Saturday, September 30, 2017

Schild Estate 2015 GMS

During the week I had the good fortune to meet with some of the members of the Schild family - and to sample several of their remarkable Moorroooo shirazes, icons that contain fruit from vines that are 170 years old. But the Schild family also makes some cracking, and more affordable, wines like this super-impressive blend of three red grape varieties from the Rhone that thrive in the southern Barossa Valley: grenache (52%), mataro (24% )and shiraz (24%). What I like most about this is its sheer drinkablility. It is a wine with personality but doesn't demand too much attention; it just slips down nice and easy. Look out for vibrant ripe red fruit flavours, softness on the palate and a solid tannin backbone, along with some white pepper spice notes. Match this with a gourmet cheeseburger or perhaps a spring backyard barbecue. $18.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Lane 2016 Beginnings Chardonnay

This is one of those wines with what we describe at home as "an evaporation problem". A couple of us started sipping on this and it wasn't long before the bottle was completely empty. Mysterious. If you weren't paying attention you could easily mistake this for a Macon Villages. Close-planted Dijon clones have produced plenty of flavour and the quality fruit has sucked up new and seasoned French oak that adds structure but imparts minimal flavour. Think bright citrus flavours, white peach, nectarine, racy acidity and flinty minerality. Downright delicious. A luxury Adelaide Hills wine without the luxury price tag. $39.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Yarra Yering 2016 Malbec

So there I was, tasting a range of different wines from the Yarra Valley over a casual dinner at Giant Steps, when this one detonated in my mouth. Boom! Something special; the first 100% malbec produced by this iconic Yarra vineyard and a triumph from winemaker Sarah Crowe, who is producing an outstanding range of wines using fruit from unirrigated vines that were planted in 1969. It is Yarra Yering's boast that they produce "elegant, complex and powerful wines". That's all true here with a wow factor wine that won't be released to the public until May 2018 - and then in tiny quantities. This brambly benefaction showcases malbec that was previously used for blending with cabernet sauvignon and the end result is a bold, assertive package of dark flavours that is at once powerful and charming. If you want some of this rarity I'd contact the winery to be put on a waiting list. Amazeballs. $92.      

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sandalford 2017 Reserve Verdelho

Warmer days are on their way and I can't think of many better wines for enjoying al fresco over summer. Made from a Portuguese grape that plays a key role in the fortified wines of Madeira, this is a fresh and vibrant dry white youngster full of the joys of spring. There are floral and fruit salad aromas on the nose, leading to fresh, zingy palate with tropical fruit notes and zingy acid. Serve this well chilled with maybe a paella, some chorizo or char-grilled squid or oysters. Uncomplicated but affordable and downright delicious. $20.

Friday, September 1, 2017

d'Arenberg The High Trellis 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Another cracking bargain from the massive d'Arenberg range, this offers quality McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon for under $20. Made in the old style using some fruit from vineyards first planted in the 19the century; some portions go through pigeage (foot stomping) and a basket press. This is matured in older American oak for 20 months and the palate resonates with dark berry and black chocolate notes, allied to well-integrated oak. It's big, it's bold, but it's also in balance. I've seen this on special for $16 - which is a gift. Well worth snapping up a case, even at the RRP of $18.