AUDREY Wilkinson is one of our oldest-label wines, the original vineyard being planted by the man himself in the Hunter Valley 143 years ago in 1866, and often referred to as "the birthplace of wine growing in Pokolbin."
It's an illustrious heritage and Audrey would doubtless have cracked a smile had he still been around the place to see the 2006 Audrey Wilkinson Museum Reserve Semillon named NSW's 2008 Wine of the Year.
The company has now released a 2008 "The Ridge" Reserve Semillon, so-named as fruit for this came from its oldest contour-planted Semillon vines running along the elevated Western Ridge of the vineyard.
This is a wine we see as having a huge future – whether it can ever replicate the honour bestowed on the 2006 last year, remains to be seen. It has strong lime and lemon aromas with suggestions of sherbet and snow peas that carry through in the crisp fruit flavours.
At $35 its one to splash out on for a special occasion, matching it butter-brushed grilled lobster and a tossed green salad with a handful of snow peas.
ONE FOR LUNCH: A BRIGHT and bouncy lighter style red to enjoy slightly chilled over a long summer luncheon platters of Mediterranean fare, tapas or antipasto is the 2008 Pepperjack Stylus.
A blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Merlot it's got almost pastille fruit flavours that are soft, juicy and more-ish; pay $24.99.
ANOTHER FOR LUNCH: IF you're a seafood buff, knock up a shellfish salad and match it with a bottle of Hardys Nottage Hill Sauvignon Blanc; a blend of warm and cool-climate fruit it's got nice grapefruit and lemon rind characters that go beautifully with most seafoods. And it's just $12.50.
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 A HUNTER pioneer and one of our oldest labels
 BRIGHT and bouncy for Mediterranean lunchtime platters