Monday 29 February 2016

Peter Logan's 2015 Apple Tree Flat Rosé - Mudgee

A STEAL at the price as Rosé enjoys
a renaissance in Aust

ONE TO NOTE: ROSÉ appears to be enjoying a somewhat healthy renaissance in this country at the moment, with one maker, Peter Logan at Mudgee in NSW saying he's not at all surprised as, in his words "it's a style that makes a lot of sense Down Under, a great go-to wine year-round for our lifestyle and climate."

And his own 2015 Apple Tree Flat Rosé is typical of why so many of us are once more turning to the pink drop, this one teasing with lovely red berry aromas, flavours of watermelon and spice, a crunchy, tangy finish and that oh-so-alluring pink.

Enjoy on its own on a hot day now, or match with a hearty chicken tagine or pumpkin and leek quiche as the months turn cooler – the more-so as it's a steal at only $13.

for week beginning 29 February 2016

Yellowglen Rainbow Celebration Brut Cuvee

VALUE drop for Mardi Gras partying or
anytime seafood or chicken salads.


David Ellis

YELLOWGLEN's wrapped a lot of different labels around its bottles of Australian sparkling wines since the first hit the shelves over forty years ago, labels that have helped see this bubbly become the country's most popular sparkling.

But probably none of those labels has been quite so eye-catching as their limited edition Rainbow Celebration Brut Cuvee coinciding with the 38th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and featuring the red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple stripes of the pride flag.

Company Creative Director, Samantha Wills came up with the idea of the Rainbow Celebration fizz and its label, saying that as a brand "Yellowglen is an icon of Australian celebration, standing for joy and empowerment that has inspired generations of Australians with its approachable, fun-loving style.

"This limited edition is a bright and colourful reflection of our values and our celebration of equality and inclusion."

Crisp and refreshing, Yellowglen Rainbow Celebration Brut Cuvee has distinct melon and citrus flavours and a dry finish; at just $13 it's excellent Mardi Gras partying value, or with anytime seafood or chicken salads. Available from select outlets while stocks last.

for week beginning 29 February 2016

Monday 22 February 2016

Shottesbrooke 2014 GSM - McLaren Vale

REWARDING GSM out of a vintage that rattled
some McLaren Vale nerves – enjoy this
one with a wild mushroom risotto.

ONE TO NOTE: SOUTH AUSTRALIA's Shottesbrooke used the best premium fruit from selected sites around its home McLaren Vale and also the Adelaide Hills for a now-available 2014 GSM that's rewarding buying at just $20.

With 56% Grenache, 26% Shiraz and 18% Mataro, this is drop that actually came out of a vintage that rattled the nerves of local winemakers with a couple of major heatwaves in January, but which thankfully were followed by good rain that tempered any potential damage.

With a ripe and juicy palate of upfront dark berries and aniseed, plus a hint of savory, earthy spice, it's a great drop to enjoy with a wild mushroom risotto.


Shaw 2015 Reserve Semillon - Canberra District


David Ellis

OUTSTANDING vintage gave Shaw Vineyard,
and possibly the Canberra District too, its first-ever
100% Semillon that's a great match with seafood.
GRAEME SHAW believes he's created a first both for his Shaw Vineyard Estate and possibly for the Canberra Wine District as well, with a Reserve Semillon from the cracker 2015 vintage.

Because he was able to produce his first-ever 100% Semillon since establishing his vineyard and winery ten years ago, and what he believes is the first-ever 100% Semillon out of the Canberra District – a District in which Semillon is more normally blended into a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, or with other wines to make a bubbly.

Graeme Shaw has some 11 acres (around 4.5ha) under Semillon, and interestingly that's more Semillon than the whole of the Canberra District combined.  "2015 was an absolute standout year," Graeme says, "with good winter and spring rain and a reasonably dry summer. It's what warranted the production of our first 'Reserve' Semillon, a range that's designed to showcase the best fruit from our best vintages."

With a bouquet of lime juice, kaffir lime and mineral tones, this is a delightful drop whose upfront fruit flavours of lime and lime leaf and a juicy plumpness, also have a nice slaty acidity. And whilst great buying at $35 for enjoyment today with seafood (shellfish in particular,) pork or veal it's got all signs of a good 15 years ahead of it.

22 February 2016

Monday 15 February 2016

Pipers Brook 2015 Gewurztraminer

TASSIE Gewurztraminer that's got Thai, Indian,
Malay or Vietnamese food-matches written all over it.

ONE TO NOTE:  PIPERS BROOK on Tasmania's north-east coast, Australia's coolest and southernmost wine region, has released a stunner of a Gewurztraminer from 40 year old vines that are among the lowest-yielding of any Australian vineyard region – but of absolutely exceptional flavour and character.

And while this wine's from a 2015 vintage that was somewhat bumpy with a windy and warmer than usual winter and spring and a mild and occasionally damp summer, the result is a drop with a wonderful palate of gingerbread confection, quince paste and lime/citrus, coupled with a fruit sweetness that's intense but at the same time balanced by low natural residual sugar.

Chief Winemaker Rene Bezemer says at $34 this is among the company's best-ever Gewurztraminers, and ideal with Thai, Indian, Malay and Vietnamese dishes.

15 February 2016

Margan 2014 Hunter Valley Merlot

WONDERFUL match with tomato-based
Italian dishes – or an Aussie barbie.


David Ellis

MARGAN Family Winegrowers has released a 2014 Merlot that reflects just how good was that year for reds in the Hunter Valley, this one absolutely exploding with wonderful first-up flavours of ripe red berries, spiced plums and cassis.

Made from fruit off vines growing on their own roots in the red volcanic soil of the Broke region, rather than having been grafted onto other stock, this is a great early-drinking style vino whose vibrant fruit and subtle use of oak is nicely rounded out with savoury characters and a good balance of its spicy characteristics.

Best summed up as a medium bodied, softer fruit-driven style with subtle integrated oak, its drinking excellently now but has all the indications of being a drop with great aging potential.

Well priced at $25, you'll find this 2014 Margan Hunter Valley Merlot a great match with tomato-based pasta or other tomato-based Italian dishes, with beef, pork or chicken barbecues… and as a mate does, a fantastic base for rich red wine sauces.

15 February 2016

Monday 8 February 2016

Mistletoe Sparkling Mozcato - Hunter Valley

CRISP, fizzy, not overly sweet – and with
discounts for 6- and 12-bottle packs online.

ONE TO NOTE: GOOD news for bubbly buffs who don't like having to wait for some special occasdion or event to pop the cork, Mistletoe Wines in the Hunter Valley have released a Sparkling Mozcato for virtually anytime enjoyment – because it has less than half the normal alcohol strength at just 5.8%.

Made from Mistletoe's own-vineyard Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains (arguably the world's greatest Muscat grape cultivar, and used in Italy for making Moscato D'asti,) this one's spelt Mozcato in deference to the oz for Australia.

With lovely crisp and fizzy tropical fruit flavours on the palate and not excessively sweet, its available cellar-door only at $22 a bottle, with discounts for 6- and 12-bottle buys.  Hop onto


Rymill 2013 Sandstone Cabernet Sauvignon - Coonawarra

CRISP, fizzy, not overly sweet – and with discounts
for 6- and 12-bottle packs online.


David Ellis

WE read and hear plenty about Coonawarra, that small but extraordinary strip of vineyard country in South Australia that comprises limestone and terra rossa (red soil) layered over a deep, one-million year old sandstone ridge, and on which are produced some of the world's greatest Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

But what few know is that in the south of the region, that ancient ridge rises from the depths, and where it emerges on just one vineyard in all of Coonawarra, results in a Cabernet Sauvignon that can truly is incredibly unique.

That vineyard is owned by Rymill Coonawarra, and Winemaker Sandrine Gimon says of the company's recently-released 2013 Sandstone Cabernet Sauvignon that it is so distinctively different "it has made me fall in love with Cabernet all over again."

Created from low yielding, highly flavoured fruit so typical of Coonawarra, this is everything the Cab Sauv devotee could wish for, with a palate of lively fresh berry flavours with hints of licorice, cocoa and black olives all rolled into one.

Wonderfully elegant and refined, it's worth the $60 price tag with a family or friends' Sunday slow-roasted lamb lunch or dinner.

08 February 2016

Monday 1 February 2016

Peter Logan's 2015 Weemala Pinot Noir - NSW’s Central West

RIPPER red to enjoy with rich game and meat
dishes or a summer's cheese platter.

ONE TO NOTE: FROM the high altitude, cold climate of Orange in NSW's Central West, winemaker Peter Logan has released a ripper 2015 Weemala Pinot Noir you'll find an absolute joy with a good summertime's cheese platter.

The result of mild, sunny and dry weather that characterised the 2015 vintage, this is one of those wonderfully food-friendly wines that you'll find that as well as with the cheese platter, with its delicate, light-bodied elegance it will also make for a great match with rich game and meat dishes.

At $19.95, beaut value with either choice.


Calabria 2015 Private Bin Vermentino - NSW Riverina

STRANGELY named but at $15 an enticing match
to crab linguine with chilli and parsley.


David Ellis

PUT your money on it, a variety to watch in this country in the not-too-distant future is Vermentino, a hugely popular drop in Europe where its somewhat bizarrely known under 41 different synonyms – including Favorita de Conegliano, that for probably good reason for those who fight them in the field, translates to "the rabbit's favourite."

And interestingly in some regions of Europe, it's proving the first wine in years capable of knocking Sauvignon Blanc off its perch.

The principal white grape of Sardinia and Corsica, Vermentino has only been grown in this country with any real intent since around the year 2000, which is a bit strange because it's a variety that can handle the extreme heat of some of our hottest vineyard regions with ease.

In the largest of these, the NSW Riverina, Calabria Family Wines at Griffith has just released a 2015 Private Bin Vermentino that's all about delightful lemongrass and lime zest, and a palate of green apple, lime and almond, and a racy acidity.

At an enticing $15, this is a great drop to serve chilled with bruschetta, tomato, basil and red onion, or with seafoods such as crab linguine with chilli and parsley.

for week beginning 01 February 2016