Friday, January 29, 2021
I knew so little about Marcus Hill that I wasn't sure if he was a person or a place. Now, having worked my way through a pinot noir, a pinot meunier and a riesling I can recommend the Marcus Hill Vineyard on the cool Bellarine Peninsula as a label to watch out for. The vineyard is a short drive from Geelong towards the coastal townships of Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale and was planted in 1999. Richard and Margot Harrison handcraft wines with minimal intervention - and all that I have tried so far have impressed. This is barrel fermented, dry with sweet pear and Fuji apple flavours, hints of caramel and a long, impressively dry finish. Very drinkable. Pair with salt and pepper calamari. $25. www.marcushillvineyard.com.au/
Sunday, January 24, 2021
A powerful, structured cabernet from one of the best producers in Margaret River for under $30? It sounds too good to be true but Filius "son of" delivers in a big way with intensity allied to a supple, easy-drinking framework. This is a classic Bordeaux blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, petit verdot and merlot, matured in mainly older French oak barriques. Deliciously drinkable with blackcurrant, delicatessen and spicy oak notes. The vinous equivalent of a Phil Spector hit. $29. www.vasssefelix.com.au.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Hay Shed Hill wines are a byword for value for those in the know but can tend to fly a little under the radar in the eastern states. When it comes to price-quality ratio, this chardonnay is outstanding; modern and restrained but with plenty of palate interest. The RRP for this is probably a tenner below what the wine is really worth. Think citrus and white pear notes to the fore, relatively low alcohol at 12.5%, and a fresh, clean palate where French oak merely adds interest but does not intrude on the star attraction, the delicious fruit. Very dry, very bright, very drinkable. $28. https://hayshedhill.com.au/
Thursday, January 7, 2021
This is one of the most impressive Clare Valley rieslings I have seen from 2020 - and it comes at a bargain price, too. Cool-fermented juice was given a dose of natural grape sugar to provide additional flavour and complexity. A floral nose leads on to traditional lime, lemon and grapefruit flavours here, along with some very refreshing crisp acidity and some archetypal Clare slatey minerality. Enjoy a glass or two on the back veranda or pair with some whiting fillets. $22. https://kilikanoon.com.au