Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Water Wheel 2009 Shiraz

Shiraz does not have to be in-your-face; all macho and snarling. It can also be soft, silky and amenable, as is this case with this old favourite from Bendigo winery Water Wheel. Estate grown, this has a ripeness and softness to it that makes it irresistible; a veritable Lolita. There are also some savoury, earthy notes but it is the vibrant dark berry fruit that leads the way. A real bargain and a great choice for a weekend barbecue. $18. www.waterwheelwine.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hollick 2010 Savagnin

Savagnin is the grape variety that everyone who had planted it in Australia thought was albarino, a Spanish grape of considerable merit. Owing to an inexplicable mix-up it turned out that the vines had been planted were actually savagnin, a grape from the Jura region of France that has seldom risen to great heights. This, however, shows that savagnin can work well in Australia. Winemaker Matt Caldersmith has crafted an aromatic, crisp, clean and fresh white wine with zingy green apple and pear notes. A wine for enjoying in its youth, it has good acid and nice length and should be served well chilled. www.hollick.com. $21.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zette 2005 Malbec

Zette is the second label of Domaine de Lagr├ęzette, one of the leading producers in Cahors, south-west France, where malbec is king. This is an attractive and mature malbec and a considerable bargain. It's a plush, ripe red made in a New World style and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The forward dark fruit is matched by some supple tannins, hints of spice and softness on the palate. This medium-bodied wine is from a particularly good vintage and is drinking very well, particularly when paired with red meat dishes. Great buying at $14.99. Imported by www.discovervin.com.au who have an impressive range of regional French wines.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brokenwood 2009 Hunter Valley Shiraz

Brokenwood may have extended their reach well beyond the Hunter Valley, sourcing fruit from Beechworth, Orange and McLaren Vale among other regions, but their strength still lies with the Hunter's core grapes; semillon and shiraz. After a couple of difficult vintages, 2009 provided some respite and produced this impressive sibling to the iconic Graveyard Shiraz. This is a typically savoury, earthy Hunter wine from a cooler year with attractive lifted fruit. It's medium-bodied with 13.5% alcohol and very drinkable even if the oak is just a little forward in its youth. I suspect this well-bred wine will cellar impressively but it is already a very attractive proposition. $40. www.brokenwood.com.au.