Numbered from top to bottom, left to right.
1. NOBLE FINISH
Gélas De Bortoli Black Noble Finish, Armagnac, France, $220
A collaboration between Australia's De Bortoli winery and
Armagnac producer Philippe Gélas, this 16-year-old spirit is
finished for 12 months in a barrel that once held De Borts' treacly
fortified wine. A dark, rich, complex brandy.
2. CROSS COUNTRY
2016 Amato Vino Montepulciano, Riverland, SA, $25
For the past few years Margaret River winemaker Brad Wehr has
sourced grapes from the Ricca Terra vineyard in South Australia's
Riverland to produce a range of lovely alternative varietal wines
such as this juicy, vibrant, pizza-loving red.
3. LIFT THE VEIL
2013 Crittenden Cri de Coeur Savagnin Sous Voile, Mornington Peninsula, Vic, $80
The second release of this vin jaune-inspired
white wine - savagnin aged for years in barrel under a
layer of flor yeast - is even more outstanding than the
first: gorgeous nuttiness and tangy
4. BOLD BAROSSA
2012 Yalumba The Tri-Centenary Grenache, Barossa Valley, SA, $55
A lot of grenache you'll find is medium-bodied,
bouncy, spicy and best drunk young. But this,
sourced from really old, low-yielding vines planted in
1889, is deliciously dark, dense, firm and
5. SAVOURY WHITE
2015 Vinelea Petit Blanc, Beechworth, Vic, $30
A restrained, gently perfumed, savoury blend of
marsanne and roussanne modelled on classic Victorian
"white hermitage" of old. A wine to be drunk young with
simple fish dishes, or after a few years with richer
6. BARGAIN RED
2015 Maxwell Little Demon Cabernet Malbec, McLaren Vale, SA, $18
The great 2015 vintage brings extra depth and taste
satisfaction to this already reliably good
and consistently great-value red wine with loads of
purple berries and grippy tannin. The spicy 2015 Little
Demon shiraz grenache is a cracker, too.
7. NEW BEER
Wildflower Amber, Marrickville, NSW, $22
This funky full-flavoured copper-coloured cloudy ale comes
from a new brewery in Sydney and is unusual in using a blend
of Belgian saison yeast and wild yeasts and bacteria
harvested from foraged native plants around NSW.
8. FITTING TRIBUTE
2013 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity, Margaret River, WA, $160
When Dr Thomas Cullity planted the first
commercial vineyard in Margaret River in 1967 he helped
kick-start one of Australia's great wine regions. Fifty years
later, this beautiful, elegant, age-worthy new cabernet
blend is named in his honour.
9. NEW CIDER
Denmark Heritage Cider Company Blend 16 Scrumpy, Great Southern, WA, $17.50
If you've been to England's West Country you might have
drunk a pint of still, strong, dry, golden cider. This is
similar, made from proper English cider apples such as
Yarlington Mill and brown snout, grown in WA.
10. SHIMMERING SHIRAZ
2015 Wild Duck Creek Estate Springflat Shiraz, Heathcote, Vic, $55
Wild Duck Creek has a cult reputation for
super-rich, super-dark, powerful reds, but this shiraz,
from a great vintage, is showing beautiful subtleties,
too: fragrant, peppery spice and shimmering tannin
and masses of bold black fruit.