You don’t have to splash out lots of cash to enjoy excellent wines. Wine writer Winsor Dobbin has some fun suggestions for under $25.
Reverie 2020 Pays d’Oc Chardonnay
This has to be one of the best import bargains around – a lip-smackingly fresh and fruit-driven chardonnay from the south of France – just above the Mediterranean coast. The Reverie wines are made at one of the best regional co-ops, which has centuries of winemaking history. If you like your whites vibrant, long and luscious then this delivers oodles of stone fruit and citrus flavours with a long, dry finish. Seriously delicious. $20.
Turkey Flat 2021 Butcher’s Block Shiraz
So, you like a bold, flavoursome Barossa red, but also enjoy some youthful crunchy texture on the palate? From a family-owned winery known for offering value for money, this delivers both. It is a shiraz designed for enjoying in its youth; fresh, lively and fruit driven with 15% of whole bunch components adding that extra palate interest. This is an all-purpose wine, good for pairing with a barbecue, or pasta and pizza dishes. $25.
Taylors Estate NV Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut Cuvée
Looking for a party starter or affordable bubbly for a social occasion. A recent release from Clare Valley-based Taylors is well worth considering. With a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes delivering plenty of length and flavour and a sassy mousse. There is a new label design, but it is what is in the bottle that counts – a terrific choice for a function or a party and a particularly good match for finger foods. $22.
Wickhams Road 2022 Gippsland Pinot Noir
Pinot noir for under $20 is hard to find. Good pinot noir at that price is close to impossible. But this new release is the goods. Wickhams Road is the entry level wine from the d’Anna family, who own Hoddles Creek in the Yarra Valley. Fruit for this very varietal little number is sourced from Gippsland, and it has a twin made from fruit in the Whitlands region of north-east Victoria. This one just gets the nod, but you’ll need to be quick as yields were down around 70% in 2022. $19.99.
Pitchfork 2022 Pink
Pitchfork is the entry-level label of West Australian producer Hay Shed Hill, something of a byword for value. Made from a blend of 90% shiraz and 10% merlot, this is a terrific choice for pairing with a picnic or enjoying al fresco with a light lunch. Crisp, pale and dryish, It is a wine designed for enjoying in its youth as it has enticing freshness and vibrancy on the lively palate where wild strawberry flavours star. Australian wine drinkers are very fortunate to be able to buy wines of this quality for under $20. You will find this one for around $17.
Chateau Tanunda 2021 Grand Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre Chateau Tanunda has over 130 years of winemaking history and is one of the old school Barossa survivors, making wines with flavour and intensity – and also balance. This is a classic Barossa blend of three grapes that star in the region and a very good choice for pairing with a summer burger, or a winter casserole. It is dark, medium-bodied and nicely integrated after maturation in French and American oak barrels. It can be enjoyed now, or be cellared for a few years should you feel inclined. $25.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com