VALUE FOR MONEY WINES
22 March 2020
Devil's Lair The Hidden Cave Margaret River Chardonnay 2019
This has been my go to Chardonnay for a long time now as it ticks so many boxes for me. Consistently excellent quality, price, value and versatility either as standalone drinking or with a plethora of cuisines.
Youthful strawy green in its hues. A youngster by sight and by nature with crisp zesty aromas emanating from the glass.
Classic MR Chardonnay, quality stuff. Classic peach melon, hints of citrus, vanilla spice and grilled nuts come through. Well measured oak, french oak, some lees-iness and balance from start to finish, delivering a creamy highly drinkable moreish Chardonnay.
It has cellaring potential and will develop nicely but the challenge will be not to drink it now.
Try it with Vietnamese crispy pancake.
About $20. 13%. Drink to 2025. 94/100 - Excellent.
8 March 2020
Stonier Chardonnay 2018
A classic yet modern Australian Chardonnay here.
All of what should be expected in this quality Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay but delivered in a style that is demanded of modern day Chardonnays in Australia.
A gloriously vibrant lemony straw. Evocative melon and stone fruits, then citrus lemon curd all coming off from the aromas, lifted and delivered with a classiness showing off the potential to come.
Drinks just beautifully with a seamless creaminess and yet with good supporting acidity and judicious oak treatment that marries very well with the fruit.
Delicious and moreish to drink and savour. Still more room for development as well. And value drinking!
Try this with prawn, peas and chorizo risotto.
Alc 13.5%. Drink to 2025. About $25. 94/100 - Excellent.
9 February 2020
Vickery Eden Valley Riesling 2019
Vickery is a brand synonymous with high quality Riesling.
Sourced from Eden Barossa Valley grapes, this has South Australian quality Riesling stamped all over it.
It is classic Riesling from beginning to finish.
Clear brilliant yellow straw. Upfront fullsome nose, again classic. Musk, orange, lime and lemons abound. An orchard of good solid aromas, deep and fruit focussed.
Lively acidity supports the fruit, marrying well with it delivering a fresh crisp palate of lemons, limes, green herbs and musk - dry and lightly sweet on the finish, a bit of sweet and sour but in a very nice long smooth easy to drink way.
All this augurs well for a long development in the future. Indeed it opened up like a beautiful flower in the glass, with me adding points by the swirl. And value drinking at this price point.
Try it with wood fired cherry tomato and buffalo mozzarella pizza.
About $23. Drink to 2029 plus. Alc 12%. 94/100 - Excellent.
27 October 2019
Nugan Estate Cookoothma Chardonnay 2017
Sourced from the Darlington Point area of the Murrumbidgee River region of NSW, this is a good value Chardonnay that shows itself in both a varietal and regional manner.
Youthful lemony greenish tints, shining through the glass.
The nose is just simply Chardonnay, unmistakenably so. Ripe upfront lifted classic peach melon and also tropical fruits.
The acidity is fresh and crisp, giving plenty of support to the fruit.
The mouthfeel is creamy and fruit focussed with just right oak. It is developing well and drinks just fine right now.
On a price quality scale, it rates up there at $15 RRP and drinks well as a standalone Spring into Summer drop but will pair very decently with say crispy skin chicken, Vietnamese style.
Alc 13%. About $15. Drink to 2021. 89/100 - Very Good.
12 October 2019
Coldstream HillsChardonnay 2018
Very decent and value drinking from this quality Yarra Valley outfit.
This is made in the mould of the modern elegant classic Chardonnay and is user friendly for all Chardonnay drinkers making it a very versatile white wine for all types of cuisines and occassions.
Pale youthful greeny to straw, a very youthful drop.
Fresh and mid bodied, it is a bit tight on the aroma front at first and then it opens up with quite a complex set of aromas.
A beautiful wine to savour and drink. The aromas are citrus with lots of green apples, hints of pear, peaches, fig and spice.
The palate delivers a light creaminess coupled with classic peach and tropical fruits. The oak is there integrated and seamless. The acidity tempered yet fresh and there. Balanced and in sync, everything is working with each other well and will continue to develop very nicely over next 5 years.
Just lovely drinking say my notes. I like it a lot!
Try this with pan fried barramundi and olive potato mash.
About $25. Alc 13.0%. Drink to 2024. 94/100 - Excellent.
18 July 2019
Hastwell & Lightfoot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
This is a superb Cabernet! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it just goes to show how good McLaren Vale is at not just Shiraz but also Cabernet.
This is still a baby coloured youthful purple, auguring for a great future.
However it is its completeness, seamlessness, deliciousness and balance that will impress you through the drinking experience.
Intense, ripe, fruit sweet and again I repeat still in its early days of youth, the aromas reward. They are fresh and yet layered and complex in their delivery.
You get your blackcurrants, blackberries, coffee, cherry ripe mint, spice and an inherent earthiness all coming through and onto the palate the seamless velvety smooth longness in finish.
It has also had a splash of Cab Franc added which gives it complexity.
The wine is well oaked, has had 18 months of cellaring that makes it drinking now very viable, has its alcohol in check and delivers integrated silky fine tannins for more development into the future.
It has at least 5-7 years easily and is bargain priced IMO.
Drink this with Spanish seafood stew.
Drink to 2026 plus. About $25. Alc 14%. 95/100 - Superb.
16 July 2019
Majella Riesling 2018
Smooth, delicious and well balanced are the tasting notes that jump out from the page.
A gloriously straw coloured youthful Riesling from this respected Coonawarra winery.
Deep, intense and fulsome on the nose, resplendent with sweet ripe fruit, it exudes ripe fruit and fresh acidity.
The aromas abound with guava, lychee, passionfruit and citrus green apples and limes and lush lemon curd imparted with a mock creaminess.
An excellent moreish Riesling that is bang on quality and value.
Try this with crab patties.
Drink to 2023 plus. Alc 11%. About $18. 92/100 - Excellent
14 July 2019
Scotchmans Hill The Hill Chardonnay 2018
I like the way that for about $12 if you look around you can still drink a very decent cool climate Chardonnay.
This unoaked one from this quality Geelong outfit exudes a brilliant lemony yelloe colour showing off deep ripe fruit characters.
A simple easy drinking delicious Chardonnay follows where obviously the primary fruit is the star feature.
Think a litany of tropical and stone fruits being banana, lychee, mango, passionfruit, peach with lashings of cream on the nose and palate.
Medium length of finish follows, the alcohol is there but in sync with the fruit and overall it is low in acidity all only adding to its drinkability.
Try it with lamb tagine and prunes.
About $12. Alc 13.5%. Drink to 2021. 90/100- Very Good.
27 June 2019
Huntington Estate Mudgee Fortified Shiraz 2013
This fortified wine is meant to be put away and drunk much much later.
The only problem with that is that it is drinking so bloody decently right now, that you will have difficulties with my advice to put some away and try it again over 10-15-20 years time.
In the old days we used to call this Port but nowadays we respect that Port comes from Porto in Portugal and so we label it fortified shiraz.
It is a deep ripe rich dense red fortified wine that screams drink me on a cold Winter's night and lo and behold we have had one or two of those!
Deep youthful blackish purple it exudes its 20% plus alcohol visually as well.
The deep intense ripe sweetness of the body knocks forward some classic forward and decent aromas that augur for enticing you to drink it now but also for storing some away for later.
It has layers of youth but also of potential and complexity. The oak is there noticeable, pokes out (because the wine is still so young!) and is quite firm, the tannins also are forward and strong. Future potential stands out.
It drinks very nicely albeit now however it is a young ripe rich dense sweet wine with a long and extended finish and demonstrates also the longevity it will be capable of.
Currants, blackberries, jam, chocolate, cigar and spicy cherries all were noticeable all with a very long and extended finish.
Try this with a cherry clafoutis.
Alc 20.5% About $25 - 375ml. Drink to 2033 to 2043 plus.
95/100 - Superb (with further potential emphasised)
8 June 2019
Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2016
My initial notes on the tasting sheets were value, value, value, how do they do this for the price?
This is a quality sexy youthful and vibrant Coonawarra red made from the unsexy but effective synergy of Cabernet and Shiraz grapes that were made to go hand in hand and have been proving their effective marriage for many decades, often ignored by modern winemakers.
Yes I like this wine.
An ink staining youthful deep purple, the deep intense ripe body comes through the nose beautifully.
A medium dry red with a medium finish and delivering good fresh acidity, seamless softly imparted oak and silky tannins.
The primary aromas are blackcurrants, red currants, mint and a hint of rhubarb, yes rhubarb. On the palate it drinks beautifully and effortlessly delivering those currants, spicy plums, cherries and hints of cool black pepper.
Try this with oven baked sausages, mash, sauerkraut and peas and gravy. Yum!
Alc 14.5%. Drink to 2024 at least. About $19.
92/100 - Excellent.
4th May 2019
d'Soumah Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
This is a cracker of wine. And at a RRP of $25 is sensational value and batting well above its weight on all fronts. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this Yarra Valley red and was disappointed when the bottle was empty.
Soumah make great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and have since day one but this Cabernet is also on the mark. The winemaking has gotten the fruit just right so that the elegant cool climate nature of the grapes is preserved but yet delivered through effortless smooth lineal fruit.
The ripeness of the fruit is no doubt what draws you to this gem.
Soumah_CabernetInking stain purple, the colour is vibrant and takes you to the vibrant nose where deep and intense and spiciness comes through in droves. Fresh and lively the structure comes through as classic on the nose. Aromas of spicy plums, blackcurrants and dark cherries come out. Sweet dark brooding spicy fruit. On the medium to long palate, the fruit is the shining star. It follows with some cool mintleaf and some light tobacco.
It is seamless as I said with judicious well integrated oak and silky tannins.
More to come with say up to the next 5 plus years in development. However it is drinking beautifully now. And I would just make this your house red this Winter and it won't stop pleasing.
Try with veal saltimbocca with roasted potatoes.
Drink to 2023/24. About $25. 14.2%. 94/100 - Excellent.
13th April 2019
Stoniers Chardonnay 2017
A really good Chardonnay from Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. The winemaker is Mike Symons and he has done a great job in crafting a very user friendly Chardonnay that is well integrated and balanced and moreish. He has given it the treatment it deserves with part malo and good French oak and the grapes are from an excellent vintage there. A glorious pale yellow reflects a youthfulness and vibrancy. The citrus lemons resonate from the aromas, bright upfront, not OTT though. It does not polarise in any way even though the French oak and fullsome fruit are both there. Balance and good structure are the key words here. You get the citrus lemon, light tropical fruits and honeydew melon on the nose and then a medium to long creamy smooth finish. A delcious moreish wine as I said. Very easy drinking and excellent drinking at that. I really enjoyed drinking this as you can tell.
Drinking to 2022 easily.
Try this with oven baked barramundi.
Alc 13.5%.About $25 but found for less on special. 94/100 - Excellent.