Peter Lehmann Princess Moscato 2009 – 500ml – up to $18 – ** – Red frontignac, carbonated, low (7.5%) alcohol. Faintest onion skin tinge of colour. Pleasing raisiny nose and palate in a mid-sweet, spritzy style.
Yellowglen Bella Bianco 2009 – up to $20 – ** – Low (8%) alcohol bubbly. A blend of white frontignac and riesling. Bouquet of ripe pears and apricots. Notably sweet palate continues the fruity pear theme with maybe a hint of oranges and lemons at the finish. Pleasant luncheon or picnic style.
Patina Sticky Tea Riesling 2009 – 375ml – up to $22 – ** – Orange New South Wales. Low (7.6%) alcohol. Yes, it does have a pleasant fragrance not unlike a cup of iced lemon tea. Medium sweet at the front of the palate but dries off nicely at the finish with some citrus undertones.
Kreglinger Estate Brut de Blancs 2003 – up to $65 – **** – Tasmania. Chardonnay, disgorged mid-2009. Vigorous bead, pale straw hues. Lime blossoms and toasted cashews on the nose. Seven years since vintage yet still fresh and youthful on the palate. Dry and steely style with flavours of Granny Smith tarte tatin and zested lime peel acidity to finish.
Baritone Maxim Cabernet Shiraz 2008 – 1 litre – up to $13 – ** – Limestone Coast, South Australia. Solid, juicy red, packed with ripe fruit. Palate is warm (14.5% alcohol) and generous with medium tannins and a firm food-suiting finish. Excellent value for money.
James Oatley Tic Tok Shiraz 2008 – up to $18 – *** – Shiraz from Frankland River, Western Australia; Mudgee, New South Wales; McLaren Vale, South Australia. Vibrant purple edge in the glass. Upfront nose of blackberries and lightly toasted oak. Soft and rich in the mouth showing blackberry tart and a sub-structure of mocha.
Barwang Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – up to $20 – *** – Hilltops region, New South Wales. Dense purple hues. Inviting, lifted bouquet, reminiscent of cassis and blackcurrant conserve. Dry, tightly structured, cool climate, berry-packed palate supported by assertive tannins. Intense and lasting finish. Cellar to 2015.
Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2006 – up to $90 – ***** – Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast, South Australia. Shiraz 89%, cabernet sauvignon 11%. The product notes remind us that unlike other premium reds, St Henri does not use any new oak and maturation is in old 1460 litre vats. Near opaque, deep crimson. The complex nose is savoury rather than sweet and shows notes of summer berries, mint, just raked autumn leaves and leather. The palate displays hints of blood plums, mulberries and espresso coffee. Well-integrated tannins are chewy and sinewy while the finish is long, dry and firm, with lingering notes of almost bitter dark chocolate. Cellar to 2025.
***** – outstanding
**** – classy
*** – first-rate
** – good stuff
* – commercial
Prices in Australian dollars.