Zinfandel from David Hohnen and a rare pinot from Bass Phillip made our August short list, as did an exciting new gruner veltliner and a red blend from New South Wales.
Numbered from left to right, top to bottom.
1. GREAT GRÜNER
2016 Atwill's Grüner Veltliner, Adelaide Hills, $30
Ooh, I love the way this white Austrian grape is living up to
its potential in cooler, higher spots Down Under: this example,
from a small new producer in the Hills, is thrilling and citrusy
but has lovely rich grape-pulpy texture, too.
2. EVERYDAY PINOT
2016 Lime Kiln Point Pinot Noir, Tasmania, $27
This is the inaugural wine in the new second-label range from
Derwent Estate and it's cracking value if you're a fan of
lighter-bodied, super-fresh, gluggable pinot. Drink it a wee bit
chilled with chunky pork terrine and toast.
3. BARGAIN BURG
2014 André Bonhomme Viré Clessé Les Pierres Blanches, Burgundy, $42
If you're partial to fine white Burgundy, you'll know that
prices have crept up. This one is great value: gorgeous, seductive
floral aromas, rich fruit and deep mineral complexity.
Imported by cellarhand.com.au
4. OLD HUNTER
Usher Tinkler Mr T's Rare Batch Fortified Liqueur, Hunter Valley, 375ml, $45
Almost worth it for the packaging alone with its chunky bottle
and Gaudy retro label, but the wine's fabulous, too: tangy, nutty
fortified verdelho, both luscious and fresh.
5. SPICE BASKET
2014 McHenry Hohnen Hazel's Zinfandel, Margaret River, $60
Few people have as much experience making zin in Australia as
David Hohnen; it shows here in the balance of jangly pepper spice
and bouncy blackberries.
6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
2015 Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, $45
The first 100 per cent cabernet from Wynns Coonawarra Estate -
the 1954 vintage - was released 60 years ago. This latest vintage
is a fitting tribute: essence of mulberry, supple dark tannin, it
will age gracefully.
7. YOUNG HUNTER
2016 Krinklewood Spider Run White, Hunter Valley, $30
A brilliant, spicy and creamy blend of sémillon, verdelho and
chardonnay, crying out to be paired with oily fish. Look out, too,
for Krinklewood's new 2017 River Blend, a skins-fermented mash-up
of gewürz and verdelho.
8. WARM BLEND
2016 Dodgy Brothers Juxtaposed Boomstick Grenache Tempranillo, McLaren Vale/Kangaroo Island, $29
This classic blend of warmer-climate grapes, inspired in part by
the medium-bodied, generously flavoured savoury reds of Rioja, has
pretty red fruit and gently grippy tannin.
9. RARE PINOT
2015 Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir, Gippsland, $220
No surprise, given the stellar reputation of producer and
vintage, that this is an utterly spectacular pinot noir: juicy and
lively and bright enough to be drunk with relish now; sinewy and
powerful enough to also cellar for decades.
10. COOL BLEND
2016 Frankly, Bob Made this Petit Verdot Merlot, Orange/Rylstone, $25
The Bob in question, Bob Colman, a newcomer to the wine game,
has taken the perfumed lift and tannic spine of petit verdot and
blended it with berries of merlot to produce a snappy red that
tastes a bit like cab franc.
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