Artemis Grand Crux Shiraz 2003
Deep crimson red. All plum jam, liquorice, chocolate and blackberry fruit. This is a real Shiraz - powerful, complex, concentrated and potent. Distinct, ripe, sweet fruit flavours packing a punch. Rich long blackberry and chocolate on the palate. An earthiness and pepperiness that is unmistakably classic Shiraz. Smooth well integrated rounded oak influence on the fruit providing us with a very good medium bodied wine. A solid robust finish that exudes elegance. Cellar for around 3-5 years. Eat with the best cut of steak you can afford with either mushroom or pepper sauce. About $45 in price - making it a worthy special occasion wine. Check out the website at www.artemiswines.com.auBremerton Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Crafted by winemaker Rebecca Willson from Langhorne Creek in South Australia, this almost colourless wine has a light pale straw tinge. It represents as a pure youthful fresh white. Lovely aromatic tropical fruit aromas just ooze out of the glass. Gorgeously pronounced gooseberry, guava and passionfruit characters emanate. A touch of capsicum as well. This fresh ripe tropical fruit carries through to a well balanced refreshing palate complemented by a good but not overly firm acid backbone. Some citrus and minerally characters. The well rounded smooth fruit flavours and the toasty acid taste are in sync here making this a very good food match wine, which is not always the case with Sauvignon Blanc. Try it with something with a firm richer texture such as chicken and mushroom wrapped in filo pastry and you will be impressed. Drinking very well right now and very good value at about $15. Go to www.bremerton.com.au Di Giorgio Sparkling Merlot 2002
Dark, bubbly and sparkling in its ripe plum colour and crimson red hues. A pleasant and alluring example of a sparkling red from the Coonawarra region. Quite delicate yet with good persistent fruit. A fruit driven style with distinct characters yet quite approachable. Medium dry and a lingering length. This wine is all about ripe plum, from the aromas to the palate, some cherry and blackberry but mostly smooth plum with a touch of subtle spiciness. Crack a bottle open to have with a nicely marinated roast chicken. A very good sparkling red at a price of under $20. Go to www.digiorgio.com.auDe Bortoli "Sero" Unwooded Chardonnay 2004
Every time I drink one of their wines I shake my head and wonder how they do it for the price? Just amazing and no exception again this time around with this lovely example of what an unwooded chardonnay should taste like. I know its trendy to say "no oak" in my Chardonnay, but the truth is the oak is there for a reason and that is to support tar fruit and acid structure of the wine, otherwise it can taste a bit bland which has been an issue with unwooded Chardonnays. No such problemo here though! A brilliant vibrant lemony straw. Delicate pure fruit done in a soft dry style albeit with a good acid backbone. Perfumed tropical fruit salad aromas. Tropical fruit driven palate with some flinty characters. Lingering long on the palate. Try this with penne with cream and mushroom sauce. A very good wine and for the price of around, what can I say - amazing! Make you go off oak forever (well almost!). www.debortoli.com.auHahndorf Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Brilliantly clear very pale straw with slight green tinges. Magnificent aromas. Intensely seductive. All encompassing fresh lively Sauvignon Blanc characters of gooseberry, passionfruit and guava. Touch of capsicum as well. Crisp yet not overwhelming acid structure indicative of ripe fruit. Ripe fruit extends to the palate with a crisp yet restrained fruit acid finish. Pure tropical fruit. Green apple, passionfruit and gooseberry flavours also lingering all around the mouth. Some herbaceous characters - fresh, grassy and tangy. Powerfully intense fruit yet well rounded and balanced. If you haven't been yet converted to this grape variety - try this. Seamless in its overall structure. An excellent wine, drinking very well right now. Try with lobster tails, grilled marinated octopus or mussels in white wine. Excellent value at around $18. Find at www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.auJimbour Station Verdelho 2004
Clear pale yellow in colour, this Verdelho is full of varietal characters - light tropical fruit such as pineapple, passionfruit and melon with a nice touch of spiciness and musk. A pleasant wine with a lovely mouth feel, fresh and attractive. Lively acid supports the full fruit providing persistent fruit driven flavours which are full, rich yet also soft. A touch of residual sweetness adds to the wine's overall dimension. Well balanced with a good extended finish. A fine and sound example of what a Verdelho should taste like. Priced at about $16. Drink with smoked salmon tagliatelle with a creamy dill sauce. Available widely or through www.jimbour.comParri Estate Viognier Chardonnay 2004
Estate grown wine from the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. A brilliant greeny straw. Fresh crisp and aromatic. Fruit driven - stone fruit. Honeysuckle, floral, minerally and lemony characters on the nose. Complex. Blending by winemaker Linda Domas is done very well. All about synergy of two distinctive wine varietals, complementing each other. Palate is about soft honey underpinned by the melon and stone fruit, done in a seamless fashion. Well balanced, long finish - great acid and fruit integration. 3- 5 years cellaring. Drink with lemon duck or marinated bbq lamb with fresh herbs. Priced well at about $18. Available at www.parriestate.com.au Serafino Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003
A gorgeous pale yellow colour. Rich, powerful and complex are all words which emanate from nosing this wine. Aromas of succulent peaches, melon and stone fruit abound. The bouquet consists of butterscotch and imparts good oak influence. Barrel fermentation and aging of now 18 months has turned this wine into a gem. A well rounded and balanced wine, exhibiting strong but tight concentrated fruit characters on the palate which are well integrated with the French oak. A creamy texture ensues with interacts with soft acidity and good alcohol. A solid full flavoured wine yet showing some restraint, indicating a promising future. Demanding food to accompany it. Try with spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Cellar 3-5 years. Competitively priced at about $18 a bottle. Available by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 08-8323 0157. www.mclarensonthelake.com.auZilzie Buloke Reserve Shiraz 2003
A lovely deep crimson red colour, just vibrant. Beautiful warm richness oozing from the glass. Unmistakeable Shiraz. Blackberry and plum fruit aromas. Fruit carries to palate. Earthy yet smooth, soft yet with solid tannins. Oak and fruit are well integrated so to provide a balanced wine drinking remarkably well right now. Medium bodied and a dry style of red. Great value at $8 to $10 bracket. Stock up for winter casseroles. Should improve over the next year.
Paul Ippolito writes about wine for publications across Australia, overseas and the Internet. He speaks on radio and writes a free monthly wine newsletter for consumers. Paul can be contacted by email at Paul_Ippolito@hotmail.com where you can also request to be placed on his mailing list for his newsletter.
or visit his website at: www.paulippolito.com.au
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