Andrew Thomas 2011 Sweetwater Shiraz
There is no argument that Andrew Thomas is one of the most talented winemakers in the Hunter – and his individual vineyard wines are of stellar quality.
The Hunter had a better 2011 vintage than just about anywhere in the country and this is absolutely outstanding with brightness, richness and layers of flavour and texture.
It’s long, dark and handsome – and a super match for winter casseroles. $35.
Deen De Bortoli 2012 Vat 7 Chardonnay
This blend of fruit from the Riverina, King Valley and the Yarra Valley is a prime example of the value offered by the Deen range.
A thoroughly modern chardonnay that has spent 10 months in older oak, it is a nicely composed; fruit-driven and stylish with both structure and some creamy texture along with stone-fruit flavours and impressively brisk acid on the finish.
This is a much better bet than its modest price tag would indicate. Check it out. $12
Yarran 2012 Merlot
Yarran is a tiny winery in the Riverina with a cracking range of wines at bargain basement prices.
The 2012 pinot grigio and chardonnay under the same label are also outstanding but this has to rank among the best cheap merlots around.
It is clean and bright with just a hint of oak but characterised by its delightful softness and approachability. A red for enjoying young, maybe with gourmet sausages. $12.