Wine with Winsor

Wine bottle beside wine glass

August 2022

As the days start to get warmer, a wide range of wine styles come into play. Wine writer Winsor Dobbin recommends some recent releases in a variety of formats.

Young and vibrant
Oliver’s Taranga 2022 Vermentino
If you enjoy your white wines fresh and full of youthful vibrancy, then you’ve come to the right place. From a sixth-generation wine producer in McLaren Vale, this take on the Italian grape vermentino, popular in Sardinia and Liguria, is right on the mark. It is light, fresh and fruity and extremely quaffable, but it is also food friendly. Paired with a spicy Portuguese chicken – head for Petersham people – this was a definite winner. $27. 

French vibe
Le Chat Noir 2020 Rosé
One of a range of wines from the south of France imported by Fourth Wave Wines, this offers a savoury taste of the Mediterranean at a very reasonable price. It is made from shiraz grapes grown in the Aude Valley and is a perfect picnic wine for spring enjoyment with its sweet fruit aromas and dry finish. Pair with a charcuterie plate, or some runny cheeses, for maximum pleasure. $20. 

Something different
Greenskin 2021 Margaret River Chardonnay
Heading out on a picnic, or off to the beach? Here is something new and interesting: Australia’s first 100% recyclable, resealable, glassless way to enjoy wine. This is the best quality wine in a pouch that I have tasted so far; a chardonnay made by Italian-born winemaker Jacopo Dalli Cani at McHenry Hohnen. Taste it blind and you would never guess it did not come from a bottle. Think fresh stone fruit characters, hints of oak, and plenty of refreshment. Billed as vegan-friendly, as well. Sold by the six-pack of 750ml pouches for $155 – so essentially the equivalent of $26 a bottle.

Barossa style
Grant Burge 2020 Filsell Shiraz  
Barossa wine industry veteran Grant Burge no longer owns the label that carries his name, but his successors still produce reds with style and swagger. If a steak is on the agenda, or perhaps a beef stew, then this energetic red would be a very good wine pairing choice; rich and powerful with some elegance in the mix, this offers a whole lot of deep, dark flavours and interesting textures, along with some acid minerality. It is accessible in its youth or will cellar for several years. $48. 

Organic casks
Winesmiths 2021 Organic Pinot Grigio
Wine casks are going upmarket and this very enjoyable pinot grigio is one of the first organic wines available in the format, part of a new organic range from Winesmiths, owned by the same people as make Yalumba wines. The new two-litre cask collection also includes a cabernet sauvignon, and a chardonnay and all three are certified organic. Fresh, crunchy, lively and varietal, this is perfect for keeping in the fridge for everyday enjoyment. $24.

Something different  
TarraWarra 2018 K Block Merlot
From one of the highest profile wineries in the Yarra Valley, winemaker Clare Halloran has produced one Australia’s finest varietal merlots, an athletic red wine with intensity, tannin structure and depth – a world away from some of the soft, lolly water merlots to be found on bottle shop shelves. From a warmer Yarra vintage, this has been released at four years of age and shows ripe fruit characters with quality oak making an impact. Dark and spicy, this would pair well with offal or mushroom dishes. $36.  

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