Posts Tagged ‘pinot noir’

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NOTE: This post has been superseded by the  SUMMER EDITION at http://rebounds.com.au/30-great-australian-wines-under-20-3/ for 2012/13.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.

Sparkling

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!!

 

best 20 wines under $20 - christmas 2011

best 20 wines under $20 – christmas 2011

November 27, 2011  |  main blog, wine review  |  4 Comments

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY A NEW ONE – GO TO http://rebounds.com.au/category/wine-review/

Here they are – the best value wines in Australia (with a stray NZ pinot). All wines are available at the time of writing, with hyperlinks link to the cheapest source I could find. 

SPARKLING WINES

  • Brown Brothers NV Pinot Noir Chardonnay and Pinot Meuniere. From the King Valley, without doubt the best Australian sparkling under $20. Nicks $19.99
  • Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz 2006. A classic – spicy black fruit with length and balance. Perfect for Christmas dinner turkey. Boccacio Cellars at an amazing $18.99

WHITE WINES

  • Pewsey Vale Riesling 2011 – Clean, citrus zest, lime and mineral texture. Amazing value at $13.99 from Kemenys
  • Heggies Riesling 2011. A tightly structured Barossan gem.  Dan Murphys $17.99.
  • Tar and Roses Pinot Grigio 2011. One of the best of this style from Don Lewis, showing crisp pear and nougat. Well priced from Dan Murphys at $16.15
  • Montgomerys Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Fresh asparagus and tropical fruit salad – a wine from Albany direct from the winery at $18.00
  • Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010. From Margaret River, a classic blend and easy Christmas drinking. Grays on line at $19.99
  • De Iuliis Semillon 2011. A lively, fresh Semillon from the Hunter from Cloudwine at $17
  • Bellarmine Estate Chardonnay 2010. A winner from Pemberton. Stone fruit and length, Fantastic buying at Boccacio cellars at $18.99
  • Ingram Road 2010 Chardonnay. Another impressive chardonnay from the Yarra Valley. Available from Cloudwine at $16
  • Barwang Chardonnay 2011 – outstanding Tumbarumba sourced Chardonnay. $13.75 at Kemenys – not on line but in the latest catalogue

ROSE

  • Dandelion Fairytale of the Barossa Rose 2011. A serious wine better than the competition. Halliday 95 points. Cloudwine $20

RED WINES

  • Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir 2010. Brilliant value quality pinot from the Yarra Valley from a great vintage. This is a must buy. $16.99 at Kemenys
  • Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2010. An excellent Martinborough pinot at an unbelievable price from Cloudwine for $18
  • Tar and Roses Alpine Valleys Heathcote Tempranillo 2010. The best yet – rich mulberries and hints of blackcurrant with impressive length, balance and structure. Dan Murphys $18.99
  • Hidden label Langhorne Creek Cabernet Malbec 2006 KHL 1307. Sells for $33 under its own label. Impressive wine at Kemenys at $17
  • Tatachilla Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. From Mclaren Vale, an outstanding wine. Be quick! From Winelistaustralia on line for $19.99
  • Majella ‘the Musician” Cabernet Shiraz 2010. A 55/45 blend from the Coonawarra winery. Beautiful wine from Topwineries on line at $17.99
  • Plantagenet Omrah 2009 Shiraz. From Mount Barker with ripe fragrant red currant fruit and velvety texture. Go direct to cellar door at Plantagenet Wines $18.00
  • Philip Shaw Idiot Shiraz 2010. From the emerging Orange district. A great wine from a globally recognised maker. Topwineries on line at $19.99
30 great australian wines under $20

30 great australian wines under $20

July 4, 2011  |  life, wine review  |  3 Comments

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY A NEW ONE – GO TO http://rebounds.com.au/category/wine-review/

NOTE:  December 2011 – Many people are still visiting this site from search engines. While some of the wines are still available, I have updated the list which is reflected in the latest “best 20 wines under $20 – christmas 2011″ I suggest you use this list first. 

Some friends recently asked me to nominate the best Australian wines under $20. Given that my blog targets this segment, I’ve decided to post the list, and to seek support from you to identify other entries. It’s totally subjective and isn’t the product of exhaustive sampling. More like the start of a conversation. I have provided links to the best price I can find, but can’t guarantee that they’re the lowest. If you’re buying, make sure you get the vintage specified. Some of these have almost sold out, so be quick. Here are 30 of the best value Australian (I should say Australasian as there are four NZ entries) wines available today:

SPARKLING WINE

  • Back Vintage Chardonnay Pinot Cuvee Brut at $12.99 – simply stunning. On line.
  • Bundaleer NV Sparkling Shiraz – Southern Flinders Ranges. Decadent! $18 cellar door.

CHARDONNAY

Isn’t it great to see Chardonnay returning to its rightful place at the top of the white varietals? The best value and quality tend to come from Yarra Valley and Margaret River, with Tumbarumba, Tasmania and Adelaide Hills snapping at their heels. Cool climate rules!

  • Oakridge 2009 Over the Shoulder Yarra Valley Chardonnay – cheapest of David Bicknall’s many chardonnays, but wow! $18.99 at Randall’s
  • Xanadu Next of Kin Margaret River Chardonnay 2009. $16 @ Vintage Cellars.
  • Hoddles Creek Estate Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2010. Halliday 95. Sensational. Restrained. Cloudwine at $19
  • Madfish Sideways Margaret River Chardonnay 2009. $15.99 at Winerywines
  • Barwang Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2010. $13.90 Dan Murphy. Value

RIESLING

As a category, these wines represent outstanding quality and value for money in a global context. It’s hard to go past the Clare and Eden Valleys.

  • O’Leary Walker 2010 Polish Hill River Riesling. Fantastic! $16.99 @ Winestar on line
  • Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2010. Brilliant. $17 by the case @ Auswine on line
  • Jim Barry’s Lodge Hill Dry Riesling 2011. $19 mail order. Excellent. (Find some 2010!)
  • Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling 2010. A ridiculous $13 @ Grays on line

SEMILLON and SAUVIGNON BLANC

Hunter and Barossa are the two strong Semillon regions, with an occasional gem from Margaret River. Best Sauvignon Blancs from NZ. The big trend now to blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc:

  • Peter Lehmann Margaret Barossa Semillon 2005. Winner best white wine Sydney Show 2011. $24.75 at Kemeny’s. If this is breaking the rules or too dear, try the straight Peter Lehmann 2009 Semillon @ $13.
  • Brokenwood Hunter Semillon 2009. Sydney Gold, Halliday 95. $16.94 @ Mycellars
  • Leeuwin Estate MR Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009 $19.99 at Vintage Cellars
  • Rabbit Ranch Central Otago NZ 2009 Sauvignon Blanc @ $19 from Cloudwine
  • Astrolabe 2010 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. $19.99 at Nick’s

PINOT NOIR

Good pinot is expensive so there are slim pickings in this segment.

  • Pencarrow 2009 Martinborough Pinot Noir. Great value. $17.99 @ Nick’s
  • Yeland’s Way Pinot Noir Martinborough and Central Otago blend. Available from boutique retailer, Cloudwine, for $16
  • Hoddles Creek Yarra Valley Pinot Noir also from Cloudwine for $19

SHIRAZ

Typically Barossa and Heathcote are the heroes, however good shiraz is widely grown:

  • Leopardwood Reserve Heathcote Shiraz 2009. $15 at Wineboss or Yarran Wines  James Halliday 94. Exceptional value.
  • Thorn Clarke Shotfire Ridge Barossa Shiraz 2009. Rich. $17.99 at Topwineries
  • Hardy’s HRB D641 Shiraz (from several areas) $19.95 at Dan Murphy. Excellent wine
  • Innocent Bystander Syrah 2009 from Yarra Valley and Pyrenees. A Rhone style elegant, ethereal wine. $16.99 on line from Topwineries

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

The two outstanding Cabernet areas in Australia are Coonawarra and Margaret River:

  • Kemeny’s Hidden Label Reserve 2008 Coonawarra Cabernet KHL 2518 $17. Value!
  • Brand’s Laira Blockers Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. $19.95 Dan Murphy (Watch vintages on this – for example Vintage Cellars have the 2007)
  • Ringbolt Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. $17.95 Dan Murphy
  • Xanadu Next of Kin Margaret River 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $16 at Vintage Cellars.
  • Flametree Embers Margaret River 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Member price $15

OTHER REDS

  • Running with Bulls Tempranillo 2010. Great food wine. $16.99 Wineboxwarehouse
  • Turkey Flat Barossa Valley Butcher’s Block Shiraz Grenache Mouvedre 2009, a hot price of $16.90 at Dan Murphys.

Maybe you can add to this list. I can only dream about them as I soldier through “Dry July”

secret revealed about back vintage fizz

secret revealed about back vintage fizz

June 30, 2011  |  life, wine review  |  1 Comment

I’ve been reluctant to write about the Back Vintage Chardonnay Pinot Cuvee Brut bottle fermented sparkling wine, for fear of affecting the continuous supply. However, I’m assured that there’s plenty for all, so here we go.

We discovered this amazing value wine about 3 years ago and successive batches (suspect they are always a blend of vintages) have been consistently good, despite sourcing fruit from different cool climate areas. The current offer is a blend of chardonnay (56%) and Pinot Noir (49%) – the classical champagne varieties – from the King and Ovens Valleys in north east Victoria.

Back Vintage simply offers great wines at low prices. Julian Todd has developed a business without a middleman that is starting to be a burr under the saddle of Woolworths and Coles, who continue to bolt on liquor businesses (How does this happen ACCC?). One of the smartest moves by Julian was to engage Nick Bullied MW, to select and endorse all wines that are blended, bottled and sold under the Back Vintage brand. Bullied targets the best varietal – regional marriages and works to the target price point of $12.99 a bottle. The results have been stunning. Check the website and browse for yourself.

The current offering is mainly from the 2008 Vintage, Serve this wine masked against Croser, Salinger, Yarra Burn, Brown Brothers and Jansz and you might get a big surprise. Our guests over the years have been astonished by the quality, and many have become regular consumers. Now the secret is out!

My tasting notes include comments like, “clean dry, fresh with some complexity”. The wine rested on yeast lees for 18 months (how can they sell it for $12.99?) with attractive bread on the nose and clean apple and pear fruit towards the finish. My three daughters and wife have become known as the “fizz sisters” because whenever they get together, I need to restock this wine. They love it, as do I. 12.0% alcohol and rated an amazing 92/100. Get some today.

seduced by central otago pinot

March 1, 2011  |  wine review  |  4 Comments

Firstly, an apology to those who like to follow my wine blogs. Like many others, I had an alcohol free February. By mid-month I could hear my liver softly whispering, “I love you”. So I felt so good by the end of the month that I wonder whether I am allergic to alcohol! Perish the thought – at least as far as wine tasting is concerned.

Anyway, back in the saddle and the first temptation seemed too good to be true! A 2006 Central Otago Pinot for $15.99 featured in the Dan Murphy’s catalogue. Central Otago is the new world Pinot Noir mecca, with some wines seeling upwards of $100. We couldn’t wait to try this entry and arrived at Dan’s where the fine wine manager suggested we buy the Anahera East rather than the Anahera West – both at $15.99, both 2006, and both 14% alcohol.

On March 1 we fought our way through an annoying plastic closure over the screwcap and poured a glass. In the glass the wine looked enticing, bright cherry red in fine condition. I was prepared to give the sharpness on the nose (which continued through on the front palate), the benefit of the doubt, hoping that the wine would breathe nicely and settle down.

The wine was fairly light bodied but there were certainly overtones of ripe plummy berry fruit and even a promise of those mellow, savoury characteristics that I love about Central Otago. Alas, despite a reasonably long finish, the wine never seemed to be in balance. The acidity, sharpness and hot alcohol remained to the last drop. I was disappointed.

I then started to question why a Central Otago pinot noir five years old could sell so cheaply. The answer was there in the glass. The wine has never and will never rise to great heights. I decided to include this in the write ups to provide a balance – they can’t all get 93/100; and also to suggest that you don’t rush to Murphy’s for bargain Central Otago pinots.

This wine is pointed at 85/100, although on the second night it had opened up a little and might sneak 87/100. A lot of the sharpness had disappeared. If you were seduced like me, open it 24 hours ahead!

central otago delivers

September 21, 2010  |  wine review  |  1 Comment

Sweet strawberry and cherry flavoured pinots from heaven! Consistently outstanding evocative pinots only come from Burgundy (if you spend over $150), or from the southern hemisphere’s pinot gift to the world….Central Otago in the south island of NZ, not far from Christchurch. OK, there are some good pinots from Victoria, Tasmania. Oregon, Marlborough and Martinborough, but in my view, nothing rivals Central Otago. The problem is the product is starting to get a reputation and some of the great wines can reach north of $75 a bottle.

When a value Otago comes onto the radar, it’s a cause for celebration. The story around this wine is even better. Made by Wild Rock wines, it was purchased from a retailer in Perth, yes Perth, (having been imported from NZ) and flown back to Sydney where it was landed for $22 a bottle (I know, it falls just outside my target $15 to $20 range, but it is a worthwhile exception). Cheapest I could find on the Eastern seaboard was $27 a bottle. The wine was purchased from the outstanding retail outlet Lamont’s Wine Store, run by Kate Lamont (Deputy Chair of Tourism Australia and celebrated chef, teacher, winemaker, restaurateur) and John Jens (a knowledgeable WA wine person who has been in the game for decades).

Wild Rock is a serious NZ winemaker with vineyards in Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Central Otago. The pinot in question is the Wild Rock Cupid’s Arrow Pinot Noir 2008.

This wine looks a little like raspberry cordial…..which reminds me of the time I was in transit in the BA/Qantas first class Lounge in LA with Liz Hurley – just the two of us! She had poured a Rosemount Diamond label red for herself and I could see that she was struggling with it (and her hangover). Noticing a Mildara Coonawarra Cabernet on the shelf, I poured two and offered Liz a glass. She accepted, commenting that the first “is like Ribena isn’t it?” and that the Coonawarra was most welcome. There’s more to that story for friends over a glass of Wild Rock!

Despite appearances, this is no Ribena! It is a light, clean thin looking wine that fools grown men who think it’s a quaffer. My tasting notes follow:

“Clean strawberry fruit which is pleasant on the nose and highly approachable. To quote the back label, this is soft, succulent and delicious. The gorgeous sweet fruits become more complex in the glass with delightful savoury, mushroom and white pepper overtones. Lingering sweet berry fruit to the finish, with every mouthful more complex than the last. A cracker! 93/100 (no I don’t give every wine 93!) and 13.5% alcohol”

Get on the Lamonts web site and treat yourself to a case of the best value pinot going around….before it runs out!

kemeny’s hidden label martinborough pinot 2008

July 30, 2010  |  wine review  |  5 Comments

Kemeny’s really do provide some amazing value with their hidden label wines. This one is a real revelation. If you look closely on the label, it’s possible to identify the source of the wine. In this case, the winemaker is none other than Steve Smith (master of wine) – co-owner and winemaker of Craggy Range winery. This wine has been put together from fruit grown at Te Muna in the Waipara region of the Martinborough – just east of Wellington. The 2008 Craggy Range pinot sells for NZ$33 – a far cry from the $15 I paid at Kemeny’s.

My tasting notes follow:

Good condition and brilliant bright red colour. Seductive nose – all pinot! Cherries and cut flowers. Attacks with intense balck cherries and a little spice with some subtle oak. Silky texture and finishes with great length and finesse. High quality pinot at a ridiculous price.  94/100

mt rosa pinot noir 2008

July 28, 2010  |  wine review  |  No Comments

Eureka! What a find. I love Central Otago pinot but some of it is getting a little expensive. This one delivers for around $30. I purchased this one at the Berry bottle shop and I know it is also avilable through www.pinotshop.com

Tasting notes:

 Bright crimson, a little cloudy. Attrractive lifted nose of red currant. Silky texture and accessible cherry fruit on front palate, finishing with length and good balance.  Alluring sappy, mealy flavours as it finishes.  An excellent pinot from the finest area in the New World. 13.5% alcohol.  94/100