Hesketh 2016 Midday Somewhere Shiraz
The Art Series wines are the most affordable in the Hesketh range and offer quite remarkable value for money everyday drinking. Made by Phil Lehmann, a member of one of Australia’s leading wine families, this is a classic hearty and fruit-forward South Australian shiraz, largely unoaked, but bursting with dark fruit flavours and immediate drinkability. An excellent all-purpose young red that would pair with pizza, pasta or any red meat dish. The 2016 Wild at Heart Rosé in the same range is another standout. $14.
David Hook 2016 Hunter Valley Pinot Grigio
The Hunter Valley is known for its quality semillons and shirazes, sometimes for its verdelhos, but very rarely for its pinot grigios. There are exceptions to every wine rule, however, and industry veteran David Hook has produced a very good deal here. Made in the Italian grigio style — fresh, crisp and uncomplicated — this is a result of low cropping, often the key to success with the grape variety. Best enjoyed well chilled with fish and chips, or a dozen freshly shucked oysters. $18.
Penny’s Hill 2015 Edwards Road Cabernet Sauvignon
An excellent single-vineyard cabernet from McLaren Vale, where they make their reds with hairy chests and significant muscles. This boasts an added element of appeal with its structure and palate persistence. Winemaker Alexia Roberts has added some subtlety and elegance to the fruit’s natural grunt, using open fermenters and 18 months in fine French oak to produce a very good package that is drinking well right now but will cellar admirably. The dark berry and spice characters would make it a genial companion for an old-fashioned lamb roast. $25.