A big night out in Melbourne, with a good feed and lovely wines

James Suckling, David Bicknell and PJ Charteris

Sunday night in Melbourne. Just before the beginning of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, which I am here to judge.

The evening started off in the City Wine Shop, Spring Street (http://www.citywineshop.net.au/). A brilliant place – sells wine, and is also a wine bar, with an amazing selection that’s [...]

Dinner at 28 50 with some interesting Aussie wines

After the Semillon tasting I reported on a couple of days ago, a few of us retired to nearby restaurant 28 50 for dinner, with some interesting Australian wines. I love experiencing wine the way it is meant to be enjoyed: in good company, with tasty food, in a relaxed atmosphere.

We began with Jeffrey Grosset’s Polish [...]

An evening of Semillon, an underrated grape variety

Bruce Tyrrell

Yesterday evening I took part in a tasting at Australia house, focused on Semillon. It’s a variety that hides in the shadows, but which excels in Australia, and specifically in the Hunter Valley. Here, it makes tremendously long lived white wines that start out life crisp, fresh and lemony. Give them a decade [...]

Video: tasting the 2012 Grosset Springvale and Polish Hill Rieslings

Two beautiful wines. The Grosset 2012 Polish Hill and Springvale Rieslings. Here I taste them on camera.

 

First Drop Mere et Fils Chardonnay, great wine, fabulous label

Aussie wine producer First Drop are fast becoming one of the cleverest at marketing their wines – even outdoing D’Arenberg. The good news is that the content of the bottle matches up to the ambitions of the packaging. This is a lovely Chardonnay, and the front and back labels are just brilliant.

First Drop Mere et [...]

Both Barrels Shiraz Durif

Pleasantly surprised by this Aussie red from Laithwaites. It’s made by their RedHeads studio winery in McLaren Vale, and winemaker Steve Grimley has cobbled together some Coonawarra Shiraz and some Rutherglen Durif. The combination works really well, and at a penny under a tenner, this is pretty good value for money. As with most Laithwaites [...]

Lethbridge, a winery built of straw

I have just written up a review of the wonderful wines of Lethbridge, from Australia’s Geelong region, not far from Melbourne. I really liked them, and you can read the review here.

I’ve not visited it, but the winery is actually quite remarkable. Think Grand Designs. It is built out of straw bales, by a company [...]

A lovely, affordable Hunter Semillon

Very nice wine, this. Hunter Valley Semillon is a unique style of wine. Pale, fresh, light in youth, yet ages brilliantly. And it comes from a very warm wine region. A vinous paradox. This is a good one at a nice price, ready to drink now.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Bottle-Aged Semillon 2006 Hunter Valley, Australia
10.5% [...]

New wines from Jacob's Creek

I’ve just written up a tasting through the Jacob’s Creek range, including some older bottles.

Of particular interest, but perhaps more to the trade than to the majority of readers here, is the fact that Jacob’s Creek have recently launched two new lines.

One is their four Moscatos. Now Moscato is huge in the USA, it’s [...]

Voyager Estate Shiraz 2009 Margaret River

I have been drinking this young Margaret River Shiraz for the last couple of evenings, and it’s impressive. Normally, you’d associate this rather beautiful part of Western Australia with Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties, but it can also do good things with Syrah/Shiraz. It’s ripe and sweetly fruited, but there’s also freshness, definition and restraint. [...]