Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $25–$30
At this year’s Wynnsday tasting in Coonawarra, good old Black Label cemented its claim as one of the best value-for money-wines in Australia – perhaps even the best. This is irresistibly deep, sweet, rich cabernet with an elegance, finesse and harmony far beyond what the modest price suggests. It’s a joy to drink now, barely two years after vintage. But we can predict with near certainty, it’ll provide drinking pleasure for decades if properly cellared – making it a terrific buy not just for wine lovers but for anyone seeking a long-term memento of any 2012 event.
Helm Canberra District Half Dry Riesling 2014 $25
Ken Helm writes, “Two severe frosts in late October  caused widespread damage across our vineyards. However, our vines were more resilient then we gave them credit for and with some TLC we were rewarded with a high quality but reduced crop. Our Murrumbateman fruit was consolidated into this wine and the Classic Dry Riesling”. With a comparatively low alcohol content of 11.3 per cent and18 grams of residual sugar and nine grams of acid per litre, Helm 2014 captures that mouth-watering tension between sweetness and acidity – backed by delicious, clean, fresh citrus-like varietal flavour.
Brookland Valley Verse 1 Margaret River Chardonnay 2013 $13.30–$15
When a company makes cutting edge top-shelf wine, the quality usually flows down to cheaper wines in its portfolio. We can taste this deliciously in Verse1 Chardonnay, little sibling of the far more expensive Brookland Valley Chardonnay and relative of several other classy chardonnays (including Eileen Hardy Chardonnay) in the Accolade Wine group. We bought our supply at Coles, Kununurra, as our daily refresher on a camping, driving tour of the Kimberley. The wine held up well to the heat, dust, and corrugations, providing lively, fresh, peach and melon varietal flavour in our various bush camps.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 27 August 2014 in the Canberra Times