Saturday, June 29, 2013

Terre a Terre 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

There is a consistent quality to the wines that Xavier Bizot and Luxy Croser produce from their small Wrattonbully vineyard on the Limestone Coast. I had their 2012 sauvignon blanc ready to review, but it was then trumped by this outstanding varietal cabernet that shows remarkable intensity given the vines were planted less than a decade ago. There's plenty of blackcurrant power here, an impressive tannin structure, too, along with classic herbs and spice with beautifully balanced oak. It is well worth buying a six-pack and enjoying a bottle or two over each of the next few years. $33.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oakridge 2012 Over The Shoulder Chardonnay

Here we go again - another new release from Oakridge and more fawning praise from the wine media. The simple fact is David Bicknell is making some of the best chardonnays anywhere in Australia - and this offers terrific value for money. From a stellar Yarra Valley vintage, it is a blend of grapes from several regions of the Yarra and is everything you'd expect from an Oakridge chardy; fresh, clean and minerally with beautifully poised acid. It's steely with the meerest breath of oak, but with hints of creaminess on the palate to add textural interest. And it  can often be found on special well below the RRP of $23. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yarran 2012 Pinot Grigio

The Yarran range was one my discoveries on a recent trip to the Riverina - young winemaker Sam Brewer is producing some excellent wines at very reasonable prices and I also enjoyed the chardonnay and merlot from 2012. This is an unashamed grigio, very northern Italian in style, that is vibrant and varietal with delightful crispness on the finish. The fruit leaps out of the glass and the brisk acid guarantees refreshment. An ideal post-work pick me up and terrific value at $12. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Berton Vineyards 2012 The Black Shiraz

A big, rich, deeply coloured shiraz from Berton Vineyards (probably better known in the UK than Australia) is a formidable value-for-money buy. A blend of local Riverina fruit with some from Swan Hill in the Riverland, this has some enticing aromas leading to a soft, approachable palate with dark, ripe berry fruit and well-integrated oak. There's nothing too subtle here; just a well put together soft and approachable red that wants to be your friend and over-delivers on quality. Put a bottle of this beside you when you are watching the footy and I'll bet it is empty before full-time. A cracker this. $12. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Vasse Felix 2010 Heytesbury

Margaret River keeps racking up great vintage after great vintage and Vasse Felix winemaker Virginia Willcock keeps turning out out classic version after classic version of Heytesbury, the pioneering Western Australian winery's flagship Bordeaux blend. A cabernet sauvignon-dominated wine that also contains petit verdot and malbec, this has spent 18 months in top-quality French barriques and is a superbly supple wine, boasting restrained power and intense berry fruit beautifully allied to the well-integrated oak. This will undoubtedly cellar well but is temptingly gorgeous right now. $90.