Bright & breezy
Nepenthe 2017 Altitude Sauvignon Blanc
Brisk and vibrant young sauvignon blanc remains a hugely popular wine style. From a very good vintage in the Adelaide Hills, this new release will find favour with lovers of fresh, high-acid, fruit-driven whites. Nepenthe has been producing sauvignon blanc since its inaugural vintage in 1997, and has become one of the Australian benchmarks. This has immense length and depth of flavour and is low in alcohol, at 12%. Think freshly cut grass, Granny Smith apples, herbal notes and a crisp, zesty palate. Pair with oysters, scallops, sushi, or salt and pepper squid. $20.
Elephant In The Room 2016 Mammoth Cabernet
Here’s a wine for those who love big reds with a whole lot of oomph on the palate. It’s a Torana on steroids and the back label describes it as “a monster of mouthfeel”. Think intense dark, ripe berry and plum flavours. It’s still well-balanced, but is more likely to appeal to shiraz quaffers than pinot sippers. The fruit comes from Mount Benson in South Australia, and is a blend of 90% cabernet and 10% merlot that can be enjoyed young. Try Darling Street Bottle Shop in Rozelle, or the Toxteth in Glebe. $15.
Hoddles Creek 2016 Estate Chardonnay
This is a seriously good buy. Outstanding cool-climate chardonnay from the Yarra Valley in Victoria that holds its own against wines that retail for twice the price. Winemaker Franco d’Anna is the master of over-delivering on quality, from his entry-level Wickhams Road range to the 1er Yarra Valley standouts. This is undoubtedly one of the best-value chardonnays around. Think citrus and stone fruit on both nose and palate, a delicate touch of oak and bright acid. It is nutty, flinty and spicy, but all elements are restrained and appealing. Class in a glass. $20.