Wine review – A.C. Byrne and Co, Guigal and Paringa Estate

A.C. Byrne and Co McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 $9.99
German grocer Aldi continues to ginger up the Australian retail wine market with perfectly targeted private labels, including the AC Byrne and Co brand. The company doesn’t bother with the expensive, pointy tip of the wine pyramid. Instead, it supplies the fat middle bit where most wine drinkers spend their money. Aldi buying director, Jason Bowyer, shows a nose for quality in big value wines like this McLaren Vale shiraz. For $10 you get a rich, fruity and smooth expression of one of Australia’s most satisfying regional-varietal combinations.

Crozes-Hermitage (E. Guigal) 2010 $34–$38
Melbourne’s impressive Cookie bar (Curtin Building, 252 Swanston Street) offers Guigal’s maturing red by the glass – a wonderful, warming treat on a cold winter’s day. It’s also available at the River Restaurant, Moruya, and in some retail outlets. Its continuing availability, and low price for a wine of this age and provenance, point to a distributor clearance of slow-moving stock. It delivers the medium-bodied, warm, earthy, savoury flavours of shiraz grown in this northern Rhone Valley appellation. Wines of Crozes-Hermitage sit below those of Cote-Rotie and Hermitage in the northern Rhone pecking order.

Paringa Estate Peninsula Range Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2013 $25
Leading Mornington producer, Paringa Estate, offers three chardonnays: Peninsula Range 2013 ($25), Estate 2013 ($35) and The Paringa 2011 ($50). The wines reveal varying hues of the estate’s chardonnay and winemaking, with discernible quality increases, albeit not directly in proportion to price. The entry-level wine therefore provides wonderful drinking and an impressive display of modern Australian chardonnay making. Fermentation and maturation in oak barrels added texture and interest to the dazzling-fresh, cool-grown, citrusy varietal flavours.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 12 and 13 September 2015 in  and the Canberra Times