Try a range of affordable wine treats recommended for your pleasure by Winsor Dobbin.
Italian style – Soumah 2020 Gently Sparkling Brachetto
The brachetto grape is very much a bit-part player in the diverse and colourful theatre of Italian wine. Brachetto is a red wine grape grown primarily in Piedmont that dates back to Roman times – but it is also proving a success in the Yarra Valley in Victoria. The 2020 Brachetto frizzante is described as like “liquid Turkish delight with the sweet flavours of rose water and strawberries”. $28.
Famous name – Henschke 2017 Johann’s Garden
You can pay close to a thousand dollars for a single bottle of Henschke Hill of Grace but the world-renowned family winery produces a range of more affordable options crafted with the same care and attention. This is a case in point, a smooth, plummy, and spicy Barossa blend of grenache, mataro and shiraz. This was released a while ago – the 2018 is on the way – but has now settled into a delightful groove – the ideal choice for a dinner party. $55.
Kiwi bargain – Bibliotheque 2020 Romantic Fiction Sauvignon Blanc
Kiwi sauvignon blanc has never been a better buy – a glut of fruit has seen prices plummet, which make wines like this one a terrific midweek drinking choice. There is even a fun little short story on the back label rather than tasting notes. This offers classic Marlborough zingy freshness and fruit with tropical flavours to the fore, along with some lean gooseberry notes. Crisp and dry on the finish and great with sushi and sashimi. Try Amato’s in Leichhardt. $15.
Something different – Wines of Merritt 2020 Chenin Blanc
Calling adventurous drinkers. How about trying a different grape variety made in a funky style by low-intervention winemaker Nick James-Martin in Margaret River? This was fermented in both old and new barrels and is unfined, and unfiltered. It spent nine months on lees developing complexity and emerged a wine with serious palate interest. Made in tiny quantities but worth seeking out. Enoteca Sydney brings it into NSW. $40.
Juicy red – Wirra Wirra 2019 Farmer’s Heart Grenache
A new grenache release from one of the best wineries in McLaren Vale pays tribute to Greg Trott, the eccentric and much-loved founder of the business. The vibrant, lively berry fruit flavours shine here, with older oak playing a support role. It is accessible as a young wine but will cellar well in the short term. Pair with a gourmet burger, or mushroom dishes. Seriously good drinking for $26.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com.