To use the vernacular, this wine is a real “beaut” and won't cost you “big bikkies.” For $19.95 you get a dense purple wine with a floral, blackberry nose and notes of leather; on the palate it's dry and savoury with blackberry and black-olive flavours, ending with ripe, soft tannins.
Errazuriz continues to lead the way in sustainable, progressive Chilean winemaking. This fresh, saline-laced Chardonnay is the perfect example. With vineyards 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean at La Escultura Estate, this Casablanca Valley wine embraces the cool stream of air from the chilly Humboldt Current that cycles off-shore. The whole-cluster fruit was fermented in stainless before partial MLF and 10 months’ aging in French oak (17% new). White peach leads the tropical fruit on the medium body and creamy palate, finely spiced on the finish. A lovely, serious, fresh, approachable New World Chardy at an incredible price.
This Sauvignon Blanc delivers above its pay grade. A huge bouquet of nectarine, guava, passion fruit, poached pear and grapefruit. On the palate, it is dry with fresh acidity and very good length as well as added nuances of lemon balm and minerals. Ceviche please!
The Misek Riesling from Tawse might just be the crown jewel of their prodigious 2009 Riesling portfolio. Its medium to full body offers great extract and persistency, as well as a peach, floral, bergamot, honey and lime character.
This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a small percentage of Cabernet Franc is worth cellaring for a year or two. The wine has that characteristic cedar, red berry and vanilla oak nose. The flavour is dry with well-extracted fruit and gripping tannins. When you get around to opening it, give it an hour or two in the decanter and serve it with leg of lamb.
Grape names can be confusing. Auxerrois is a white grape grown in Alsace. Auxerrois is also a red grape grown in Cahors; but in Argentina, Cahors’ Auxerrois is called Malbec and it’s what they do best in the Mendoza Valley. This is a prime example. Dense ruby-purple in colour, it has a smoky, minerally, red berry nose; it’s full-bodied, dry, soft and unctuous on the palate with well-integrated oak. Good value.