Sancerre (Domaine des Grosses Pierres) 2013 $19–$28
This delightful unoaked French sauvignon blanc showed up in a masked tasting alongside oak-fermented 10X Mornington Peninsula Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($28). They’re both comparatively delicate sauvignons, though poles apart in style. The 10X wine showed varietal tang and herbaceousness, overlaid with the rich texture and charry aroma derived from barrel fermentation. The wine from Sancerre, Loire Valley, on the other hand showed delicately herbal and tropical-fruit-like flavours, with great freshness and vivacity. The lightness and purity of the wine is preserved by a screwcap and therefore a safer buy than cork-sealed wines from sauvignon’s French heartland.
Mr Mick Clare Valley Novo Sangiovese 2015 $12.80–$17
Many years back the success of the light, fruity, young reds of France’s Beaujolais region fanned a brief craze for Australian lookalikes. Winemakers large and small plunged in. However, demand for both the French and local versions quickly receded and Australians reverted to drinking big, solid reds. The release of Tim Adams’ Novo Sangiovese 2015, sparked memories of those vibrant, light and fruity styles. It’s a wine to enjoy lightly chilled, with or without food, during the warm months. The light crimson colour, shimmering, summer-berry flavours and tart tannins provide easy, refreshing drinking.
Richmond Grove Limited Release McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 $12.90–$22
The term “limited release” surely means little on a widely distributed, deeply discounted red from one of Australia’s largest wine groups, French-owned Pernod Ricard Australia. Not in question though is the wine’s quality, authenticity and sheer good value. It combines the bright, fresh, pure varietal flavours of modern winemaking, with the deeper savoury character of McLaren Vale shiraz. Oak maturation also adds to the savouriness, while building richness on the mid palate and mellowing the wine’s earthy tannins.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 14 and 15 November 2015 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times