Sunday, October 30, 2016

Freeman 2016 Rondo Rondinella Rosé

Brian Freeman grows a wide number of grape varieties on his property outside Young, in the New South Wales Hilltops region, but his passion is Italian grapes, particularly rondinella (a northern Italian grape used in the wines of Valpolicella), which he blends with corvina in a red table wine he calls Secco, as well as for this wine, one of Australia's best savoury rosés. Freeman describes this as "salmon-hued, spicy and refreshing". It is certainly deliciously drinkable in the style of the Veneto, and extremely food friendly. A very good choice for an early-evening tipple on the back porch, or for serving, lightly chilled, with an antipasti plate. $20.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bremerton 2016 Betty&Lu Sauvignon Blanc

There is a lot of disdain for sauvignon blanc among wine industry insiders, but it is easy to see why it is such an appealing variety for members of the public. This is a very good example of fresh, zingy and affordable savvy blanc - made by the Willson sisters, Rebecca and Lucy (aka Betty and Lu) at Langhorne Creek in South Australia. If you enjoy wines with bright, tropical fruit salad freshness, lively acidity and plenty of length, then this is an ideal summer quaffer for you. Pure and refreshing, this can be partnered with everything from a chicken sandwich to a seafood platter. Great value, too. $17. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Angove 2015 Long Row Shiraz

You don't get much for a tenner nowadays. Maybe a sandwich and a pack of crisps at the local, or perhaps a glass of something pretty average at the bar. How the Angove family manage to put out a bottle of this drinkability at a bargain basement price is something of a mystery, but also something that wine drinkers on a tight budget should celebrate. This the perfect midweek drink; a clean, bright and fresh fruit-driven red from the Riverland with plenty of flavour. There's red and black fruit, hints of pepper and minimal oak influence. It would be terrific with a grilled sausage sandwich, a cheeseburger and chips, or a slice of pizza. At $20 you'd say it doesn't stand out from the crowd. But at $10 it's a ripper.   

Friday, October 7, 2016

Shottesbrooke 2014 Merlot

There are only a handful of Australian merlots that I consider to be of exemplary quality - and this new release from Hamish Maguire at Shottesbrooke in McLaren Vale is firmly in that top echelon. This is flavoursome and medium-bodied with customary sweet/soft merlot fruit but alongside some texture, fine tannins and black cherry/spice interest. Estate-grown grapes provide a freshness and vibrancy on the plush palate that makes this immediately appealing - while its sub-$20 price tag marks it as a wine that over-delivers when it comes to value. You can find it at Dan Murphy's stores. $20.   

Sunday, October 2, 2016

De Bortoli 2016 Bella Riva Pinot Grigio

Summer is on the way, and many drinkers will be searching for an affordable white wine for warm weather enjoyment and serious thirst quenching. This vivacious King Valley wine from the talented De Bortoli Yarra Valley team ticks a whole lot of boxes. It is made in the Italian grigio style, crisp and fresh and ready to enjoy, lively, aromatic and, to steal a line from the back label, "perky". Think ripe pear fruit flavours, texture and some refreshing acidity. Great with seafoods or seasonal salads, and seriously good value. $16.