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"This is exquisite," said my wife, who has been known to enjoy a glass or two of bubbles in her time. I'd have to agree, having just made a note that this is an excellent choice for enjoying al fresco on these increasingly warm days. Rosé wines are all the rage right now and with the party season approaching it might pay to make a note of this dryish, fresh, crisp and clean Champagne with bright red fruit flavours. It is excellent with or without food. Champagne Duperrey comes from the family-owned Champagne house of G.H. Martel & Co, founded in 1869, and is named after French explorer Louis Isidore Duperrey. It's imported by Dan Murphy's and outshines several more expensive rosé bubblies.
Filius (son of in Latin) may be the entry-level chardonnay in the impressive Vasse Felix line-up but for immediate drinking pleasure, it is hard to beat. The first winery to be planted in Margaret River remains a national treasure with winemaker Virginia Willcock very much at the top of her game. This has vibrant but elegant fruit characters (think citrus and finger limes), and tight acid backbone. There is a certain willfulness here thanks to nine months of maturation in older oak and battonage treatment. The more expensive estate chardonnay and the flagship Heytesbury also shine from this vintage, but this is the one to enjoy right. $28. www.vassefelix.com.au.
I was all set to review the very impressive Elderton 2015 Shiraz when I came across this cabernet in a different tasting bracket a couple of days later. If you enjoy bold but brilliantly balanced cabernets then you won't want to miss this. Estate-grown and made, it is full-bodied but 47% of higher-altitude Eden Valley fruit married to Nuriootpa and Greenock grapes ensures it also has some impressive elegance. Second- and third-year larger format French oak add palate interest and structure without overwhelming the quality fruit. Think briary blackcurrants, plums, cassis, dark chocolate and brisk tannins. This is delicious right now and will cellar for a decade or two. Pair this with a roast lamb en croute, or perhaps a rabbit casserole. $34. www.eldertonwines.com.au.
If anyone was in need of a reminder just how refreshing young sauvignon blanc can be, this new-release from outstanding Orange region winery Angullong comes in to land an impressive left-right combination of freshness and natural acidity. It is an excellent example of unoaked cool-climate sauvignon, with a vibrant floral nose and a melange of citrus and stone fruit flavours on the palate. There is plenty of length and a crisp, bone dry finish. Excellent drinking chilled on a warm afternoon and an amiable companion for seafood and shellfish. I'll give this one 92/100. $20. www.angullong.com.au.