Top Shelf Drinking

Yering Station Cold Pressed Pinot Gris 2010 (375 ml) – $33 – AAA

Yarra Valley, Victoria. Cold Pressed means grapes were frozen and cold pressed at -18C. Light straw. Sweet nose of ripe apricots, pears and Seville marmalade. Palate is light and elegant with sweet fruitiness balanced by lemon zest acidity. Excellent dessert wine. NB I read the back label after tasting this wine and was surprised to find similar comments.

Reillys Riesling 2010 – $18 – AA+

Watervale, Clare Valley, South Australia. Near water pale, light green hue. Fresh sherbert and lime blossom nose. Dry, full, lip smacking, lemon / lime juiciness. Beautifully integrated acidity at the finish.

Thistle Hill Preservative Free Chardonnay 2011 – $22 – AA

Mudgee, New South Wales. No sulphur dioxide added. Very pale in the glass. Nose of white peaches with a hint of lemon zest. Soft rich palate shows dried pears with a hint of tropical fruits.

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2010 – Seen for $24 – AA+

Light gold. Perfumey nose of apricot conserve and lightly toasted oak. Generous fruit on the palate is reminiscent of new season stone fruits, while the oak is nicely expressive rather than assertive. Try with a creamy pasta main course.

Houghton Stripe Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2010 – $15 – A+

Western Australia. Crimson in colour. Fruity nose, reminiscent of maraschino cherries. Medium-weighted in the mouth with more of the cherry fruit showing and light tannic astringency. Easy drinking with a pleasing dry finish. Good with main course food.

AC/DC Highway to Hell Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – $16 and more – AA

Medium ruby, edge of purple. Dusty, wine gum nose. Dry and medium bodied showing aspects of blackcurrants and blueberries over fairly assertive tannins. Try with well-seasoned main course tucker.

Mount Langi Ghiran Billi Billi Shiraz 2008 – $18 – AA

Dark crimson hues. Plums and maybe a hint of chocolate on the nose. Solid red of velvety texture shows plenty of ripe summer berry fruit along with sweet vanillin oak.

Maximus Cadenzia 2009 – $25 – AAA

Mc Laren Vale, South Australia. Grenache 50%, Shiraz 35%, Mourvedre 15%. Dark ruby. Inviting nose of forest fruits and oaky sweet vanilla. Silky texture, buckets of ripe berries in the mouth and a long delicious finish. Good value for money. Hand me another bottle.

Bress Brut Cider – $20 (750ml) – AA

Harcourt, Victoria. 80% cider apples, 20% pears, six months on lees. Pale gold, light bead. Juicy green apple peel nose and a hint of pear juice. Smooth and creamy on the palate with a tad of brioche-like yeastiness. Goes down very easily with a just off-dry finish.

Holey Dollar Premium Rum – around $40

Fiji. Pot still, three years small oak maturation, 40% alcohol. Light sherry hues. Nose of light molasses leavened with a hint of vanilla and maybe a touch of lemon peel. Smooth sweet palate with edges of caramel, vanilla and aged oak. A good sipper on the rocks and a top mixer.

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale 2011 – $5 (375 ml) – AAA

Top fermented, bottle conditioned ale. Foamy with light toffee hues. Fruity notes on the nose are moderated by hop aromatics. Creamy mouth feel exhibits delicious maltiness, a suggestion of mocha and balancing hoppy bitterness at the finish.


AAA+ – extraordinary

AAA – outstanding

AA+ – classy

AA – first-rate

A+ – good stuff

A – commercial

Prices – Australian dollars

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