Tasting Victoria’s wine spectrum, from the cool Yarra to hot Rutherglen

Oakridge Over the Shoulder Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2014 $18.10–$22 Just-released Oakridge 2014 rates among the top few Australian chardonnays anywhere near $20 in price. There’s a thrill in every sip, underpinned by the most delicious fruit: imagine fresh, ripe nectarine with the added briskness of lemon or grapefruit juice. But there’s more to a really […]

Exceptional vintage revealed in Canberra, Tumbarumba 2015 wines

Ravensworth Charlie Foxtrot Gamay Noir 2014 Johansen vineyard, Tumbarumba, NSW $30 Earlier this year winemaker Bryan Martin eagerly accepted a small parcel of red gamay grapes from the Johansen vineyard, Tumbarumba. With fruity, drink-now Beaujolais in mind, Martin picked the brains of a visiting French winemaker. The Frenchman contacted winemaking mates in Beaujolais. And before […]

Wine reviews – Clonakilla, Hay Shed Hill and Pikes

Clonakilla Canberra District Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015 $22–$25 We know Clonakilla best for its cutting edge shiraz-viognier blend, shiraz, riesling and viognier. But like many small vignerons, the Kirk family grows many other grape varieties – some planted in the early years to test the region’s potential, and others to meet consumer demand. Sauvignon blanc […]

Mr Malty’s favourite Phew

Bitter Phew, 137 Oxford Street, Paddington Late on a warm, sunny Sydney day, my beer scout, Mr Malty, marched me up Oxford Street to the remarkable Bitter Phew bar. We strode up the narrow, dark staircase at number 137 and into the homely watering hole, lit gently by oblique winter sun slanting through open windows. […]