Monday, March 26, 2018

TarraWarra Estate 2016 Chardonnay

TarraWarra winemaker Clare Halloran is producing some excellent Yarra Valley wines, but this is an absolute standout when it comes to value for money. This estate-grown, hand-picked chardonnay just oozes class. It's clean and fresh with a bright acid finish but also offers real palate interest and is made with minimal intervention while retaining mainstream appeal. It is a wine of delightful balance; down to earth and definitely sessionable in a Chablisienne style. I remember attending the opening of TarraWarra some three decades ago (it seems like yesterday) and it has certainly established a reputation for excellence over those years. $28.    

Monday, March 19, 2018

Matriarch and Rogue 2017 Dot Riesling

Marnie Roberts is a busy, and talented, winemaker in the Clare Valley. Roberts not only makes three stellar rieslings for Claymore Wines, her full-time employer, but also makes two more rieslings under her own label Matriarch and Rogue, which is named in tribute to the strong women in her family. This is a classic Watervale riesling at a sensible price point, named after her great aunt Dot. Brilliantly tart and refreshing, it comes with lemon, lime and grapefruit notes to the fore, alongside racy minerality and acidity. Lots of energy here and with no additions other than sulphur, it is vegan friendly. Pair this with some King George Whiting fillets pan-fried in butter. Divine. $25.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sabre by Mitchell Harris Sparkling

It is no surprise that John Harris from Mitchell Harris Wines produces outstanding sparkling wines that stand with some of the best in the country. Harris was for several years the chief winemaker at Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley before upping sticks and moving to Ballarat, from where he sources top-class fruit from growers in the Pyrenees, Macedon, Ballarat and Henty regions. The stellar 2013 vintage of this lifted and elegant bubbly is 60% chardonnay & 40% pinot noir from the Macedon and Pyrenees ranges. A reserve dosage liqueur adds just 5g/L sugar to help create a strikingly clean and complex aperitif style. Seriously lovely drinking. $42.