Thursday, February 29, 2024

Paxton 2022 AAA Shiraz Grenache

There is a TV show called The Bold and the Beautiful that has been around for decades. This organic and biodynamic wine from McLaren Vale is a rather more recent arrival, but it certainly shares those attributes as a vibrant - and affordable - red blend that is food friendly and very swigable. A blend of 55% shiraz, 41% grenache and 4% mataro. it has spent nine months in French oak, which has added some spicy intensity. This is a great choice for pairing with anything from a backyard barbecue to a shepherd's pie for family dinner. No fuss. No pretence, just darn good drinking. $25

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Cullen 2023 Kevin John Chardonnay


Complete. That's my one word summation of this cellar-worthy chardonnay from Margaret River that ticks all the quality boxes. An organic and biodynamic wine with a history of excellence, this is forceful, flavoursome and varietal wine that can be enjoyed now, or any time over the next two decades. The fruit was picked over three weeks according to the biodynamic calendar. There is a range of flavours on the palate, like citrus, stone fruit and spice waves crashing onto a beach. The fruit was hand harvested, whole-bunch basket pressed and fermented in concrete eggs, amphorae and biodynamic puncheons. Unfined, unfiltered and hugely impressive. Long, clean, effortlessly stylish and perfect for pairing with pan-fried whiting. $180.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Mottura 2022 Primitivo Salento

Good Italian wines have a certain savoury swagger about them that is unmistakeable - and makes them very food friendly. This is an excellent example from the large Italian range of importers Single Vineyard Sellers. From the family-owned Mottura vineyards in Salento in the deep south of Italy, where they specialise in native grapes of the region including primitivo (also known as zinfandel) and negroamaro. This is a forceful wine despite weighing in with just 13% alcohol. It has intense dark berry flavours with herbal hints and is a perfect accompaniment to dishes like spaghetti bolognaise, or penne with a game ragu. $35.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Shadowfax 2022 Minnow Rosé


This one shone at a recent trade tasting; a blend of southern French grape varieties creating a very savoury and stylish wine for summer enjoyment. It is a blend of shiraz (syrah), mourvedre, grenache, carignan, mondeuse, cinsault and pinot noir, all grown on the Shadowfax estate vineyards at Werribee, betwen Melbourne and Geelong. There is plenty of flavour here - and a nice dry finish. Think stone fruit notes, creaminess and lashings of refreshment. Perfect for a picnic on a warm day, or paired with a Lebanese banquet. $30.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Dandelion Vineyards 2022 Lion's Tooth of McLaren Vale Shiraz Riesling

A rather unusual blend, but this melange of 94% shiraz and 6% riesling from McLaren works a treat with the addition of the white grapes turning down the dial on the typically powerful shiraz fruit from the region and giving it immediate approachability. This is a reinvention of a blend from decades ago - and is sure to find favour with those looking for something just a little bit different. Whole bunches of shiraz were fermented on stalks in open fermenters on top of some riesling skins for 11 days, then hand plunged and basket pressed into mainly older oak barrels. Refreshingly fragrant, bottled unfined and unfiltered. A very solid 93 points. Pair with macaroni cheese. $40.