Wine by Brad 2012 Cabernet Merlot
You’ve got to love the wild and crazy labels used by Brad Wehr for his Wine by Brad wines from Margaret River, but the quality of the wine in this bottle is equally impressive for a cabernet merlot that retails for under $20. This is made in a smooth, easy drinking style with the cabernet softened by the plummy merlot. Think dark berries, chocolate notes and a hint of French oak; and pair this with something bold like chorizo pizza or roast lamb. $18.
Port Phillip Estate 2013 Red Hill Chardonnay
Sandro Mosele, who makes wine for both Port Phillip Estate and sister label Kooyong, has an unerring touch when it comes to producing elegant cool-climate chardonnays. This is an absolutely beautiful example of elegant modern chardonnay from the Mornington Peninsula, lithe and lovely with hints of grapefruit, flinty minerality and bright acid with oak playing an impressive support role and adding structure. Drink now or cellar for five years. $35.
d’Arenberg 2012 The Custodian Grenache
Grenache is not a red grape variety that is particularly fashionable right now; but that means it offers excellent value for money. Most of the grenache found in the Barossa and McLaren Vale, where the grape thrives, is blended away or used in fortified wines. On its own, however, it offers sweet fruit intensity. This is made from late-ripening old bush vines, close to the ground, and features spectacular soft red and black fruit flavours for a pittance. $18.