From cheapies to special occasion wines, wine writer Winsor Dobbin checks out some of the best recent releases for enjoying over the autumn.
Deakin Estate 2021 Pinot Grigio
This is the perfect choice for when you need a cheap and cheerful white wine for everyday enjoyment. The Calabria family now owns Deakin Estate, and this made from fruit from the sunny Riverland region of South Australia, designed for immediate drinking pleasure. It is fresh, crisp and refreshing with green apple and ripe pear notes and some brisk acid on the finish. Well chilled, it is an ideal picnic choice for a sunny autumn afternoon. $12.
Mount Horrocks 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2020 red releases from Clare Valley winemaker Stephanie Toole at Mount Horrocks are very much in the zone; the pleasure zone, that is. All the wines are single vineyard and 100% organic. The Nero d’Avola is sometimes my favourite, but this time around it was pipped by this gorgeous, richly coloured cabernet with cassis and herbal notes to the fore. An 18-month spell in French oak barriques, 35% of which are new, has helped add structure to a serious dinner party wine with concentration and poise, that can either be enjoyed now, or cellared. $60.
Wild Ren 2021 Untamed Semillon
Wren is a new Hunter Valley producer created by industry veteran Renee Burton, who was a co-founder of Gundog Estate. Burton is now out on her own with some assistance from established Hunter winemaker Scott Comyns. A little more complex than many semillons, this was made with 75% of the grapes fermented on skins for two months, adding texture and palate interest. Well balanced and food friendly. Head to their cellar door in Pokolbin. $30.
Pikes 2020 Il Premio Sangiovese
The Pike family have been winemakers and brewers since 1886 and have pretty much got the hand of it by now. This is an estate-grown sangiovese from the vineyards of the Polish Hill River region, best known for rieslings. Il Premio means the top and this is a serious wine for pairing with dinner; it is savoury, complex and worthy of medium-term cellaring if you have the patience. Would be great paired with fegato alla Veneziana. $75.
Six Acres Spectrum 2021 Pet Nat
My tasting group are a fairly conservative bunch, not much given to praising funky “natural” wines. This petillant naturel, or naturally sparkling wine, was given the nod, however, and praised for its vibrancy and drinkability. Made by the Zuccaro family in the Yarra Valley, this can be found at The Royal Oak in Balmain. It is made primarily from chardonnay and is crafted with an ancient winemaking technique where the wine finishes its primary fermentation in the bottle, trapping carbon dioxide and a sediment of yeast lees. $32.
Wirra Wirra 2021 The Lost Watch Riesling
Wirra are primarily known for consistently excellent red wines from the warm McLaren Vale region south of Adelaide – The Catapult Shiraz is an excellent example. The fruit for this nifty little thirst-quencher, however, comes from the cooler Adelaide Hills. The floral and citrus aromas suck you in and are followed up by a pithy palate alive with lively acid, green apples, grapefruit, and lime notes. Pair this with pan-fried flathead fillets. $26.
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