Most Australian wine drinkers equate Beaujolais with fresh and fruity Beajolais Nouveau, which was all the rage a couple of decades ago. Fortunately there is a whole lot more to Beaujolais than frivolous Nouveau - and the gamay grape is an absolutely stellar drink for Australian conditions. This one, imported by DiscoverVin, is a medium-bodied, textural French red made by one of Burgundy's star winemakers that is both fleshy and minerally, and extremely food friendly. If it's been a long while since you tried a Beaujolais, this would be a good choice to break your pleasure drought. It is very good value for $33. www.discovervin.com.au.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Saturday, April 15, 2017
TarraWarra winemaker Clare Halloran has no less than four cool-climate chardonnays in the current range. This is the entry level estate wine, with a few fewer bells and whistles than its more expensive siblings, but it stands alone as a delightfully elegant Yarra Valley chardy; more artist than artisan, estate-grown and hand-picked, it has clean lines with citrus zest notes, hints of roasted cashews, along with a crisp, clean finish. Tight and fresh, this is very food friendly, too. Think roast pork with crackling, chicken dishes or perhaps pan-fried John Dory. Great value from an excellent vintage for $28. www.tarrawarra.com.au.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Looking for a seriously delicious red blend for under $20? You won't go wrong with this blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, malbec and merlot from one of Langhorne's Creek's best wine producers. Sisters Rebecca and Lucy Wilson are very much in the groove over recent vintages producing reds, particularly, with real personality. Generously flavoured but tightly controlled, this is a perfect all-purpose red that is dark and full of flavour but also boasts some impressive structure. You could grab a bottle of this to pair with pizza and pasta, but it has the quality to also partner a classic Sunday family roast.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Late-ripening montepulciano is a red wine grape planted widely throughout central and southern Italy, where Coonawarra's di Giorgio family has its origins. This medium-bodied wine is all about the fruit; it is a perky little number with red fruit flavours to the fore and hints of fresh pepper. Plumpish and low in acid, it's a wine offering immediate enjoyment - and is extremely food friendly. I'd love some of this with a traditional thin-crust pizza; or maybe some penne boscaiola. There is a lot of everyday enjoyment here. $23. www.digiorgio.com.au.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Woodvale is the personal wine project of Kilikanoon winemaker Kevin Mitchell, one of the stars of the Clare Valley, and his wife Kathleen Bourne. They produce a very impressive range of wines, of which this is one of the standouts. It is a feisty blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvedre with bright sweet dark berry fruit and Asian spice flavours to the fore. As you'd expect, it is a wine that is beautifully poised; ready for immediate enjoyment but also cellar worthy for a decade or so. Well worth 93 points. $35. www.woodvalevintners.com.au.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
My wife is a very reliable guide to wine deliciousness. If she tastes a wine she really likes she'll sigh with appreciation and demand a re-pour within a very short time. This is a superb Tasmanian riesling about which she is right on target. It's a fresh, vibrant and dry cool-climate white that's full of refreshment and palate interest that would pair brilliantly with anything from Thai stir-fries to runny cheese (we tried it with both). A blend of fruit from the East Coast and the Tamar Valley, this is aromatically appealing with fresh citrus sorbet notes, a zingy acid backbone and general joie de vivre. Best of all it has a recommended retail price of just under a lobster. You won't find many better wines for the price. $20. www.devilscorner.com.au.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Brad Wehr gained notoriety for his funkily-labelled and easy-to-drink wines under the Wine by Brad label, but he's now spread his wings and sources fruit from regions outside West Australia, including some alternative varieties from the Riverland. This is a standout under his Amato Vino label made from the southern and central Italian grape montepulciano. This is medium-bodied, juicy, spicy and dangerously drinkable. Hand-harvested, 20% whole bunch, wild fermented, matured in French oak for 10 months, it is certified organic. Only 160 cases were made of this wine, but Amato Vino is certainly a label worth looking out for. $25. www.amatovino.com.au.