Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ducks In A Row 2009 Erect Habit Mataro

Glenn James-Pritchard spent 15 years as a winemaker with Southcorp/Foster's/Treasury Wine Estates before leaving to focus on his own wine label, Ducks in a Row, which allows him to specialise in lesser-known varieties like fiano, vermentino and this muscular and intense mataro (also known as mourvedre). Made from McLaren Vale fruit from 60-year-old vines, this is quite an imposing wine; uncompromisingly dark and inky with rich black/blue berry and currant fruit flavours and a tannin structure that suggests it will cellar for a minimum of decade, perhaps much longer. Love the colourful Mirka Mora label, too. $60.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hidden Talent 2009 Heathcote Shiraz Edition #1

Several small winemakers have grouped together to retail small batches of boutique wines that are sold - like cleanskins - without details of the producer appearing on the label. That means buyers get great value for money (the wines are all a tenner each) but need to buy in bulk. Among the stars in the first release of Hidden Talent wines are this juicy/savoury/peppery medium-bodied shiraz from Heathcote in Victoria and a 2009 Clare Valley Riesling Edition #1. Both are terrific wines for the price. Available online only at $10.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Capel Vale 2010 Whispering Hill Riesling

Move over Clare Valley; step aside Eden Valley. Mount Barker in West Australia's south west is fast emerging as a serious producer of high quality rieslings. An oustanding single vineyard wine from the edge of the Prongorup Ranges, this has gloriously welcoming floral aromas and searingly intense lemon and lime flavours on a palate that is both beautifully fresh and perfectly balanced. This is a wine for sipping and savouring; an elegant supermodel. $33.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kingston Estate 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

If you are looking at Australian cabernet sauvignon for under $15 you are generally looking at quaffing wines that while not causing any offence are equally likely not to create any excitement. Here's an exception to that rule; a very well-made blend of fruit from the Limestone Coast and Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia that while offering considerable grunt on the palate (fruit cake, dark chocolate, spearmint) also has quite a bit of elegance with oak nicely measured and impressive length and structure. You could do a lot worse, but probably won't do much better for $14.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Donny Goodmac 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

I've known Stuart "Donny" Gregor since he was a copy boy at the Daily Telegraph a quarter of a decade ago (he made a darn fine coffee). Since then he's morphed into a wine writer of repute and now owns one of Australia's leading wine PR agencies. He, along with Cameron Mackenzie and Kate Goodman, are also the trio behind the Donny Goodmac label (a combination of their names). While I could be accused of bias, I honestly found this a terrific wine, superior to the shiraz and an excellent example of cool-climate Yarra cabernet with elegance, restraint (not seomthing usually associated with Mr Gregor) and immense potential. You'll find blackberry, cedar and mint characters but the wine has knitted together so seamlessly what you really get is a great drink. $32.