Discover some delicious new wine releases and some special treats recommended by Winsor Dobbin.
Head 2020 Heart & Home Dry Red
The Eden Valley and Barossa wines made by Alex Head offer excellent value for money – and none more so than this first release; a blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz that ticks all the right boxes. Think black fruit flavours, well assimilated oak and some soft, smooth tannins. You could enjoy this one with everything from a weekend burger to a mushroom pasta dish. And it certainly will not break the bank. $23.
De Iuliis 2021 Semillon
The Hunter Valley is known for producing some of the best semillons in the world. They are a taste treat when first released, offering fresh, vibrant, citrusy notes with plenty of bright acid, then mature gracefully. This is a classic from one of the region’s brightest winemaking talents. Unoaked and full of youthful joy, it would pair well with just about any pan-fried fish dish, or with freshly shucked oysters and a dash of lemon juice. $25.
Parker Coonawarra Estate 2016 First Growth
Released at five years of age, this is a classic Coonawarra red that is ready to drink – and enjoy – right now but has the structure for a long haul should you wish to cellar it. Named as a tribute to the great First Growth cabernet blends of Bordeaux, this has been a star since it was first made in 1988. Made from 100% cabernet sauvignon, this flagship release is dark with cassis and chocolate notes, plums and earthy notes. Elegant and firm with lovely fruit sweetness, it merits being paired with a beef casserole. $110.
A taste of Spain
Margan 2021 Ceres Hill Albarino
Albarino is the classic dry white grape of north-west Spain that has made itself very much at home in the Broke-Fordwich vineyards of Hunter Valley family producers Margan – whose restaurant is a “must visit” for anyone spending time in the Hunter. Margan are among the albarino pioneers in Australia, having planted the variety in 2014, and this has bright citrus notes, fresh crisp acid and minerality. A lovely drink with fish or chicken dishes. $35.
Calabria 2019 Three Bridges Mourvedre
The Riverina-based Calabria family has expanded its operations to the Barossa Valley in recent years and this is an excellent food-friendly red wine made from warmth-loving French grape variety mourvedre, which is also sometimes known as mataro, or sometimes monastrell. Often blended with shiraz and grenache to produce Rhone-style reds, this stands proudly on its own as a medium-weight, earthy and gamey wine that would pair well with spatchcock, turkey and other poultry dishes. Bright and well balanced. $35.
Elgee Park 2016 Cuvee Brut
Champagne and Tasmania would normally be the first ports of call for quality sparkling wines, but Elgee Park on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria has come up trumps with this lively, aperitif style blend of 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir that is made from vines almost 50 years old and spends over three years on lees. Delightfully delicate, it is like drinking liquid lemon shortbread. $50.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com.