From under $15 a bottle to $100 or more, there are some impressive new wine releases for every budget, wine writer Winsor Dobbin reports.
Winemakers Limited Release 922 2019 Coonawarra Shiraz
Looking for an affordable choice to take to a barbecue, or to pair with a midweek pizza or pasta feast? You will not go wrong here with this new-release Dan Murphy’s special that sells for $12.99 – and $9 for Dan’s members. The fruit for this wine is sourced from some well-known vineyards in Coonawarra, which is known for its stellar reds. It is a red with plenty of flavour and personality, aided and abetted by French and American oak to add palate texture. This is a seriously stylish for the price. It is medium bodied with impressive dark fruit flavours and immediate accessibility. $12.99.
Oakridge 864 Funder & Diamond 2020 Chardonnay
Who needs expensive White Burgundy when we have wines this good made in Australia? David Bicknell and his team at Oakridge in the Yarra Valley have the knack of producing stellar single-vineyard chardonnays, of which this is just one. Taste this blind and you might just be transported to Beaune. Complexity, restraint, flintiness, classic fruit characters and finely judged French oak coalesce to produce a wine that is absurdly distinguished. Seamless, persistent, and joyful. Well worth a splurge for a special occasion. $96.
Heidsieck & Co NV Monopole Blue Top Brut
With the Melbourne Cup upon us, and Christmas just around the corner, it is the perfect time to think about Champagne. If you are looking for a gift for a fashion-conscious wine lover, or just to treat yourself, how about a limited-release 1920s “Gatsby-style” gift pack. This brand dates to 1785 – just prior to the French Revolution, and offers affordable Champagne with an impressive mousse, freshness, and vibrancy. My tasting group loved this wine – and its price point. Try independent retailers like Kent St Cellars, or Shorty’s Liquor. $59.99.
Mumm Tasmania NV Cuvee
Only over the past decade or so, Tasmania has built a formidable reputation for making sparkling wines of exceptional quality. Now leading Champagne House G.H. Mumm has unveiled its first Tasmanian release in conjunction with sparkling wine specialist Trina Smith. It is a ripper – and is extremely well priced for a wine of such quality; vibrant and fresh with lots of length. A perfect Christmas celebration choice. $40.
The Little Wine Company 2018 Little Gem Shiraz
Spouses and winemaking team Ian and Suzanne Little are right on target with this savoury Hunter Valley shiraz that is in the zone at four years of age and offers a whole lot of immediate drinking pleasure. A single vineyard wine using grapes from Broke-Fordwich, this is only made in outstanding years and has plenty of fruit intensity along with a silky-smooth finish on the palate. We paired this with a juicy steak and kidney pie, and it would be an outstanding dinner party choice. Distributed by Single Vineyard Sellers. $50.
Mitchell 2022 Watervale Riesling
For four decades this has been one of the Clare Valley’s standout dry rieslings and the 2022 – from a particularly good vintage – is no exception. It also offers brilliant value compared to some of its local rivals – and has already snapped up some major wine show recognition. The dry-grown fruit offers a melange of citrus, flinty minerality and delicate Asian tropical fruit flavours and finishes long and vibrant with restrained acid on the finish. A fresh, lively wine of lovely balance with natural ferment and time on lees adding to the magic. Try Vintage Cellars. $25.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com