Big and bold
St Hallett 2015 Western Front Shiraz
There are few wineries that do as good a job as Barossa producer St Hallett with shiraz – and across a wide range of price points, too. This is an entry-level wine (read cheap) but it has plenty to commend it, being bold and dark with plenty of power and energy, and enough structure to make it a short-term cellaring prospect. If you enjoy your reds on the macho side of the spectrum then you’ll like this with a traditional Sunday lamb roast, or a spaghetti bolognaise. Try Dan Murphy’s or BSW. $15.
Xanadu 2015 Exmoor Chardonnay
You have got to be impressed with quality Margaret River chardonnay for under 20 bucks a bottle. Xanadu winemaker Glenn Goodall is one of the best in the country at the moment and even this entry-level wine (that used to be labelled Next of Kin) sings with its bright varietal character and remarkable balance. There are stone fruit flavours, wild yeast ferment to add complexity and crisp acid in this drop. A serious bargain buy. $18.
Indigo Vineyard 2015 Sangiovese
The latest releases from Indigo Vineyard in Beechworth, Victoria, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, are absolutely in the zone. The 2015 chardonnays and the 2014 shiraz are all outstanding. This, however, was the wine that took my fancy. Made from the key grape used in the Italian wines of Chianti, this is bright and lively but with savoury and spicy notes that make it particularly food friendly. Lovely drinking at a realistic price. $30.