Bargain Blend

Wine writer Winsor Dobbin picks his three favourite absolute bargains that should cost at least double. Great value for when trying to impress.

Shottesbrooke 2016 GSM

If you are looking for a winery that produces reliable quality wines across the board then you won’t go wrong with Hamish Maguire and his Shottesbrooke range from McLaren Vale in South Australia. This is a rich and vibrant blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro; a trio that work together brilliantly. Medium-to-full bodied and immediately approachable, this has dark cherry and Asian spice notes, with mellow tannins and a long finish. A terrific all-purpose winter red that will pair with everything from barbecues to Sunday roasts. $20.

Serious chardonnay

Trentham 2017 Reserve Chardonnay

Trentham Estate is based at Trentham Cliffs in the warm Riverland region of New South Wales, overlooking the Murray River, but winemaker Anthony Murphy also sources fruit from several cooler regions for his reserve releases, including a decent pinot noir from Tasmania and this elegant chardonnay made from grapes from ultra-chilly Tumbarumba. This has serious cool-climate character and more than held its own when tasted alongside several high-end chardonnays. Think white stone fruit characters, subtle oak and crisp length on the finish. $28.

Reliable red

Leasingham 2015 Bin 56 Cabernet Merlot

If money is tight but you still want to drink something decent then this old favourite comes up trumps; offering plenty of power and intensity in a red blend that highlights quality Clare Valley fruit. The Leasingham Bin range has been a reliable source of drinking pleasure since it was launched in 1967 and this is a standout with robust regional character, a plummy earthiness and plenty of depth on the palate thanks to the malbec component. It would be terrific with a medium-rare steak and chips. $20.