Saturday, August 27, 2016

Oxford Landing Estates 2016 Chardonnay

Wine writers are often obsessed by what is new and exciting. We are looking for the next big thing; an unusual grape variety, undiscovered region or a winemaker doing something different. Consumers, however, are usually driven by price and value concerns, and are happy with a brand they have tried before and enjoyed. Oxford Landing's 2016 white wines fit the bill to a tee; they are bright, fresh, reliable and great value. I enjoyed both the sauvignon blanc and this stone-fruit flavoured, lightly-oaked chardy. Think wild yeast ferments, malolactic fermentation to add creaminess and winery practices that mean it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Great drinking for under a tenner. $9.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sandalford 2015 Estate Reserve Chardonnay

This certainly has a wow! factor. It is a classic modern Australian chardonnay, beautifully balanced, that can sometimes be found around the traps for under $25 - remarkable value. It is unmistakably youthful chardonnay, but without all the arms and legs often found in such young wines. It is made from 100 % estate-grown, old-vine Margaret River fruit. Free-run juice was given full barrel fermentation in a mix of new and one-year-old Burgundian barriques and was left on its lees for eight months. The end result is a wine that is complex and nutty but with classy stone fruity characters and brisk citrusy acid on the finish leading the way. Delicious. $30.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tar & Roses 2015 Heathcote Sangiovese

The Tuscan grape sangiovese has moved from curiosity to mainstream over the past decade and is much loved by Australian drinkers keen for a savoury note to their red wines. This has earthy and herbal hints, dark fruit flavours and a stern tannin structure, opening up when given some air. The sweet black cherry fruit is aided and abetted by smoky oak that does not intrude. Very food friendly, this would work well in partnership with char-grilled lamb cutlets, or perhaps a veal schnitzel. Good work from veteran former Mitchelton winemaker Don Lewis and winemaking colleague Narelle King. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

O'Leary Walker 2016 Polish Hill River Riesling

David O'Leary and Nick Walker are masters of consistency when it comes to producing outstanding Clare Valley rieslings at exceptionally reasonable prices - and the 2016 vintage is no different. The Polish Hill wine just edged its Watervale sibling this time around; it has wonderful purity and perhaps a tad more cool-climate elegance. You'll find classic floral and citrus notes, intense minerality and crisp, but not intrusive, acid. Pair this with pan-fried flathead. Ready to go. Right this minute. $25.