Wine with Winsor

It is the time of the year when drinkers are ready to enjoy wines with plenty of flavour. Wine writer Winsor Dobbin reviews some of his favourite recent discoveries.

Rare blend
Mount Pleasant 2022 Mount Henry Shiraz Pinot
It was legendary Hunter Valley winemaker Maurice O’Shea who came up with the unusual blend of shiraz and pinot noir almost 80 years ago – and the style still has a cult following. The shiraz is on the lighter side of the spectrum and when blended with pinot the result is a wine that is complex on the palate but light on its feet. Fleshy with black olive and delicatessen notes, this is designed to drink in its youth but has the structure to cellar well in the short term. This would be excellent with a gourmet burger or simply for sipping in front of the fire. $40.

Italian accent
Mezzacorona 2022 Pinot Grigio
Searching for a white wine to match with fish and chips, or fritto misto? This one will do the trick and is surprisingly affordable. From a producer with 120+ years of experience and made from fruit grown in the cooler north of Italy, it is a classic crisp, dry and refreshing grigio best enjoyed while it is still young and fresh. This is all about refreshment with its fresh apple notes, stony minerality and bright acid on the finish. Imported by Single Vineyard Sellers. Try Amato’s in Leichhardt.It is a bargain, so save a few bottles for spring. $20.

Savoury flavours
Wild Ren 2022 Sangiovese
Renee Burton is a former founding partner and co-owner of Gundog Estate and started her solo Hunter-based Wild Ren Wines business during the Covid pandemic. She has sourced the grapes for this savoury red wine from the Hilltops region outside Young and produced a very impressive food-friendly young wine with dark cherry and spice notes to the fore. Fresh and medium-bodied, it is an easy drinking wine that would pair well with pizza and pasta dishes. $35.

French style
Chateau des Cres Ricards 2020 Oenothera
Looking for a stylish French wine to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14? This is a very impressive red blend from legendary winemaker Jean-Claude Mas that’s a blend of syrah (shiraz) and grenache from the Terrasses du Larzac sub region of the Languedoc, where the stony ground gives the wines distinctive minerality. The vines range in age from 35-60 years old and there is plenty of generous black and red fruit flavour here thanks to malolactic fermentation, along with savoury notes and impressive restraint. A terrific food wine that could be paired, perhaps, with a beef cheek casserole, but is also suitable for medium-term cellaring. Try Dan Murphy’s stores. $31.

Cool-climate delight
Mayfield 2022 Block 14 Chardonnay
Mayfield, one of the most historic vineyards in the cool Orange region in Central Western NSW is enjoying something of a renaissance with its recent releases very much on target. This is a single-block chardonnay that is full of varietal character. From an exceptionally good vintage in Orange, this is made from fruit sourced from a small block that sits on quartz-filled soil. It is a wine of intensity and poise with 50% having gone through malolactic fermentation to add the layers of flavours before being aged in quality French oak. $65.

Merlot magic
Mike Press 2021 Merlot
Serious wine bargain hunters need to make note of the name of veteran winemaker Mike Press, whose range of entry level wines all sell for under $20 a bottle. This one is a very nifty, easy-to-drink merlot made from Adelaide Hills fruit, surfing the flavour spectrum from red to black fruits. It is a single vineyard wine that has been matured in French and American oak barrels and is smooth and fruity; well suited to being matched with full flavoured dishes like a T-Bone steak or some blue cheese. $18.

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