Wirra Wirra 2016 Church Block
Vintage after vintage, Wirra Wirra’s Church Block is one of those rare wines that can be guaranteed to deliver both quality and value for money. That’s certainly the case with the lip-smackingly good new 2016 release, a blend of McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot. This is a big softy; a wine with plenty of flavour and power but that is equally easy to drink. Matured in French and American oak, it is nonetheless fruit driven; enjoyable in its youth with the structure to mature over the years. Terrific buying at $22.
Hits the Mark
Xanadu 2016 Chardonnay
It can be difficult to choose the right chardonnay. Some are oaky, buttery beasts, others lean as a whip and full of acid. Xanadu, one of the standout wineries in Margaret River, has hit the mark here, however, with a wine that is beautifully balanced; a vinous supermodel. This more than held its own when tasted alongside a $100 chardy from a neighbouring vineyard. Whole-bunch pressed and wild fermented, it has stone fruit and citrus merging seamlessly along with some nutty nuances and impressive acid drive. Well worth a splurge. $38.
Nikkal 2017 Pinot Noir
Nikkal is a brand-new range from the very talented Kate Goodman and consists of three impressive Yarra Valley wines; a chardonnay, a rose and this spectacularly good pinot noir, which offers exception value. The wines are named after the Phoenician goddess of fruit and orchards and share quite spectacular labels. A blend of fruit from four different vineyards, this has all the joys of youth; it is bright, energetic and supple with a real juiciness on the palate. Kate suggests pairing it with a ham and cheese toasty. I’d opt for some stir-fried Chinese duck. $25.