WHEN boutique Margaret River winemaker Deep Woods released its 2007 Ebony Cabernet Shiraz last year, it was inundated with praise from consumers and wine critics alike as an outstanding wine at a great price for average consumers.
It's a safe bet Deep Woods will get the same praise again this year for its just-released 2008 Ebony Cabernet Shiraz, an equally good drop as the 2007 and still priced at just $14.95 a bottle.
Winemaker Travis Clydesdale drew on fruit from across the company's Margaret River vineyards to create a wine that he likes to describe as "a quintessential, juicy Margaret River red," with soft, juicy 'jube'-like fruit characters and ripe and plush tannin.
Certainly it's a very quaffable, easy-drinking wine, and by giving it only minor oak treatment, Travis has allowed its lovely Cabernet and Shiraz fruit characters to take centre-stage; a beaut drop to share with pizzas or pastas.
(If you're wondering where the name Deep Woods came from, the 32ha property is perched high on a ridge that unfolds into a picturesque secluded valley bounded by stands of jarrah and marri trees – hence Deep Woods.)
ONE FOR LUNCH: BARWANG Wines that originally planted its Tumbarumba vineyards south of the Snowy Mountains to make bubblies, made a good move when it experimented a few years ago with Chardonnay there as well
With cool winters and low average temperatures much like Champagne in France, the area's ideal for grapes to ripen slowly so the fruit develops wonderfully full flavours; the just-released Barwang 842 Tumbarumba Chardonnay (so named because the highest vineyards are at an elevation of 842m) has intense peach, rockmelon and lime flavours and excellent oak; pay $35 and enjoy with butter-brushed grilled lobster.
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 AT $14.95 just the drop with pizzas or pasta
 TREAT yourself to grilled lobster with this top Tumbarumba beauty