Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Vasse Felix 2021 Chardonnay


The Vasse Felix 2021 Heytesbury Chardonnay is one of the finest white wines in the land - and is priced accordingly at $110 a bottle. For everyday drinking, its close kin the estate chardonnay offers premium drinking and very fair value. From a low yielding vintage in Margaret River, this is a wine that offers great concentration of flavour, but is also impeccably balanced. Great work from winemaker Virginia Wilcock. Organically grown grapes underwent 100% barrel-fermentation with wild yeasts and cloudy juice. Malo occurred in just over half the batches. Think classic stone fruit flavours and palate complexity. Nine months of French oak maturation and another six months of secondary development on lees in tank before bottling has produced a stunning wine that comes in at just 12.5% alcohol. Pair with pork spare ribs for max fun. $45.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Mount Horrocks 2021 Nero d'Avola

It is a complete mystery why we do not see more wines made from Nero d'Avola in Australia. The Sicilian grape variety is very compatible with Australian conditions and produces medium-bodied European-accented wines that are perfect for the local lifestyle. Stephanie Toole at Mount Horrocks planted Nero d'Avola in 2007 after trying a Sicilian wine in Italy. She's been leading the charge ever since with food-friendly wines that are made using older oak, adding texture. This has lip-smacking red and dark fruit notes allied to some black cherry flavours and is beautifully balanced. Pair with pasta with a game ragu, or maybe a cheese platter. Ready for immediate enjoyment. $45.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

d'Soumah 2022 Tutto Bianco


An unusual white blend from the Yarra Valley - but also a very refreshing and vibrant drink perfect for enjoying with fritto misto, or fish and chips. It is a crisp and lively blend of savagnin, chardonnay, viognier and pinot grigio, all grown on the estate-owned Hexham Vineyard. All four varieties are picked and fermented separately with the chardonnay and viognier going into barrels and savagnin and pinot grigio in tanks. The parcels are later blended together to craft a quintessential summer wine. Very well priced. $28.   

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Brokenwood 2019 Graveyard Shiraz

Oops. I messed up with this one. When it arrived I put it aside for a month or two to ensure it was in peak form when I tasted it. Graveyard is one of Australia's great red wines, and you don't want to risk it being suffering from bottle shock after travelling all the way from the Hunter Valley. Somehow it got shuffled back on the tasting bench, only be discovered last week. At four years of age it was drinking magnificently - but it is now sold out at the winery and in short supply in retail. Apologies to the Brokenwood team. For anyone able to source a bottle, or pluck one from their cellar, it is a classic, pulling off the difficult trick of combining power and elegance - like a prima ballerina. There is dark brambly fruit, spice and a supple palate with delightful balance and impeccable structure. Pair with a rabbit casserole. $350.