50 Best Wines of 2022
Adam Walls and the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel reflect on a wet and wild year of truly wonderful wines.
"Great weather for ducks” could be a perfect tagline for 2022 thanks to La Niña’s inescapable presence throughout the year, which, to put it lightly, presented an enormous challenge to the winegrowers and winemakers around the country.
Coupled with the ongoing, strangling effect that Chinese tariffs continue to have on Australian exports, and you could say it hasn’t been all lollipops and rainbows in our world of wine.
It’s lucky for us that Australian vignerons are a resilient bunch and some of the most skilled to be found anywhere in the world. For wine lovers, the pendulum has never swung and been stuck so far in our favour. The quality and value for money of the wines that the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel has assessed in 2022 is testimony to this.
In total, 3,500 Australian wines were tasted and assessed by the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel in 2022 – two hundred more than were assessed in both 2020 and 2021. That’s around 9.8 wines a day for those fond of averages. All wines are assessed blind – we know the vintage and variety, but that’s all.
This same system is used in wine shows held across the country, with each tasting session chaired by either PJ Charteris or myself, and all of our Tasting Panel members active in the wine show circuit across the country. The list, therefore, represents the very best wines we’ve tasted in the last 12 months across the most representative of price points high and low. Tasting the wines, however, is the easy part. Whittling down a list of thousands to 50 is far more difficult.
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The 2021 Vintage
Across the country the 2021 vintage will be remembered for its long, drawn out and cool growing conditions. For the vast majority of the east coast wine states, it was a superb vintage with both quality and quantity high, the wines showcasing energy, vibrancy and purity of flavours.
Pinot Noir flourished as is evident when you taste both the Hardy’s HRB 2021 and the multiple-Gold-medal-winning Bay of Fires Pinot Noir 2021, but it wasn’t only Pinot Noir that triumphed. Clare Valley Riesling, Yarra Valley and Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, McLaren Vale Grenache, Barossa Valley Shiraz and Coonawarra Cabernet all shone. In all, it’s a vintage that’s worth filling your cellar with for enjoyment both now and in the future.
It’s a great time to be a lover and consumer of wine in Australia... I would encourage you to make your purchasing power matter and choose Australian wine whenever you can.
All the way with Australian Chardonnay
It’s long been said that Hunter Semillon and Rutherglen Muscat are Australia’s gifts to the wine world, two styles unique to Australia and nowhere else, yet I think we could add a third to that list with Chardonnay. Sure, there are other countries in the world that make high quality Chardonnay, with France still considered the top of the totem pole. However, there is no other country that can make Chardonnay that offers such a strong value for money proposition than Australia.
The passion and hard work our winemakers have poured into the varietal over the last decade or so is clearly on show today. It would be hard for me to choose a favourite, but two of the standouts would be the Silkman Estate Chardonnay 2021 from the Hunter Valley, and the Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay 2017 – the latter sourced from one of the country’s most famed Chardonnay vineyards, and described by Senior Wine Buyer Matthew White as “a masterclass in terroir and quality.”
Australian Cabernet comes of age
One thing that was evident this year is that Australian Cabernet has truly come of age. Drinking Cabernet young could be painful, as Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape naturally high in tannin, with wines of the past needing time in the cellar to soften these tannins and help all the elements harmonise. A great deal of work has been done in both the vineyard and the winery to make wines that have softer, finer tannins. The result is that the great Cabernet wines can today be enjoyed in their youth without sacrificing their longevity.
Speaking of the ability to age, we’ve been lucky enough to include two Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignons from the cool 2017 vintage. Both the Fermoy Estate and Victory Point show why Margaret River is a global heavyweight when it comes to growing Cabernet Sauvignon, both demonstrating the finesse and elegance that have come to define the best Cabernet Sauvignon and blends from across the country. Of the Fermoy, Matt White said it “stood out for its elegance, structural framework and its classic Bordeaux-like qualities – at a fraction of the price of a reasonable Margaux, this one is incredible value, and drinking great now.”
Australia has a long history with Grenache. In fact, we have some of the oldest Grenache vineyards to be found anywhere in the world. Traditionally used to make fortified wines, Grenache fell out of favour when we as a nation largely stopped consuming fortifieds and many old vineyards were ripped out.
Thankfully the long-anticipated Grenache resurgence has well and truly arrived. Picking grapes earlier and treating them more like Pinot has seen the modern-day style of Grenache transformed into a fragrant, light-to-mid-weight wine that has fruit intensity, vibrant acidity and fine tannins. Pundits laud Grenache as warm climate viticulture’s answer to Pinot Noir, while Grenache makers say it delivers what Pinot Noir promises. Both the Schwarz Wine Co. and Dandelion Vineyards wines are superb examples of what the fuss is all about.
It’s a great time to be a lover and consumer of wine in Australia. I would encourage you to make your purchasing power matter and choose Australian wine whenever you can – it needs our collective support. With such outstanding quality serving every palate and price-point, it’s certainly worth it.
HUNGERFORD HILL DALLIANCE SPARKLING 2018
TUMBARUMBA, RRP $45
Bright pale gold in the glass with complex aromas of citrus and stonefruit, cashew and baked pastry. Palate displays bright lemony fruit drive in a youthful and intense, ripe and juicy style, offering hints of bready autolysis and grilled nuts with good flavour persistence. A classy Tumbarumba Sparkling from these Hunter Valley stalwarts.
TALTARNI BLANC DE BLANCS SPARKLING CHARDONNAY 2018
VICTORIA AND TASMANIA, RRP $33
One of Australia’s classic Sparkling names, and here the quality of the 2018 vintage outshines even the great 2017 vintage, giving the wine drive, freshness and length. Bright with a green hue in colour. Very lifted white peach, mushroom and brioche. Vibrantly fresh yet beautifully complex with fine stonefruit and citrus, underlying white cheese complexity, stunning cool climate acidity and a mouth-watering saline layer.
SWINGS & ROUNDABOUTS SPARKLING WHITE NV
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $32
An unusual Sparkling blend of 78% Chenin Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Semillon – all varieties that thrive in the maritime climate of Margaret River. Pale and bright with a persistent bead. Lemon, lime, white peach and green apple aromas. Tight and citrussy in an aperitif style, with lemon and stonefruit layers, an underlying minerality, juicy mouthfeel, and a dry finish.
SIDEWOOD SPARKLING PINOT NOIR ROSÉ NV
ADELAIDE HILLS, RRP $24
Crafted with Pinot Noir from a single vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, this delicious pink Sparkling is delicate, refined and classy from start to finish. Pale rose petal pink with Turkish Delight, lemon, and mandarin peel aromas. The palate is light and refreshing with an elegant mix of pink fruit, well balanced limey acidity, and a dry finish. A lovely wine, making an ideal aperitif.
PETER LEHMANN WIGAN RIESLING 2016
EDEN VALLEY, RRP $45
Wigan Riesling is a benchmark Aussie style only released with some bottle age, and shows what can be achieved with time. Pale lemon with lime cordial, green apple, honey and toast aromas. Deep and flavoursome in a fully developed style, showing grilled lemon and baked apple, secondary notes of lanolin, honey drop and buttered sourdough, and a powerful, chalky finish. Drinking well.
ERIN EYES PRIDE OF ERIN RESERVE RIESLING 2022
CLARE VALLEY, RRP $35
Wine industry veteran Steve Wiblin is behind the small batch Erin Eyes label. Delicate straw green in colour with a silver fleck, it presents pure and fine aromas of white flower and lemon balm. Palate is fine and bright, driven by pure lemon and lime juice, with mouthwatering acidity and crunchy green apple length. A wonderful wine, worthy of your attention.
FIRST CREEK WINEMAKER’S RESERVE SEMILLON 2021
POKOLBIN, RRP $80
Liz and Shaun Silkman at First Creek really understand how to bring out the best in Hunter Valley Semillon, and this 2021 Reserve-grade is absolutely showstopping. Very pale green with lime leaf, fennel seed and chamomile tea aromas. Light-bodied, pure and ethereal with massive latent power held in by tightlywound acidity, fabulous structure, notes of quinine and lemon pith, and laser-like flavour drive.
TRIMBOLI FAMILY WINES SAVERIO FAMILY SELECTION VERMENTINO 2022
BIG RIVERS, RRP $26
A finer-style Vermentino that’s juicy and refreshing, showcasing the classic characters of citrus, herb and sea spray. Pale with green freshness in the glass. Bright lift of pear, lemon, musk and almond meal aromas, with a palate that’s clean and fresh yet with a generous and juicy mix of nashi, white peach and apple, hints of grilled nuts, firm acidity and a long, saline finish. Beautiful.
TERRE À TERRE CRAYÈRES VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2020
WRATTONBULLY, RRP $50
One of the best examples of barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc in Australia, made more like Chardonnay rather than classic Sauvignon Blanc and a lovely example of the style. Pale lemon green. Grapefruit, passionfruit, lemon curd, nougat and green capsicum. Powerful and complex, with an intense core flavour, plenty of citrus richness, mouthwatering acidity, plus lovely texture and depth due to barrel fermentation.
SIDEWOOD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2022
ADELAIDE HILLS, RRP $22
Sidewood has crafted another vintage of its excellent Sauvignon Blanc, which is testament to the variety’s synergy with the Adelaide Hills. Pale lemon with green freshness in the glass, with lifted grassy aromas over bright tropicals and dried herbs. A fresh, juicy and bright palate, with minerally acidity driving the crunchy citrus and tropical fruit core, resolving with a crisp, clean finish.
CLAIRAULT BARREL SELECTION WHITE 2018
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $25
A barrel-fermented blend of 31% Chenin Blanc, 23% Chardonnay, 23% Sauvignon Blanc and 23% Semillon, which has resulted in a complex wine that’s drinking well. Excellent green freshness. Very fine and scented nose of yellow
flower, nectarine, citrus and vanilla biscuit. Palate flows on from the nose with elegant complexity and stonefruit core depth, and touches of asparagus and yellow melon.
COLOURS OF THE SOUTH PINOT GRIS 2022
ADELAIDE HILLS, RRP $28
A small percentage of the Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris used to craft this wine went into older French oak to increase complexity, resulting in a wine with real texture. Pale straw gold colour. Fresh lemon, green apple and grassy highlights on the nose. Sweet fruit entry, yet with apple-like acidity giving a clean, dry finish with nice flavour persistence of grapefruit and white pepper.
SILKMAN ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2021
HUNTER VALLEY, RRP $35
Another refined and beautifully made Chardonnay by the Hunter’s ‘Chardonnay Queen’ Liz Silkman, that will continue to develop complexity in the cellar. Simmering pale gold. Struck match, citrus, fig, sea spray and nutty oak. Complex, refined and richly flavoured with a stunning core of fruit, tightly-wound structure, mouthwatering acidity, and notes of flint and nougat to finish. Sensational.
CHAPMAN GROVE RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2017
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $35
Margaret River’s unique soil and climate produce superb wines, like this delicious Chardonnay. Fine straw green in colour with vibrant fig, white pineapple, lime, cedar oak, sea spray and mineral aromas. Terrific focus with bright and primary notes of tangy pineapple above the nectarine core, oyster shell minerality, near-perfect oak and a still-tense finish with soft acidity.
PETALUMA TIERS CHARDONNAY 2017
PICCADILLY VALLEY, RRP $140
Inarguably one of the top Chardonnays in Australia, made from Adelaide Hills fruit of outstanding quality. Brilliant straw with green freshness. Complex grilled nuts, citrus, fig and struck match. Latent depth and poise with hints of cashew and spun honey under white peach and grapefruit, creamy texture, beautiful acidity and stunning oak. In a word, superb.
CAZADORA CHARDONNAY 2021
PIPERS RIVER, RRP $45
Tasmanian Chardonnay is known for its cool climate acidity, which makes it almost immune to age, and this example from the talented Alex Russell is no exception. Pale to mid yellow with green freshness in the glass, with aromas of toasty grilled citrus, white peach, grilled nuts and f linty oak. Generous entry of stonefruit and citrus with fresh nuts, mouth-watering acidity and integrated oak. Layered, textural, and long.
TAHBILK 1927 VINES MARSANNE 2015
NAGAMBIE LAKES, RRP $45
A special limited release wine, this Trophy-winner is just beginning its magical journey and is remarkably youthful, pale and bright in colour with sea salt, nashi, macadamia and beeswax aromas. Palate is still so primary with layers of lemon, lime, grapefruit and honeysuckle, pristine purity and silken texture, mouth-watering acidity and sensational harmony. Ageless!
COSA NOSTRA ARNEIS 2020
YARRA VALLEY, RRP $25
Sourced from a single vineyard in the Yarra Valley, only 140 dozen of this wine were produced with the use of barrel fermentation adding extra layers of complexity and texture. Pale to mid-gold with fresh white peach, guava, white flower and wet stone aromas. Youthful yet deep and fleshy peach, pineapple and guava, savoury saline minerality, spicy acidity, and a lovely, almost chalky finish. Classy.
WHICHER RIDGE MADEMOISELLE V VIOGNIER 2019
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $38
Viognier is a challenging variety to grow and manage, but a fantastically complex and flavoursome wine, as demonstrated by this classy example. Vibrant lemon yellow. Powerful apricot with whitepeach, red apple and sea spray. Rich, juicy and layered with masses of stonefruit, honeysuckle, lemon curd, manuka honey and marzipan, underlying minerality, classy oak and a rich finish.
CORIOLE CHENIN BLANC 2021
MCLAREN VALE, RRP $23
A light-weight, dry and fresh style of Chenin Blanc that Coriole excel at. This vintage was a Gold Medal-winner at the 2021 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards and in the glass shows pale with green freshness. White pineapple, apple and grapefruit lift; palate is light, fresh and dry, with lovely nervous acidity driving the core of white and yellow fruit, pithy texture and some richer tropical notes to finish. Textural rather than fruity.
TULLOCH VINEYARD SELECTION VERDELHO 2022
POKOLBIN, RRP $24
A restrained and classy Verdelho by the regional specialists in this underrated variety. Delicious now and over the next couple of years, it’s very pale in colour, with bright aromas of lime leaf, white peach, white flowers and green apple. Powerful yet poised, with layers of stonefruit and melon, limey acidity, slatey minerality, and a ripe yellow fruit finish. A lovely, modern style.
NICK SPENCER WINES ROSÉ 2022
HILLTOPS, RRP $28
A blend of Grenache, Sangiovese and Merlot sourced from the Hilltops in NSW, which nails the modern day Rosé brief, being dry, refreshing and savoury. Bright pale rose petal pink. Turkish Delight, cherry and musk on the nose. Mouth-watering from start to finish, with a savoury mix of cranberry berry and ruby grapefruit, beautifully bright acidity and a delicate yet refreshing finish. Delightful.
HOWARD VINEYARD CABERNET FRANC ROSÉ 2022
ADELAIDE HILLS, RRP $35
Estate grown and handpicked from Howard Vineyard’s Block 9 and 30% barrel fermented to give texture and complexity. Pale onion skin blush. Rose petal, red cherry and sage aromas. Bright and vibrant with a very long and juicy core of pink and red fruit, underlying notes of dried herb and orange zest, subtle savoury elements and deliciously fresh acidity to balance.
HARDYS HRB PINOT NOIR 2021
TASMANIA & YARRA VALLEY, RRP $35
Crafted from premium fruit from Tasmania (70%) and the Yarra Valley (30%) to produce a Pinot of class, with the variety’s hallmark silken texture. Glossy and gorgeous. Pale garnet. Vibrant and complex aromas of blueberry, potpourri, amaro and forest floor. Elegant yet complex with a precise mix of cherry, mushroom, white pepper and undergrowth, gentle tannins, velvety mouthfeel and gorgeous toasty oak.
BAY OF FIRES PINOT NOIR 2021
TASMANIA, RRP $62
This stunning Pinot is crafted with fruit from Coal River, Derwent Valley and the East Coast and is a youthful deep garnet colour with ripe cherry, strawberry and complex toasty oak notes. Deep and fleshy sweet dark cherry fruit and whole bunch complexity, wellintegrated toasty oak and attractive funky characters. Powerful and complex with terrific flavour persistence.
PUPPET MASTER PINOT NOIR 2021
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $30
The Puppet Master series from Howard Park seeks to explore the complex inf luences of climate and soil that winemakers have to contend with. Pale to mid-red in the glass with forest floor, sour cherry, cranberry and raspberry aromas. Vibrant, juicy entry of pure red and blue fruit, hints of whole bunch herbaceousness, undergrowth, mint and white pepper, fine tannins and concentrated persistence.
PIETRO NERO D’AVOLA 2021
FLEURIEU, RRP $35
‘Nero’ is an important red in its native Sicily, and is quickly finding acceptance here in Australia for its depth of colour, aromatics and juicy yet savoury appeal. Lovely deep purple colour. Blackberry, plum, dark cherry, liquorice and tobacco aromas. Bold and expressive with a dense core of black and purple fruit, notes of confectionery and cigar box, vibrant acidity and a juicy finish. A lovely Nero.
DROP ZONE RESERVE MALBEC 2021
FLEURIEU, RRP $32
This 2021 Fleurieu Malbec certainly ticks all the boxes for those that prefer their reds with plenty of flavour. The wine is vibrant dark purple in the glass, with intense and aromatic plum and florals with a mint leaf lift, while the palate is rich and generous with abundant plummy fruit. Very fine yet firm tannins make the wine long and powerful, with a dense core of deeply flavoured black fruit.
COULTER WINES C2 SANGIOVESE 2021
ADELAIDE, RRP $29
Winemaker Chris Coulter sources fruit from premium growers in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Riverland to craft his small but high-quality range of wines. Vibrant mid red colour, fresh red berry lift with hints of cola and liquorice. Elegant yet intense, with excellent raspberry and blueberry fruit depth, fresh acidity, and fine, dry tannins. Vibrant and youthful with a crunchy texture.
HOUSE OF CERTAIN VIEWS TEMPRANILLO 2021
HUNTER VALLEY, RRP $40
Andrew Margan and his talented winemaking team have a knack when it comes to alternative varieties, as this delicious Hunter Tempranillo shows. Youthful and bright dark red with dark cherry and dried herb aromas. Crunchy red berry fruit entry with notes of pepper and woody herbs in a lovely joven style, with vibrant acidity and a moreish finish. A great example of this ever-popular alternative varietal.
CLARENCE HILL RED LABEL GSM 2020
MCLAREN VALE, RRP $22
A lovely blend from Nick Haselgrove’s wine stable, driven by Grenache (65%), with 30% Shiraz and a splash of Mataro to give muscle and depth. Colour is medium to deep brick with plum, liquorice, amaro and mocha aromas. Medium bodied, clean and juicy fruit flavours throughout, with anise and chocolate richness, delicate yet deep tannins, and a ripe, juicy finish.
DRIFTWOOD ARTIFACTS PETIT VERDOT 2020
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $35
While Cabernet put Margaret River on the red wine map, this delightfully balanced wine shows that emerging varieties like Petit Verdot can perform just as well. Inky deep purple. Plum compote, dark berries, pepper, cola, espresso and charry oak. Ripe, intense and full-bodied in true varietal style, with concentrated core depth, deep and intense tannins, mocha oak, and a powerful finish.
TARRAWARRA ESTATE K BLOCK MERLOT 2021
YARRA VALLEY, RRP $40
Great Merlot can be hard to come by, but this beauty from Tarrawarra Estate ticks all the boxes – supple, juicy and long, with velvety tannin depth. Deep red purple with fresh aromas of mulberry, plum, liquorice, black tea and truffle. Intense, rich, ripe and full-bodied, showing concentrated dark berry fruit, fine savoury tannins, plenty of chocolatey oak and a firm finish.
PEOS ESTATE FOUR KINGS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2020
MANJIMUP, RRP $32
This Cabernet comes from one of the world’s most remote wine regions, where ancient soils and cool climate combine to create wines of excellence. Deep red purple in colour, with a nose of blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, black pepper, black tea, eucalypt and toasty oak. Complex and full-bodied with a rich core of black fruit, concentrated graphite-like tannins, and chocolatey oak lingering on the long finish.
FERMOY ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $50
Perhaps not as well-known as some of its neighbours, Fermoy Estate is one of Margaret River’s worst-kept secrets, and this superb Cabernet shows why. Deep, dark red. Rich currant, cassis and cedar oak perfumes. Full-bodied, plush and juicy with a very ripe core of dark fruit, layers of dark chocolate and liquorice, soft and rounded tannins and seamless texture. Glossy and long.
VICTORY POINT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017
MARGARET RIVER, RRP $55
A Margaret River homage to the wines of Bordeaux, from a producer who should be on your radar. A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot, the wine is dark red with a brick hue. Mocha, liquorice, blackberry, leather and cedar. A medium to fullbodied Cabernet, rich in dark fruit and some secondary notes appearing as tobacco, white pepper and earth, fine tannins, savoury oak, and a rich finish.
ANDREW THOMAS SYNERGY SHIRAZ 2021
POKOLBIN, RRP $25
A blend of fruit from old-vine vineyards, the distinctive characters of each working together in ‘synergy’, resulting in a wine of unique personality. Deep ruby red. Liquorice, blueberry, plum, Italian bitters and toasty oak. Ripe, juicy and vibrant, bordering on joven-in-style, with a pretty mix of red and blue fruit, fine tannins, tight acidity and a beautifully balanced finish.
ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2020
MCLAREN VALE, RRP $23
A blend of selected parcels of fruit from the Blewitt Springs, Willunga, and McLaren Flat districts of McLaren Vale, and from the 2020 vintage –a great year for Shiraz. Dense red purple in the glass with complex aromas of prune, currant, black pepper and black tea. A powerhouse of inky richness delivering cassis and black chocolate in a fresh, dense and powerful style, with deep tannins and quality oak.
BLUE PYRENEES ESTATE RICHARDSON RESERVE SHIRAZ 2017
PYRENEES, RRP $120
A tribute to the late ex-winemaker Colin Richardson. Made from only the best fruit of the vintage and only 6000 bottles produced, it’s youthful dark red in colour with aromas of of blackberry, liquorice, cassia bark, star anise, black tea and savoury oak. Floral and lifted violet and cassis with black fruit saturation, black pepper, anise and spice, supple mix of acid and tannins, and ample toasty oak.
SCHWARZ WINE CO. THIELE ROAD GRENACHE 2021
BAROSSA VALLEY, RRP $50
The Thiele Road vineyard is owned by winemaker/owner Jason Schwarz and is unashamedly one of his favourite sites. Only 1,670 bottles were made of this alluring wine – deep red purple, with lavender, Italian bitters, raspberry and dark cherry aromas. A vibrant, bright and expressive Grenache, with supple mix of red berry fruit, touches of amaro, vanilla pod and dried herbs, and a long, savoury tannin trail. Superb balance.
DANDELION VINEYARDS FARAWAY TREE OF MCLAREN VALE GRENACHE 2020
MCLAREN VALE, RRP $120
Winemaker Elena Brooks has a unique ability to heighten the aromatic power and flavour of Grenache, as proven here. Bright medium to deep ruby. Seductive florals, strawberry, violets, raspberry jube and rose petal. An amalgam of gentle flavours with sweet cherry and strawberry, over satin-soft tannins with superb length. A beautifully made wine.
AYLESBURY ESTATE QO5 GAMAY 2021
FERGUSON VALLEY, RRP $35
The QO5 label from Aylesbury showcases alternative varieties that are well-suited to WA’s Geographe, as this delicate yet intense Gamay proves. Pale garnet. Juicy red berries and red confectionary with savoury wood smoke notes. Soft entry with abundant savoury cranberry and cherry, beautifully supple tannins, soft acidity and a silken finish. A beautifully balanced wine that’s very light on its feet.
SERAFINO BELLISSIMO BARBERA 2021
MCLAREN VALE, RRP $25
Serafino’s Bellissimo range puts high quality, Australian-grown Italian varieties in the spotlight, like this mouth-watering Barbera. Deep red purple with dark cherry, tobacco and liquorice aromas. A bright and fruitdriven example of the variety, with a delicious mix of dark berry f lavours, fine savoury tannins, fresh elevated acidity and a beautifully clean finish. Charming.
LECONFIELD CABERNET FRANC 2021
COONAWARRA, RRP $32
In the heart of Coonawarra, Leconfield Wines produce a range of premium wines, like this lovely Cabernet Franc, which shows classic regional characteristics. Medium red to purple. Plum, blackcurrant, dried thyme and black tea aromas. Quite full-bodied with a deep core of purple fruit, notes of dried herbs and leather, long ferrous tannins and balanced oak. Deep, seamless and velvety.
ROSENVALE VINEYARDS OLD VINE RESERVE SHIRAZ 2019
BAROSSA VALLEY, RRP $65
Crafted from barrel-selected fruit from two of Rosenvale’s old vine family vineyards, which produce fruit of great clarity, depth and concentration. Terrific inky black colour, with bright aromas of immense black cherry, kirsch, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and cedar. Palate displays tremendous power and structure with a cherry, liquorice and violet core, deep, velvet-soft tannins, and balanced toasty oak.
DE BORTOLI VINOQUE NOVO TINTO TOURIGA NACIONAL 2021
HEATHCOTE, RRP $25
Although famous for its role as a component of Port, Touriga also makes a deeply-flavoured table wine and is ideally-suited to our warm climate. Dark crimson in colour, with intense and exotic florals, dark berry fruits, spice and mineral. Juicy and generous with graphite and coal dust notes, bright and crunchy acidity with vibrant yet soft-textured tannins. Lip-smacking.
ALEJANDRO SAPERAVI 2021
NEW SOUTH WALES, RRP $25
Alex Russell is having great success with alternative styles, which shows what can be achieved when varieties are matched to the best-suited climates. Inky red black with a powerful nose of iodine, cola, violets and plum compote. Delicious, glossy delivery of dense, powerful black fruits, with terrific tannin foundation and balanced oak. Drink now or cellar.
MERCER WINES MONTEPULCIANO ROSSO 2021
CENTRAL RANGES, RRP $32
The continuing rise of Italian varietals shows no sign of slowing down, and this stunning ‘Monty’ is one of the best we’ve tasted in a long time. Viva Italia! Deep red purple in the glass, with dark cherry, beetroot and crushed leaf aromas. Palate is rich and concentrated with lashings of black and purple fruit, touches of clove, liquorice and toasty oak, ripe yet robust tannins and a long, dense finish. Lovely.
MCWILLIAM’S 10 YEAR OLD FAMILY RESERVE TAWNY NV (375ML)
MULTI-REGIONAL, RRP $18
With six generations of winemakers and over 140 years’ experience, McWilliam’s know a thing or two about crafting award-winning wines, and their Fortifieds are no exception. Golden brown with toffee, caramel and maple syrup aromas. Toasted orange and caramel layers throughout with grilled nuts and crème brûlée and a clean, dry finish. A lovely, not-too-heavy Tawny.
PATRITTI RARE FORTIFIED CHARDONNAY NV
MCLAREN VALE, RRP $40
It’s not very often we see the most popular white grape in the world used to make Fortified wine, but when it is done well, it can produce stunning results! Pale tawny colour with dried figs, raisins, candied orange and burnt butter aromas. Palate is unctuous, luscious and warm with layers of dried fruit and citrus rind, underlying notes of grilled nuts and juicy acidity to balance. Absolutely delicious!