Tuesday, October 19, 2021

O'Leary Walker 2021 Polish Hill River Riesling

This is the perfect dry white wine for summer enjoyment; fresh, crisp and deliciously drinkable with or without food. Made from fruit grown in perhaps the best sub-region of the Clare Valley for quality riesling, this is priced at well below what other regional benchmarks cost. Winemaker David O'Leary says it is "lively, but elegant" so think floral aromas, classic citrus notes, brisk minerality and hints of lemon talc. Brilliant with pan-fried fish and can be found for under the RPP on special. $30. www.olearywalkerwines.com/

Friday, October 8, 2021

Dog Point 2019 Pinot Noir


Australians are spoilt for choice with cool-climate pinot noirs of the highest quality from Tasmania and Victoria, but New Zealand also has a lot to offer when it comes to pleasing pinotphiles. From Marlborough, rather than pinot central in Central Otago, this is crafted by a team who cut their teeth at Cloudy Bay but whose wines often eclipse those from that icon. This is bright and floral with crunchy red apple and red berry fruit flavours, herbal hints, subtle oak and impressive texture. Made from organically grown fruit, this finishes soft and smooth and is seriously delicious. Pair with Chinese roast duck for maximum pleasure. $49. https://dogpoint.co.nz/

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Tokar Estate 2021 Pet Nat


Tokar Estate in the Yarra Valley has just released its first Pét Nat, which is great news for all hipsters looking for a bright pink fizzy drink for summer enjoyment. Ideal for picnics or a day on St Kilda Beach, the new bubbly has a distinct taste of sour pear drops, and found favour with my natural wine-loving constituents. For non hipsters, Pét Nat is short for Pétillant Naturel, which is French for “naturally sparkling”. Wines made in this style use the natural gases produced during fermentation to create funky, lo-fi wines. Be careful opening this one as it cascades from the bottle, unleashing citrus, berry, pear drop and brioche notes. $25. tokarestate.com.au

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Dandelion Vineyards Wonderland of the Eden Valley 2021 Riesling


Other than the Clare Valley, the Eden Valley is Australia's most reliable source of high-quality dry riesling and Elena and Zar Brooks from Dandelion Vineyards have sourced some ripping fruit from octogenerian grape grower Colin Kroehn, whose vines were planted in 1912. Think citrus blossom notes, crisp acid, zesty, crunchy citrus fruit flavours and an alcohol level of just 10.9%. This is wonderfully pure and would pair brilliantly with grilled seafood. It also has cellaring potential, should you be the patient type. $60 - but worth it. https://dandelionvineyards.com.au/

Monday, September 20, 2021

Mount Horrocks 2021 Rosé

Spring has sprung and here is the perfect vinous accompaniment to warmer days and evenings. Made from 100% Clare Valley shiraz from a single vineyard, this is organic and biodynamic certified, refreshing and delicious - as you would expect from the consistently excellent Stephanie Toole. It is a vibrant pink in colour with crisp raspberry and strawberry fruit flavours and a definite savoury edge a la the great rosés of Provence. It finishes crunchy and dry and can be enjoyed now, or any time over the next 18 months. Pair with a Lebanese mezze plate for maximum bang for your buck. $30. www.mounthorrocks.com/

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Vasse Felix 2019 Shiraz


Vasse Felix is one of the founding wineries of Margaret River in Western Australia, a region much better known for cabernet sauvignon than shiraz, but this is a really nifty cool-climate style shiraz that offers pleasurable drinking at a sensible price. Winemaker Virginia Willcock and her team have put a lot of effort into the plantings of shiraz in the warmer south of the region, where the grape produces Rhone-like peppery cooler-climate characters. Red berries and spice notes are the essence of this lip-smacker with oak playing a minimal background role. This was wild fermented in small batches and delivers a whole lot of vinous pleasure for $37. https://www.vassefelix.com.au/

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Rieslingfreak 2021 No.2 Reverence of Riesling


John Hughes really is a riesling freak. His range comprises several styles of rieslings made using fruit from various cooler regions of South Australia. The No.2 sources fruit from classic riesling territory, the Polish Hill River of the Clare Valley - home to several of the finest and most expensive - takes on the varietal. This is very dry, very lean and absolutely stunning with green apple, lime, lemon and grapefruit flavours, tidy minerality and bright acidity on the finish. Thrilling!  Distributed by Red+White but made in tiny  quantities. $37.