Thursday, May 25, 2023

Parker Estate 2022 SBW King Kong Fumé Blanc


Looking for a lip-smackingly good white wine that doesn't break the bank? Coonawarra-based Parker Estate - best-known for its high-quality red wines - also has this small-batch oaked sauvignon blanc in its portfolio, and it's a ripper. Made from 100% sauvignon blanc from the volcanic soils of Kongorong, 26km south-west of Mt Gambier, it is reminiscent of the wines of Pouilly-Fumé in the Loire Valley. Open fermented, it was given oxidative treatment, underwent natural malolactic fermentation and was maturation in French oak for seven months on lees. Vibrant with intriguing palate complexity, it is well worth trying at $28. Pair with pan-fried fish, or even with fish fingers.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Leeuwin Estate 2019 Prelude Cabernet Sauvignon


This was the standout value red wine at a recent trade tasting - a high-calibre Margaret River cabernet sauvignon from one of the best producers in Australia. I understand the 2020 vintage has been released, but there is still some of this available in retail outlets and it is well worth looking out for. It is a very sophisticated wine for its price point, very varietal with oak in a support role to the cassis-led fruit flavours and Asian spice hits. There is an impressive tannin structure, too, with 2% of merlot in the blend. A very good choice for your next dinner party. $35. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

O'Leary Walker 2022 Pinotage


You don't find many wines made from the pinotage grape in Australia. A cross of pinot noir and the French grape variety cinsaut, it is hugely popular in South Africa where it is a best seller for many well-known labels. It was created in the 1920s by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellensbosch Univerity, one of the world's great wine schools. Quite a few South African pinotages can be, how shall we say, rough around the edges, but this one - inspired by a visit to the Cape winelands - is a very smooth customer. Clare Valley vignerons O'Leary Walker are best known for their refined and superb value rieslings, and this is a new string to their bow, made from vines planted just six years ago. Think the soft, flesh approachability of gamay or pinot meunier, then throw is some savouriness and texture on the palate. Something different that is well worth exploring. It paired well with a classic meat pie. $30. 

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Crittenden 2022 Peninsula Chardonnay


This is a really lovely young cool-climate chardonnay from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria that offers excellent value for money. It is blend of fruit from several vineyards in the Teurong and Main Ridge sub-regions. The hand-harvested fruit was whole bunch-pressed to a mixture of new, one and two year old French oak barriques. Wild fermented with 30% of the wine undergoing malolactic fermentation, it is a wine with poise and precision with youthful white stone fruit and citrus flavours leading the way - and it has a very crisp, clean finish. Pair with roast pork and crackling for maximum pleasure. $37.