Good drinking

Rosalina Vinho Verde – under $6 – 86/100 – Portugal. A non-vintage white in a traditional rounded Mateus Rose shaped bottle. The “verde” means young rather than green – so you can have a red vinho verde. This white is a fresh, crisp and fruity style, medium dry with refreshing spritzig and mild acid. Lowish alcohol of 9% makes it ideal for light lunches or as an aperitif. A steal at the price. I bought a dozen.

Yarrabank Cuvée 2009 – $38 – 92/100 – Chardonnay and pinot noir, four years on lees. Light golden tints; persistent tiny bubbles. The bouquet shows notes of green apple and brioche. A full-bodied bubbly on the palate with generous fruit and a finely balanced dryish finish.

Delatite Deadman’s Hill Gewürtztraminer 2012 – $25 – 90/100 – Mansfield, Victoria. Pale straw hues. On the nose there is that typical Gewürtz rose petal spiciness and in the background the faintest hint of oak. The palate is rich with a pleasant illusion of sweetness which adds a liqueurish mouth feel that gradually transforms into a medium dry finish. Try with a platter of sharpish cheeses.

The Lane Block 1A Chardonnay 2012 – $20 – 89/100 – Hahndorf, South Australia. Pale straw in colour. Ripe and fruity nose. Stone fruits and melon continue through the palate with just enough oak to balance. The finish is medium dry and flavours linger agreeably.

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2012 – $42 – 94/100 – Adelaide Hills, South Australia. This one leads off with nicely balanced aromas of apricot and toasted oak. On the palate the main impression is one of balance, where a sub-structure of smoky oak supports aspects of apricot conserve and dry pears along with nicely balanced citric acidity. A white for main courses.

Rochford Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2011 – $29 – 89/100 – The nose offers hints of raspberry and strawberry conserve and maybe a suggestion of smoky oak. The palate displays generous sweet fruit across a spectrum redolent of summer pudding. The finish is medium dry and firm enough to suit richer entrées.

La Vieille Ferme – 2010 – $13 – 89/100 – Rhône Valley. AOC Ventoux. A grenache, syrah, cinsault and carignan blend. Attractive nose of cherries and blackcurrant pastilles. A dryish style in the mouth, with hints of blackberry and cherry. Its pleasantly tannic edge will suit main courses well. Real value for money. 

Value for money


Tar & Roses Heathcote Sangiovese 2012 – $20+ – 93/100 – Deep crimson in the glass. On the nose are cherries, tobacco leaves and a slight earthiness The palate is savoury, with plumminess and spice over grippy tannins. Just the thing for a crusty pizza.

Xanadu Next of Kin Shiraz 2011 – $18 – 94/100 – Margaret River, Western Australia. A complex nose of dark berries and lightly charred oak. This is followed by a solid mouthful of blackberry-like fruitiness with an edge of aniseed and vanilla-ish French oak. A good, long, moreish finish.


95-100 – Gold

90-94 – Silver

85-89 – Bronze

80–84 – Good drinking

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