Try some different labels and grape varieties over the warmer months, suggests wine critic Winsor Dobbin.
Harewood Estate 2021 Porongurup Riesling
James Kellie from Harewood Estate makes four different rieslings from various regions of the Great Southern in West Australia. All are excellent but this one was my personal favourite. It is a single vineyard wine made using free-run juice and it has a wonderful purity and minerality. Unoaked, this is fresh, floral, and citrusy with typical cool-climate zing. Check it out at Annandale Cellars, Amato’s, and The Sackville Hotel. It would be perfect with Vietnamese or Korean dishes. $30.
Pipers Brook 2020 Pinot Noir
It can be easy to spend $50 or more for a Tasmanian pinot noir at your local bottle shop – and sometimes you will not have heard of the producer. This is a Tasmanian pinot from a particularly good winery in the north of the state that started way back in 1974 and offers both reliability and terrific value. All wines are estate-grown and bottled, and this is determinedly varietal with bright berry fruits to the fore. A lovely, fresh summer style. $28.
A taste of Italy
Berton Vineyards 2021 Winemakers Reserve Fiano
Fiano is one of those Italian grape varieties that has proved very well suited to growing in Australian conditions. A native of Campania and the island of Sicily, it produces assertive, flavoursome white wines that are food friendly. This one comes from Berton Vineyards, a family operation in the Riverina that has an impressive range of good value wines. It is aromatic, lively, and very well priced. An ideal summer quaffing wine. $16.
Langmeil 2020 Rough Diamond Grenache
For any visitors to the Barossa Valley, historic Langmeil is a “must visit.” There are also two exceptional value reds worth tracking down from the 2020 vintage; the Massimo Primitivo Montepulciano blend and this excellent grenache, which has plenty of power and persistence alongside poise and balance. This paired brilliantly with a steak and kidney casserole and its intensity means it is worthy companion for any red meat dish. $30.
MadFish 2019 Chardonnay
MadFish is the budget label of esteemed West Australian wine producer Howard Park and this release (under a new label) hits the bullseye when it comes to excellent value. It can be found for under $20 and is seriously good summer drinking. Bright, uncomplicated, and dangerously easy to drink, this is lean, modern, and vibrant. White peach, citrus and tropical fruit flavours are to the fore here in a very fruit-driven style. $18.
Wirra Wirra 2021 Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc
There are a lot of drinkers who still enjoy a crisp and refreshing sauvignon blanc even though the grape variety is no longer as fashionable as it once was. Wirra Wirra is probably best known for its excellent McLaren Vale red wines, but it sources fruit for this new release from the much cooler Adelaide Hills. This is a quintessential summer wine, fresh with a nice balance between stone fruit and herbal characters. Pair with fish and chips. $26.
And the bargain of the month
Yalumba Y Series 2021 Pinot Noir
Yalumba’s ever-reliable Y Series range has been given a label facelift and a new addition to the grape varieties; a pinot noir. The inaugural release is a winner; particularly given the price point. This is nicely balanced; juicy and refreshing for the warm days ahead. Think strawberry and cranberry notes with a soft finish.You could even chill this a little in summer. $15.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com.