As per ususual no shortage of amazing wine hitting the shelf. I have to say, after spending the last 5 years in Phuket Thailand, I will never ever complain about the sheer diversity of wine types on the retail shelves here in Oz (compared to a small sea of generic swill from France and Chile). And, believe it or not, the pricing is not so bad here either!
A recent tasting of the Helen's Hill Cabernet Blend from 2016 got me properly excited (more on that below) but the 'Long Walk' Pinot Noir from 2019 ($29) is a pretty handy wine in its own right. This wine is a winery blend and is near half the price of the single clone releases. 95pts James Halliday.
The Ingram Road label is Helen Hill's $20 budget range. Low price doesn't equate to low quality for this label and the 2019 Chardonnay $20 is a great case in point. "95 points + Special Value" (James Halliday) and "Top Value Wines of Australia" (Huon Hooke, The Real Review).
Longview cleans up again with its 2019 'Queenie' Pinot Grigio $21 from the Adelaide Hills. "Top Value Wines of Australia" - The Real Review, Nov '20, "#1 of 24 2019 Pinot Grigio tasted from Adelaide Hills over 12 months" - The Real Review, Nov '20, "Hot 100 Wines of SA" The Adelaide Review '19 + '20.
Swan Valley's Corymbria has created plenty of buzz with recent releases such that our stocks of existing vintages is largely depleted. Thankfully the 2019 Tempranillo-based blend ($38) has just dropped (95pts Halliday) and again we are expecting big things of this wine.
Battle of Bosworth has always been an industry leader when it comes to certified organic wines and in recent years they have shown impressive skills with preservative free wines. Let's be honest - there aren't a lot of decent examples around the traps but the Puritan Shiraz 2020 certainly shows how good such wines can be in skilled hands.
I wanted to make specific mention of Helens Hill 2017 'Old Orchard' Cabernet Blend which has just been released. I was very taken by a tasting of the 2016 a few weeks back so I'm really looking forward to this vintage. A blend of the 5 classic Bordeaux varieties, which in itself is relatively uncommon in Australia.
The Lake Breeze Winemakers Selection Shiraz 2016 $45 has picked up Gold Medals at both the Perth Royal Show and the Langhorne Creek Wine Show. As per usual these wines remain criminally under-rated.
Lightfoot & Sons 'Myrtle Point' Rose from 2019 has again picked up the Trophy for 'Best Rose' at the Gippsland Wine Show which, impressively, makes it 3 years in a row for such a wine. This is good going at $23.
Long View's Shiraz Barbera blend 'Vista' 2018 has picked up 3 Gold Medals around the country (Sydney Royal Wine Show, Adelaide Hills Wine Show, Australian Cool Climate Wine Show). This is an excellent result for a locally made Barbera blend as I think it's safe to say we haven't yet, as a nation, hit our straps with this variety.
Until next time......drink well!