impeccable balance - everything within its place - and unashamedly medium bodied. Fruit was handpicked and whole-bunch pressed to large format oak for a natural fermentation followed by 10 months maturing on lees. Floral, with an enticing melange of tropical fruit, citrus and mineral notes, it wafts across the palate like a cooling summer breeze. Even its youth this complex wine is accessible and enticing, and would pair with pork dishes or poultry. Absolutely delightful. $48.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Levantine Hill 2019 Syrah

Levantine Hill is a big, bold operation in the Yarra Valley. It is spectacular - and in your face. But this wine is none of those things. It is a delightfully composed and elegant cool-climate shiraz that's full of light and shade. Winemaker Paul Bridgeman shows just how appealing Yarra shiraz can be with a wine that is drinking beautifully at five years of age. It is aromatic, delicate but intense, and extremely food friendly with a melange of spice and savoury notes. There is some mince pie richness, sure, but this a beautifully complex wine that is all the better for being medium bodied. $80.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Terre à Terre 2022 Crayères Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

This is one of the most interesting sauvignons blanc releases in Australia, perhaps because it is made in a very different style, and is less overt than most wines made with the variety. The fruit is hand harvested from the close-spaced Crayères Vineyard in Wrattonbully and whole-bunch pressed before being fermented in large old oak demi-muids (600L) where it is left on lees that help add texture, richness and complexity. It would probably have been called fumé blanc in years past. A seriously good food wine paired with anything from seafood to Chinese dishes. $50.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Springs Road 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon


Here's a nice little discovery. In 2016 Joch Bosworth and Louise Hemsley-Smith from McLaren Vale’s organic Battle of Bosworth wines bought the Springs Road vineyard on the northern part of Kangaroo Island, releasing their first wines at the end of 2018. Six years later I've just caught on to a range that is estate grown and made from vines that are in transition to organic certification. And even if you don't care a jot about that, I can assure you that this is a delightfully varietal and very well-priced cabernet that that is medium bodied and full of classic flavours and structure. Love good Bordeauxs? You'll want to try this. Jump on board and pair with a traditional lamb roast. $35.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Apricus Hill 2023 Semillon


When it comes to semillon it is hard to go past the stellar offerings from the Hunter Valley, but this one from Denmark in the Great Southern region of Western Australia is a worthy contender. Established almost 30 years ago, Apricus Hill is part of James Kellie's Harewood Estate group and is the highest vineyard in Denmark with maritime influences producing wines of serious style. This racy number was made from free run juice without any oak treatment and delivers elevated aromatics and exceptional freshness and delicacy on the palate with citrus and fresh-cut grass notes along with tropical fruit flavours. Serve lightly chilled for maximum pleasure, Distributed by Single Vineyard Sellers. $40.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

JP Drouet 2022 Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc


A little taste of France for a tenner? Yes, it is another of those Aldi wine bargains that are popping up with impressive regularity. From just down the road from sauvignon blanc heartland in Sancerre, it is a definite bargain. Made mainly with fruit from nearby Touraine, this is the perfect choice for midweek drinking. It is crisp and clean and without any overt herbaceous notes or intrusive acid. Zingy and refreshing, it can be enjoyed with our without food, given its stone fruit and tropical flavours and brisk mineral hints. Aldi wine supremo Jason Bowyer and his team recommend enjoying it with a chicken salad. It also went well with a ham and coleslaw sandwich on sourdough. A lighter style perfect for lunchtime enjoyment. $10.