Wine with Winsor

Brown wooden barrels on brown wooden barrels

From around New South Wales, and around Australia, wine writer Winsor Dobbin reveals some of the best new – and affordable – releases

Tassie Treat
Glaetzer-Dixon 2023 Avancé Pinot Noir
Nick Glaetzer is Barossa born and bred, but he’s been making superb cool-climate wines from Tasmania for well over a decade now, and his Hobart urban winery is well worth a visit if you find yourself on the Apple Isle. Fresh varietal fruit character is the driving force in this wine, a blend of grapes from two regions in southern Tasmania: the Upper Derwent and Coal River valleys. Imagine a liquid mixed berry fruit salad with a silky finish, and delicious youthful joie de vivre. Pair with barbecued Chinese duck. $38.

Capital idea
Helm 2024 Riesling Rosé
One of the first 2024 releases out of the gate, this was recommended to me by former Ciao wine writer Rick Allen. It is unique number made by Ken Helm, who has been crafting riesling wines at Murrumbateman, outside Canberra, for 47 years. This Riesling Rosé – the result of four years of experimentation – is made by blending riesling with 5% of cabernet sauvignon to give it a salmon pink colour and some texture. It is a joyous young wine full of freshness and bright acid that is probably best enjoyed well chilled with a salad, or picnic. $40.

Cheap Treat
Dee Vine Wines Estate Range 2022 Merlot
I’m working my way through a selection of Dee Vine Estate wines; a producer based at Beelbangera in the Riverina that has previously flown under my radar. The wines under both the Estate and The Drover labels offer excellent everyday drinking at very keen prices. This is soft and fruity – typical of merlot as a variety – and finishes with dark plum and berry fruit flavours. Perfect for when you have a few friends around or have lit up the barbecue. $12.

Sassy savvy
Penny’s Hill 2023 The Agreement Sauvignon Blanc
If you find many Kiwi sauvignon blancs are just a little too green and herbaceous, here’s one made using Adelaie Hills fruit that delivers a very different style – with a dollop of refreshing tropical fruit flavours, alongside citrus and lemongrass notes. This is a super-refreshing; a very food friendly style of white wine that would pair well with anything from fish and chips to spicy Asian dishes, and it comes from a producer that is a byword for fair value. The label may have changed a little, but the quality remains. $24.

Red bargain
Ox Hardy 2022 Grenache
Once used mainly for fortified wines, grenache from South Australia is having a but of a moment right now with some of the old vines in regions like McLaren Vale in South Australia offering wines with magnificent depth of flavour. The fruit was handpicked, fermented in old-school open vats and then spent just six months in older oak merely for structural impact. Andrew “Ox” Hardy is a member of one of Australia’s most famous winemaking families and this flavoursome but medium-bodied red offers glorious winter drinking. Pair with osso buco, or a steak and kidney pie. $30.

Classic chardonnay
Mayfield Vineyard 2023 Eighteen Fifteen Chardonnay
The Orange wine region in the Central West of New South Wales is producing several exceptional wines right now and this one from a vineyard on the Mayfield property, which dates to 1815, is very much on song. It is a stylish modern chardonnay made with minimal intervention that offers classic stone fruit and citrus notes and bright acidity on the finish. Oak plays a support role but is not obvious. This would be excellent with pork spareribs or a spicy roast chicken. $37.  

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