DAVID Hook Wines have built up a nice reputation for single varietal reds and whites since being established in the Lower Hunter Valley by David and his family in the 1980s.
But every now and again they break out of the mould with a blend, and one that's just been released and well worth looking is their 2008 Shiraz Viognier, with 75-per cent fruit from an excellent vintage in the Hunter, 20 per cent from Mudgee and the remaining five percent from South Australia's McLaren Vale.
The individual parcels were fermented separately before blending and aging in older oak barrels for twelve months. The result is a very easy-drinking medium-bodied wine with nice red berries and spicy fruit flavours and pleasant tannins.
Enjoy now at a value $25 with char-grilled lamb forequarter chops off the barbie, or put it away to further develop over the next two to four years.
ONE FOR LUNCH: LONG Flat has been around for over forty years now, and with summer just around the corner their 2008 Pinot Grigio that's just been released is absolutely great buying at only $9.90 for hot-weather quaffing around the pool, or with summery chicken, turkey or seafood salads.
Winemaker Shane Virgo used multiple-vineyard NSW Riverina fruit for this wine whose crisp and lively palate has dominant apple and citrus fruit flavours and a lingering pear finish. A hard one to beat for flavour and value at under $10.
ANOTHER ONE FOR LUNCH: If you'd prefer an inexpensive red around the pool on coming warm days, Pinot Noir and lamb off the grill or out of the oven were made for each other. Hardys 2008 Nottage Hill Pinot Noir at $12.50 is a corker for such pleasures, with cherry and mint flavours and nice sweet oak
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )
 QUINTESSENTIAL blend from the Hunter, Mudgee and McLaren Vale
 HARD one to beat for flavour and value