Berton Vineyards Metal Label 2019 Vermentino
Vermentino is an Italian grape that flourishes in warmer climes. It retains its fresh, bright, acidity even in regions like the Riverina, where this one is made. It is a terrific everyday white quaffing wine, quite pale with zingy Granny Smith and kaffir lime notes leading on to a fresh, fruity palate with tropical fruit salad notes. There is plenty of length for a cheapy and you could confidently pair a bottle of this fresh, crisp and thirst-quenching number with anything from spicy Asian dishes to deep-fried whitebait with aioli. $13.
Pepperjack 2018 Grenache
Grenache is a new addition to the Pepperjack range, in this instance a nifty blend of fruit from McLaren Vale and the Barossa that reflects the essence of the grape; as The Who would have it “Juicy, Fruity, Big and Bouncy”. It is a ripe and robust red but with a touch of class. Dark with a host of berry and black cherry flavours to the fore, this would be terrific with just about any steak dish, or perhaps with an aged hard cheese. To be found in BWS and Dan Murphy stores for around. $25.
Alte 2019 Orange Chardonnay
A stylish cool-climate chardonnay from Orange in Central Western NSW made by talented Debbie Lauritz, who has the balance just right here. The grapes are grown from 25-year-old vines at an altitude of 600-metres above sea level. Oak has been used judiciously to add aromas and texture without impinging on the palate. There is impressive freshness and fruit purity here in a medium-bodied wine with classic stone fruit flavours and creaminess allied to a brisk acid finish. Impressive drinking for $23.
Clonakilla 2019 Canberra District Riesling
Clonakilla has been one of the leaders in the Canberra region for the past couple of decades and is probably best-known for its stylish red wines. The granite soils around Murrumbateman are also perfect for making rieslings and this is a stellar example, floral and pithy with vibrant lime citrus notes and delicious brisk acidity on a very dry finish. Stocks are short, however, and there will be no Clonakilla wines from the 2020 vintage because of smoke taint. Move quickly. $35.
Singlefile 2018 Great Southern Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
This is a classic red blend from the Great Southern region of Western Australia; a melange of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec that is drinking beautifully in its youth. Remarkably, 30% of the juice was fermented in new Bordeaux oak barriques, but the quality fruit has soaked up the oak, which has a very gentle impact. This is a soft and mouth-filling with lively fruit, along with impressive structure and a long, serious finish. Pair with a traditional roast lamb, or a kofta in pitta bread. Formidable value for $25.
Rusty Mutt 2018 Vin Sol Tempranillo
The Rusty Mutt range features an eclectic McLaren Vale selection of grapes that are hand plunged and basket pressed. This is a particularly appealing take on the Spanish grape variety tempranillo. The fruit is the hero with its bright dark cherry flavours allied to hints of spice and earthy deli notes. There is some fresh acidity and this would be terrific with anything from a Spanish omelette to paella. Deliciousness in a bottle. And it got better over two successive days once opened. $35.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.blogspot.com.