Wine with Winsor

Wine bottle beside wine glass

September 2022

With everyone tightening their belts, wine writer Winsor Dobbin seeks out some of the best-value wines on local bottle shop shelves. These standouts are all under $30.

Serious value
Freya and Jules 2022 Watervale Riesling
This might be the wine bargain of the year; another of those Aldi specials that need to be snapped up quickly before they sell out. This is a delightful young and lively riesling from the Watervale region in the Clare Valley. It is wonderfully dry and vibrant with lashings of lemon, lime, and grapefruit flavours, lots of length and with zippy acidity to the fore. Made by Reilly’s winemaker Justin Ardill from fruit grown by Mercuri Estate, this is a quintessential spring/summer white for enjoying by the beach, or in your backyard with Asian dishes or fish and chips. Ridiculous value at $8.99. Be quick.

Clare favourite
Tim Adams 2019 Shiraz
A delicious, quintessentially Australian red wine released as it is easing into its best self; a sturdy, handsome fellow from one of Australia’s best regions for reds: South Australia’s Clare Valley. Winemaker Tim Adams, who runs a family-owned operation, has everything right here, and this proved a winner with my tasting group with its dark berry flavours and hints of spices and oak. The finish is soft, silky, and sophisticated and this would pair well with a char-grilled steak. Seriously good drinking for $26.

Italian gem
Feudo Arancio 2021 Grillo
A delicious taste of Sicily that will not break the bank. Grillo is a local favourite grape that used to be used in the island’s fortified marsala wines. Nowadays it produces fresh, light, and refreshing white wines with tropical aromas and citrus and apple flavours to the fore. Feudo Arancio {the Orange Farm] is a respected and dependable producer that offers excellent value. It also produces an interesting white from another Sicilian grape variety: inzolia. This would be good with grilled prawns or salad dishes and is vegan friendly. Imported by Single Vineyard Sellers. $20.

Mellifluous merlot
Oxford Landing 2021 Merlot
The entire Oxford Landing range has been given a label makeover but while it has a fresh look it remains a “go to” for midweek drinking pleasure. The Oxford Landing collection has been in the Australian market for three decades and represents some of the best buying from South Australia’s Riverland – the region on the Murray River. All the wines are sustainably produced and vegan friendly. This is fresh, fruity, soft and harmonious and a good pizza or pasta choice. $13.

Local Hero
Mount Pleasant 2022 Semillon
There is something very special about Hunter Valley semillon, which is expressive and deliciously lively while young, and then develops toasty characters when aged. Mount Pleasant, one of the leading producers of the style and with a history that dates back over 100 years, has new owners and new labels but winemaker Adrian Sparks remains on board, and this is a delightful new release with youthful vibrancy and a lemony tang on the palate. Brilliant when paired with freshly shucked oysters. Released September 13. $25.

Barossa babe
Turkey Flat 2020 Butcher’s Block 
Some Barossa shirazes can be so big that they need years before becoming approachable. This is the opposite of those brutes; a vibrant, expressive young shiraz that is drinking beautifully at just two years of age. It is deliberately crafted for immediate enjoyment and is medium bodied with juicy berry fruits, some flintiness and soft tannin structure, Dangerously easy to drink. Enjoy with some gourmet sausages. $25.

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