Posts Tagged ‘Tempranillo’

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PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY A NEW ONE – GO TO http://rebounds.com.au/category/wine-review/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

the elefante in the room – a spanish tempranillo

June 27, 2011  |  wine review  |  No Comments

What a surprise it was to open the 2009 Elefante tempranillo – shiraz, from Tierra de Castilla. Castilla is the setting of Miguel de Cervantes novel, Don Quixote, and is the spiritual heart of Spain. Elefante is named in honour of a bull that achieved a unique feat – twice receiving a pardon for exceptional bravery.

Despite favourable exchange rates, it staggers me that such a fine wine can be on sale in Melbourne at – wait for it – $10 a bottle. The wine was purchased from Cloudwine – a specialist retailer with three stores in Melbourne. Cloudwine focuses on small producers and have some gems, which they will deliver anywhere in Australia. Contact details are sales@cloudwine.com.au or +613 96996700. Ask for Chris.

Elefante thrills! It is a bold wine and opens with lifted berry/cherry/stewed fruit and some burnt wood (oak chips?) It’s travelled thousands of kilometres, however the wine is in great condition with enticing brick red colour. Elefante delivers, in true tempranillo fashion, a savoury palate that makes it an excellent food wine. It’s full bodied and beautifully balanced and has length to delight to the finish, even though the charred oak hangs around. I’ve never seen this blend before. It works well with the savoury and structured tempranillo complemented by the ripe berry characters of the shiraz.

I have scanned domestic producers for wedding wines – many much more expensive – but have not found anything to match the quality and value of this little gem. Apparently it’s still available so do yourself a favour and get a case. The wine is 14% alcohol; 60% tempranillo and 40% shiraz. I have given it 90/100 – which surely must represent the best value wine on the planet.

tempranillo and wild oats in harmony

August 16, 2010  |  wine review  |  2 Comments

The Spanish grape variety Tempranillo is used to make the famous wines of Rioja. A black, early ripening variety which makes easy drinking styles, it is challenging Sangiovese as the trendy red varietal in Australia. Tempranillo is used by over 200 wineries in King Valley, Mudgee, Barossa, Margaret River and McLaren Vale. We are starting to understand how to make it, as the 2008 from Robert Oatley at Mudgee has demonstrated.

 Robert Oatley is of course the man who created Rosemount, sold it to Foster’s, bought the old Montrose winery at Mudgee, renamed it and built it up under the new banner Robert Oatley wines. With his spare change he bought Hamilton Island and has poured millions into its refurbishment, as well as creating the fabulous Qualia resort on the Island, and completing the development of Dent Island 18 hole golf course next door to Hamilton. Bob is pretty shrewd – he recently bought back many of his original vineyards from Foster’s at a heavy discount.

I tried the Wild Oats Tempranillo 2008 twice on a recent weekend visit to Mudgee (which is by the way, a much more rewarding experience than a visit to the Hunter). The first was a Friday night in the delightful Roth’s wine bar in Market Street Mudgee. Roth’s is the oldest wine bar in NSW – a delightful venue with log fires, old couches, live music, a broad range of local and other wines and some great tapas and gourmet pizzas at ridiculously accessible prices

The Wild Oats Tempranillo cost $25 for the bottle at Roth’s (or $19 to take away) and next day at cellar door $15, as part of a six pack, so it qualifies for my $15 to $20 value set. It was an effective marriage with the tapas and gourmet pizza. When chatting to the guy at the cellar door the next day, he described it as a “mid-week wine” – I guess that means an easy drinking wine that goes well with food.

My tasting notes:

Vibrant lifted cherry fruit. A lighter style that is soft and silky on the tongue. Dark cherry and five spice on the front palate, opening to attractive mealy, savoury flavours. Quite complex, finishing with soft dusty tannins. Easy drinking style. 14% alcohol. 93/100