Posts Tagged ‘McLaren Vale’

30 great australian wines under $20

30 great australian wines under $20

July 29, 2012  |  wine review  |  No Comments

NOTE: This post has been superseded by the  SUMMER EDITION at for 2012/13. Wines in this post are now mostly out of stock.

The 2012 winter edition is a little behind schedule. Sorry. This post includes some wines from the amazing 2010 vintage, with Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale featuring heavily.

There is heavy sourcing from Dan Murphy’s, Nicks – retailers with diverse ranges and keen pricing. All wines are hyperlinked to the specific product on the retailer’s website.


White wine

  • Maritime Estate Pinot Gris 2010. Mornington Peninsula Nicks at $19.99
  • Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc/Semilllon Margaret River 2010 Vintage Cellars $19.99
  • Tim Adams Clare Valley Semillon 2010. Cloudwine at $19
  • Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2011. Dan Murphys at $15.90. A bargain.
  • Dandelion Vineyards Wishing Clock Sauvignon Blanc 2011. Vintage Cellars $19.99
  • Jim Barry Lodge Hill Clare Valley Lodge Hill Riesling 2011. Dan Murphys $18.90
  • Heggies Riesling Barossa Valley 2011. Dan Murphys at $16.90
  • Stonier Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula 2010. Nicks at $17.99
  • Hill Smith Estate Chardonnay Eden Valley 2010. Nicks at $17.99
  • Hoddle’s Creek Chardonnay. Yarra Valley 2011. Cloudwine $19
  • Pitchfork Chardonnay. Margaret River 2011. Cloudwine $15
  • Yering Station Chardonnay Yarra Valley 2008 Kemenys at $19.99

Red wines

  • Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir Yarra Valley 2011 Vintage Cellars at $19.19
  • Balnaves of Coonawarra The Blend Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2010. Cloudwine at $20
  • Kemenys Hidden Label Merlot. Coonawarra. KHL 5215. 2010 Kemenys at $14.99. Value!
  • Cumulus Climbing Merlot. Orange 2010. Dan Murphys $16.15
  • Thorn Clarke Shotfire Quartage Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Malbec/Merlot Barossa Valley 2010 Nicks at $16.99
  • Mr Riggs Outpost Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Nicks at $19.99
  • Journeys End Coonawarra Station Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Nicks at $19.99. Good value from an excellent vintage in Coonawarra
  • Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz Grenache Mouvedre Barossa Valley 2008 Nicks at $16.99
  • Taylors Reserve Parcel Shiraz. Clare Valley 2010 Dan Murphys at $19.90
  • Robert Oatley Signature Series Shiraz McLaren Vale 2010 Dan Murphys at $16.90
  • Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz. Barossa Valley 2010. Dan Murphys at $17.90. Brilliant.
  • Shottesbrooke Shiraz 2010. McLaren Vale Dan Murphys at $17.90
  • O’Leary Walker Shiraz 2010. Clare Valley Nicks at $17.99
  • Torbreck Woodcutters Shiraz 2010 Barossa Valley Nicks at $19.99. Wow!!


a real gem from mclaren vale

October 4, 2010  |  wine review  |  No Comments

After tasting this wine with a sesame beef stir-fry, I couldn’t wait to post the review and get my subscribers out purchasing for Christmas. The wine in question is the 2008 Gemtree Uncut Shiraz from McLaren Vale. It is an absolute pearler, a wonderful example of fine Australian Shiraz.

McLaren Vale has been famous for Australian Shiraz for 150 years and is one of Australia’s oldest wine growing regions. It lies only 30 minutes from Adelaide and is a stunningly beautiful area to visit. If you like a full favoured, oaked peachy chardonnay, there are plenty of examples, but the Shiraz alternatives through the Vale are magnificent.

Gemtree Vineyards is owned and run by third generation grapegrowers, the Buttery Family. The family is dedicated to producing iconic wines of the highest quality from their McLaren Vale vineyards which since 2008 have been farmed 100% biodynamically.

The 2008 Gemtree Uncut Shiraz, comes from a great vintage in McLaren Vale. It sells for between $22 and $26 in retail outlets, but qualifies for my $15 to $20 price bracket on two counts. Refreshingly, here is one cellar door that is cheaper than the big discounters. It’s available at $19 to Gemtree 1851 club members (and $20 by the dozen at Kemeny’s).

My tasting notes follow:

“Succulent sweet fruit on the nose, with blueberries and sweet vanilla overtones with complex cloves and pepper. A magnificent, multilayered wine with savoury oak and generous fruit with hints of violets. It’s beautifully balanced for a young wine but will cellar well for many years. I like the length and seamless finish in this 14.5% gem. 94/100″

So, line up and get a case for Christmas. In fact buy three cases and try one every month for three years! What a marvellous investment.

Richard Hamilton 2008 Hut Block Cabernet Sauvignon

July 26, 2010  |  wine review  |  No Comments


I’m always searching for a good value red under $20. Based on the hand written recommendations in the window of the Berry bottle shop (Princes Highway, Berry) this one promised to fit the bill. My tasting notes:

“Distinctive linalool on the nose, aggressive alcohol masking berry fruit which opens up a little on the front palate. Attacks with dark cherry and bramble berry – not unlike a pinot. Wine out of balance with a somehwat “contrived” feel – maybe some American oak not quite in synch. May settle in time and allow the subtle blackcurrant and mint overtones to evolve. Although 14.5% alcohol, thin on the back palate. Would like to see again in 18 months. 86/100″