If you are on a tight wine budget after Christmas here are some terrific wines to try – all bar one priced at under $30. Wine critic Winsor Dobbin is your guide.
Wild Folk 2021 Natural Touriga
Here is a red that ticks all the hipster boxes but is delightfully fresh and vibrant. Made from the Portuguese grape variety touriga nacional that was grown in warm McLaren Vale in South Australia. This ripe, fruit-driven drop is fermented using wild yeasts and is organic, unfined, unfiltered and contains no added sulphites. More importantly, it is seriously gluggable. $28.
Riesling Freak 2021 No.2
John Hughes makes a range of excellent rieslings in assorted styles and from different regions. This is my pick of the bunch, a dry, citrusy number made using fruit grown in the Polish Hill region of the Clare Valley. Chill this, serve with oysters or fish and chips and you will have a wine and food match made in heaven. $28.
Clandestine Vineyards 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Clandestine label is a new family venture for wine industry veteran Nick Stacy – and this offers spectacular value. Fruit has been sourced from Mount Barker in the Great Southern region of West Australia for a dark, full-bodied wine with French oak influence and impressive structure that demands to be enjoyed with a summer barbecue. $30.
Pitchfork 2021 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
This is a classic Margaret River white blend without the price tag. It is a simple wine for enjoying chilled with friends – or on the back porch after work. Think zippy, grassy notes and bright, fresh tropical fruit flavours. From the second label of Hay Shed Hill Wines, this is crisp and dry and needs to be lightly chilled to be seen at its best. Pair with a spicy Portuguese chicken dish $17.
Kilikanoon 2020 Killerman’s Run GSM
Looking for an affordable partner for a steak dinner with salad, or some grilled lamb chops? You’ve come to the right place. This is a lip-smackingly good blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvedre from the Clare Valley in South Australia. A high-quality wine that is soft and elegant and dangerously drinkable. $22.
Chandon 2016 Blanc de Blancs
If you have not had enough bubbles over the holidays here is one worth splashing out on, a vintage cuvee crafted from fruit grown in three different cool, high-altitude regions of Victoria that is made from 100% chardonnay grapes. This is vibrant and elegant with citrus fruit favours to the fore and just the right amount of palate complexity. $39.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com.