Star Drinking

by Martin Field

Cascade Green – up to $18 the six-pack of 330ml bottles *
According to the label, this full-strength (4.5%) lager is 100 per cent carbon neutral, preservative free and low carbohydrate. It has pleasant hoppy spicy aromatics. The palate is medium-weighted and very smooth in texture. Flavours are malty sweet and the finish without bitterness.

Banrock Station Ecomate Colombard Chardonnay 2007 – 1 Litre Tetra Pak – up to $10 * *
Light lemony nose. Fresh easy drinking style with faint oak, off-dry finish and mild acidity.

Sevenhill Clare Valley White Spider Semillon Chardonnay 2007 – up to $14 * *
Juicy lemon zest nose. Soft and fruity in the mouth. Dryish finish shows suitability for entrées and light mains.

Le Jardin Français Sauvignon Blanc 2007 – up to $25 * *
Bordeaux, France. Significant kiwi fruit characters on the nose. Fuller bodied style of sauvignon blanc showing asparagus and citric acidity on the palate. Fine aperitif.

Fox-Gordon Abby Viognier 2007 – up to $20 * * *
Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Apricots and herbs on the nose. Mellow and full flavoured palate suitable for light mains.

Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay 2007 – up to $43 * * * * *
Orange, New South Wales. Perfumed with white peaches and delicate toasty French oak. Mouth-filling palate of peaches, apricots and greenish apples over a firm sub-structure of steely acid. One of the best wooded chardonnays I’ve tried in a long while. Cellar to 2014.

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2006 – high $30s * * * *
Central Otago, New Zealand. Attractive nose of strawberry tarts, forest floor and loam. Powerful on the palate with fruits of the forest and savoury, smoky characters. Dry, long finish. A pinot for red wine drinkers who don’t think they like pinot.

Domaine Saint Andrieu 2006 – up to $24 * * *
Appellation Côtes de Provence, France. Shiraz 90 per cent, grenache 10 per cent. Bouquet of plums and blackberry conserve. Excellent dining wine of generous sweet berry fruit supported by firm drying tannins and zappy acidity.

Fence Sitter Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 – up to $30 * * *
Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria. Distinctive red and black currant nose edged with a hint of eucalypt. Thick and chewy style packed with generous ripe fruits. Moreish.

Robert Oatley Shiraz Viognier 2006 – up to $25 * * *
Multi-region blend: Langhorne Creek and Barossa Valley, South Australia; Mudgee, New South Wales.
Juicy plummy nose. Palate provides flavours of raspberry and blackberry along with dark chocolate and espresso coffee.

Rating system
Five stars * * * * * – outstanding
* * * * – classy
* * * – first-rate
* * – good stuff
* – commercial
A $ denotes excellent value for money. Prices in Australian dollars.

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