Saturday, August 26, 2017

Blue Pyrenees Estate 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

There are some very high-quality wines at extremely reasonable prices coming out of Blue Pyrenees Estate - kudos to winemaker Andrew Koerner. I particularly enjoyed this wine because of its balance - it is a red (99% cabernet, 1% merlot) that reflects its Western Victorian heritage: it's medium-bodied, well structured and has plenty of palate interest. Dark berry fruit flavours align with well-integrated cedary oak for a wine of grace and structure that will cellar well for a decade or more. Pair this with to a late winter casserole; maybe an osso bucco or mushroom fricassée. $26.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Massena 2017 Fruit Salad Block

How cool is this? Minimalist, edgy, fresh, non-conformist and dangerously drinkable. The hipsters will love this brand-new field blend from Massena Vineyards in the Barossa Valley, one of the Artisans of the Barossa collective. But so do old beardies like myself. Winemaker Jaysen (such a trendy name) Collins has a very different take on winemaking, saying he "makes spontaneous decisions how to make the wine.” Around a dozen different grape varieties from the Eden Valley go into this blend; including muscat, riesling and other whites, along with red varieties including grenache and mataro. Some of the fruit is from old vines and it sees a short amount of skin contact to lift the funk levels up a few degrees. Think sweet and sour notes, muscaty and citrus flavours, brisk acid and impressive refreshment. $30.   

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Rusden 2015 Driftsand

This is one of Australia's best quaffing reds, but keeps a pretty low profile in comparison to some of its shoutier rivals. It's under cork, which to me makes no sense for a bottle priced as a picnic/barbecue wine, but you certainly can't argue about the quality of what is in the bottle. This is a traditional blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro from the Barossa that stars on a regular basis. The fruit comes from proven vineyards (replanted with grenache and mataro in the 1990s after the ill-advised 1970s vine pull). Bright, plummy and spicy, this is chockful of savoury goodness and downright drinkability. $20.