Hoddles Creek Estate 2017 Pinot Noir
Pinot prices have soared, which makes this new release from the cool-climate Yarra Valley in Victoria a serious bargain. There are dark cherry and berry notes here, firm but not intrusive tannins. Several batches were made in different ways before blending. On completion of fermentation, the wine was pressed and transferred to one-year-old barrels and older oak. After barrel maturation, the wine was bottled without filtration or fining. The restrained but delicious fruit is the star here; not the wood. If you love classic Burgundy but find it well out of your price range, then a bottle or two of this splendid estate wine might lift your spirits. $24.
Ottelia 2017 Mount Gambier Riesling
John Innes was for many years the chief winemaker at Rymill, one of Coonawarra’s leading lights. Today Innes and his wife Melissa run Fodder, a small local eatery, as well as producing small volumes of wine under their own Ottelia label. This is a fragrant and delicious Riesling made from fruit grown at nearby Mount Gambier. Lemon and lime sherbet flavours are to the fore here, along with ultra-crisp minerally characters and some very bright acid backbone. A brilliant partner for spicy Thai dishes. $22
Chapel Hill 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
A classic full-bodied cabernet from the warm McLaren Vale region in South Australia, this is a long-time favourite that generally punches above its weight. It has a blend of wild berry flavours allied to dusty French oak and a firm tannin structure that marks it as a medium-term cellaring prospect. The sweet fruit pairs well with rich, red meat dishes from steaks to lamb chops, while the warmer than average vintage gives it intensity without any overblown characters. This is varietal, textural and very enticing. $30.