BACK in 2003 Hunter Valley maker Margan decided that with an outstanding vintage they'd launch a new White Label range of wines that stood out from the rest, and that being from generally smaller single vineyards such wines would be made only in small batches.
And wisely they decided that in years when they didn't have fruit of quality deemed high enough to go behind the label, they would not sully the White Label name by releasing inferior wines.
The 2005 vintage was certainly not one of those, and in fact provided brilliant fruit of a quality that winemaker Andrew Margan sought for his White Label: one he's just released, an Aged 2005 White Label Semillon, is a fantastic example of how good Hunter Valley Semillon can be, with toasty vanillan hints, lovely citrus fruit flavours and a mineral finish.
At $35 impress guests with a bottle of this and a platter of fresh-shucked rock oysters for starters.
ONE FOR LUNCH: NOT being afraid to rip out vines that don't live up to expectation has paid off for West Australian maker Capel Vale, particularly in the case of their Regional Series that are wines made from fruit grown where the optimal expressions of variety can be achieved.
A 2008 Regional Series Cabernet Sauvignon from the Margaret River is just such an example, a wine with upfront cassis and plum flavours, and secondary notes of chocolate, tobacco and cedar.
At $24.95 share this cool climate beauty with a cool climate beef stroganoff.
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )
 IMPRESS guests with this and fresh-shucked rock oysters
 COOL climate beauty for cool climate beef stroganoff