Hunting on Sundays Canberra District Shiraz Cabernet 2011 $22
Sommeliers Travis Cutler (Thirst Wine Bar) and James Duffell (formerly of Lanterne Rooms) turned to winemaking and came up with this lovely luncheon red from the cold, wet 2011 vintage. Combining shiraz and cabernet, the wine displays the bright berry fruit and spice of shiraz with the leafiness of cabernet. It’s a pleasant and easy-drinking lighter bodied red with soft tannins and devil-may-care drinkability. The quirky label had us smiling as much as the wine did. Perhaps everything tastes good when you’re in the right mood. It’s available at Campbell Liquor Discounts.
Grant Burge Moscato Frizzante and Moscato Rosa 2012 $16–18
Formally the grape name is muscat-blanc-a-petite-grains, but in the Barossa they call it white frontignac, or fronti. But there’s also a red variant plus muscat of Alexandria. In Italy it’s moscato, a name increasingly adopted by Aussie winemakers as they emulate the light, zesty, intensely aromatic, grapey, sweet, low-alcohol ‘frizzante’ style made in Asti, Piedmont. Grant Burge’s stunning package captures the light, fresh, grapey mood of the wine – an appealing drop that threatens to bring sweetness (balanced by crisp, clean acidity) back into fashion. The white version, introduced in 2008, now has a pink companion, Rosa.
Plantagenet Mount Barker Riesling 2012 $19.95–$25
Whatever the Plantagenet winemakers did in 2012, they should keep on doing. This is the most exciting riesling in years. Sales Manager Andrew Charleson describes 2012 as a fantastic vintage but one marked by change. Winemaker John Durham left at the beginning of the vintage; a caretaker winemaker stepped in; and then Kath Oates, formerly of Mud House, New Zealand, arrived to finish the job. Out of all that change, though, came a delicious riesling of intense, lime-like varietal aroma and flavour, with a fresh, powerful-but-fine, delicate palate.