Monday, November 29, 2021

West Cape Howe 2018 Book Ends Cabernet Sauvignon


Here is a wine from one of the most reliable producers in the country that offers remarkable value for money. If you are looking for an excellent cabernet to pair with your turkey or goose over Christmas you won't go wrong with this one, made from grapes sourced some of the best blocks in Mount Barker in West Australia's Great Southern. There is delicious quality fruit to the fore here, with assistance from maturation in French oak barriques, 30% new, for 18 months. This is a deep, dark colour, with plum and dark berry characters, chocolate cake hints and more line and length than Dennis Lillee. This shone in a line-up containing several more expensive cabernets. $30. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Levantine Hill 2018 Chardonnay


Elias and Colleen Jreissati, the owners of Levantine Hill, are friends of mine. I have the greatest respect for winemaker Paul Bridgeman, who combines technical excellence with serious flair. So, having declared my bias, I'd like to say that this is best Levantine Hill estate chardonnay I have sampled. It is a wine of balance and panache, French accented but defiantly Australian. Hand-picked, hand-sorted and whole-bunch pressed Yarra Valley fruit has been utilised alongside mainly older French oak and the juice has been aged on lees to add complexity. This is medium-bodied, full of personality and delightfully drinkable. If you enjoy Meursault then you need to try this. $80. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Schild Estate 2019 Pramie Shiraz


If this wine was a boxer it would be a very young Muhammad Ali. It effortlessly combines power with style and elegance and definitely stands out from the pack. Barossa winery Schild Estate has access to some of the oldest and best vines in the region, but this is far from being a monochromatic knockout artist. It is enticingly aromatic and has plenty of textural interest in its layers of flavours. It  certainly tastes for more expensive than its price tag. Think wild berries, ripe plums, astutely judged oak and impressive structure. A very fine Christmas present for a red wine collector. $50.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Freycinet Vineyard 2018 Louis Chardonnay


Claudio Radenti, one of Tasmania's most talented winemakers, makes more expensive wines than this; as well as wines that are more complex. But I doubt he makes many that offer better value for money. Hand-picked, crushed and destemmed, this estate-grown wine is sitting right in the zone at three years of age with lovely balance and immediate drinkability. This was cool fermented in tanks before undergoing lees treatment and it is the vibrant cool-climate fruit that shines. Stone fruit and citrus flavours sit comfortably together in a fun wine designed for immediate enjoyment. Plenty of length; lashings of appeal. $33.