Saturday, February 26, 2011

Capital Wines 2009 Kyeema Vineyard Reserve Merlot

This is a wine made in extremely limited quantities - my bottle was numbered 0097 - so you'll need to be quick if you want to snap up some of what is one of Australia's best merlots. This a long way removed from your standard monochromatic merlot with lashings of ripe berry/plummy fruit in harmony with some quality oak. Sure it is smooth and soft, as we expect our merlots to be, but it also has some impressive and sophisticated layers of flavour on the palate, integrated tannins and the potential to age for several years. The alcohol level is just 13.3% despite all those rich flavours - a credit to the team at Capital Wines, a small family company that's been making a pretty big splash recently. $46.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wickhams Road 2010 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

A decent quality pinot noir for around $15? "You've got to be dreaming," as Darryl Kerrigan once said in The Castle. Well here is a terrific little pinot, indisputably varietal and very drinkable, from the entry-level label of the Hoddles Creek winery which features no fewer than three regional Victorian pinots (Yarra, Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland). There's plenty of red berry/dark cherry characters, medium body and lots of length. You won't do better for the price. $15.99.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yalumba Y Series 2010 Pinot Grigio

Wine snobs may scoff - but this is an absolutely fantastic drink for the price, as are many of the wines in the Yalumba Y Series range. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to an everyday drinking wine; it is fresh and vibrant, crisp and clean, determinedly varietal, has some compexity added from wild ferment and lees ageing and is dreadfully easy to drink. I believe lively, zingy grigio is more likely to find favour with mainstream drinkers than the more textural - and demanding gris - and it is wines like this, with 13% alcohol and tropical fruit and shortbread biscuit characters on the palate, that can lead the way. The good news is that you often find it for several dollars cheaper than the RRP - which makes it a ridiculous bargain. I'm recommending this to anyone who cares to listen. $13.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Holm Oak 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

The Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania would not normally be your first destination for a bottle of sauvignon blanc but the last two releases from Holm Oak have been perky little numbers that show the variety's potential in Tassie. No surprise there as winemaker Rebecca Duffy and viticulturist Tim Duffy rarely put a foot wrong. This time around 20% barrel fermentation has added complexity and interest and the wine nicely straddles the grassy/tropical fruit divide. This is delightfully aromatic and fresh, undeniably varietal, with some attractive crisp acid on the palate. $25.