Bold and beautiful

Baillieu 2016 Pinot Noir

Fresh, young and juicy, this is an outstandingly vibrant pinot noir made from fruit grown at Merricks North on the Mornington Peninsula, a region known for high-quality pinots. Think dark cherry characters, sweet plums and Asian spices. French oak plays a support role to the soft, smooth fruit. Drawn by local artist Julie Johnson, the label shows Matilda, the much-loved Baillieu family dog of 17 years. This beautifully balanced and elegant red would be outstanding paired with Chinese roast duck. $40.

Clare champion

Mr Mick 2017 Riesling

Mr Mick is the entry-level wine range from renowned Clare Valley vigneron Tim Adams, and pays tribute to his mentor and regional icon Mick Knappstein, who helped pioneer the dry rieslings for which the Clare is now so well known. This is an extremely food friendly style, sassy and dry with just a smidgen of fruit sweetness on the palate, that pairs brilliantly with spicy Thai cuisine. Think zingy lemon and lime notes, and brisk, refreshing acid. The entire range offers outstanding value. $17.

Serious pleasure

Schild Estate 2015 GMS

A cracking blend of three red grape varieties from the Rhone Valley that thrive in the warm Barossa Valley: grenache (52%), mataro (24%) and shiraz (24%). What I like most about this is its sheer drinkability. It’s a wine with personality but doesn’t demand too much attention; it just slips down nice and easy. Look out for vibrant ripe red fruit flavours, softness on the palate, and a solid tannin backbone along with some white pepper spice notes. Match this with a gourmet cheeseburger or perhaps a spring backyard barbecue. $18.