Thursday, April 25, 2024

Oliver's Taranga 2023 Brioni's Blend


Tired of clunky red wines that have lashings of new oak and need to be cellared for a decade before they open up? This is the exact opposite: a juicy, fruit-driven red blend that is designed to be enjoyed in its youth. Like right now. Brioni’s Blend is dedicated to sixth-generation Brioni Oliver, one of the cousins keeping this McLaren Vale family winery going after 185 years. Vegan friendly and sustainably made, this is an unusual melange of 45% mataro, 36% Touriga nacional and 19% shiraz. Bright purple, it is light on its feet, juicy, fruity and very gluggable. Fire up the barbecue. Bring on some gourmet hamburgers. 92 points from me. $35.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hesketh 2021 Dangerous Type Merlot

There are a lot of dull merlots out there in retail land, but this new addition to the Hesketh Limestone Coast range delivers a lot of midweek drinking pleasure at a very fair price. This is a very modern take on merlot with minimal oak influence and a focus on the fresh dark fruit from a cooler region of South Australia. Bright and flavoursome. Pair with anything from a gourmet burger to a spaghetti bolognaise You could even enjoy this lightly chilled. With a top-notch winemaking team of Andrew Hardy and Keeda Zilm, this is a range well worth keeping an eye out for. $16.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Oakridge 2022 Henk Vineyard Chardonnay


This is consistently one of the best sub $50 chardonnays in Australia with winemaker David Bicknell and his team utilising grapes from the outstanding Henk vineyard in Woori Yallock in the Yarra Valley. It is a wine of impeccable balance - everything within its place - and unashamedly medium bodied. Fruit was handpicked and whole-bunch pressed to large format oak for a natural fermentation followed by 10 months maturing on lees. Floral, with an enticing melange of tropical fruit, citrus and mineral notes, it wafts across the palate like a cooling summer breeze. Even its youth this complex wine is accessible and enticing, and would pair with pork dishes or poultry. Absolutely delightful. $48.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Levantine Hill 2019 Syrah

Levantine Hill is a big, bold operation in the Yarra Valley. It is spectacular - and in your face. But this wine is none of those things. It is a delightfully composed and elegant cool-climate shiraz that's full of light and shade. Winemaker Paul Bridgeman shows just how appealing Yarra shiraz can be with a wine that is drinking beautifully at five years of age. It is aromatic, delicate but intense, and extremely food friendly with a melange of spice and savoury notes. There is some mince pie richness, sure, but this a beautifully complex wine that is all the better for being medium bodied. $80.