Top shelf drinking

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Brut 2010 – $18 – 88/100. Pinot noir and chardonnay blend. Bright gold in the glass with a medium leisurely bead. Its nose shows floral notes and a hint of lemon. Flavours on the lively palate reminded me of strawberry shortcake, the fruitiness offset by clean acidity. A medium dry finish suggests entrée accompaniment.

Waipara Hills Riesling 2011 – $21 – 88/100. Waipara Valley, New Zealand. Greeny gold hues in the glass. Aromatic, with a hint of lime marmalade on the nose, which reminded me of “Noble” styles. The lime theme continues on the palate along with aspects of dried apples. A smooth version of the varietal that sits somewhere between medium dry and not quite sweet. Try with a cheese platter.

Tyrrell’s Moon Mountain Chardonnay 2011 – $18 – 91/100. Hunter Valley, New South Wales. This wine has an immediately attractive bouquet of new season apricots over a background of toasty French oak. The palate is full and flavoursome with suggestions of nectarine and Granny Smith apple. Careful oak influence supports rather than dominates the wine. A style for lighter main courses.

Geppetto Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 – $21 – 89/100. Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. Almost water pale in the glass. Lifted nose of lychee and lemongrass. On the generous palate, ripe fruit tends towards the rich and soft rather than mean and lean, with a finish showing sufficient acidity. Would go well with a tomatoey pasta dish.

Jack Rabbit Pinot Noir 2010 – $30 – 90/100. Geelong, Victoria. Dark cherry in appearance. The nose is faintly herbal and shows both sweet fresh raspberries and savoury dried cranberries. The palate is full and supple with flavours of summer pudding balanced with a hint of smokiness. The finish is medium dry and pleasantly persistent.

Hardys Omoo Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – up to $19 – 89/100. In the glass this shows deep crimson hues with a purple edge. To the nose, it presents aromatic black fruits and a hint of oak. The palate is warm and rounded with facets of blackcurrant conserve over a structure of mildly drying tannins.

Wild Oats Cabernet Merlot 2009 – $19 – 89/100. Mudgee, New South Wales. Medium crimson in the glass. Warm and ripe blackcurrant aromatics lift the bouquet. The palate displays plenty of berry fruit, a tad of earthiness and carefully interlaced oakiness. Tannins are smooth rather than assertive leading to an overall impression of roundness and balance.

Longview Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – $15.50 – 88/100. Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Medium to dark crimson colour. Pleasant plummy fruit bouquet. Blackberries and plums on the palate with an agreeable bitey structure. Suited to well-seasoned main course dishes.

Arvo – Brew 34 and Brew 51About $18 for a 6-pack of stubbies. Wine company Casella has launched a new beer into the Australian market – “Arvo” – as in “what are you doing this arvo?” I guess. There are two beers in the  range, Brew 34 and Brew 51; both are full strength at 4.9% alcohol. I found Brew 51 more like the easy-drinking draught beers you get at the local. Brew 34 is more to my liking – nice hops aroma, good length of flavour and a likeable bitterness at the finish.


95-100 – Gold

90-94 – Silver

85-89 – Bronze

80–84 – Good drinking

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