What a discovery — this Grenache wine is nothing like a Southern Rhone and shows superb harmony only three years into its life. Something of a rarity as only 600 cases are made from 85 year-old vines. The tannins are very fine and there is a delicate floral nose to this high altitude wine. I only wish more Australian reds could show this balance and elegance for such a reasonable price. Doubtless it will improve with bottle age, but there’s no need to wait given how much pleasure it imparts already.
A lot of Crozes-Hermitage seems lean and mean to me, so it is a delight to find a new wave of producers, including Guillaume Belle, that are making delicious versions that can be drunk young. Using 100% Syrah grapes, which are grown organically and hand-picked, this wine has a lovely smooth finish that makes it perfect for immediate drinking.
A fascinating Veneto wine made using “appassimento” techniques of Amarone wine, which sells for multiples of this price. The grapes are a blend of classic Bordeaux and local varieties, which are dried out to give them raisiny and chocolate overtones. This is a perfect winter wine for meat or game dishes and offers remarkable value for money, too.
This is the entry-level wine of one of the greatest Malbec producers in Argentina. Located in Mendoza Province in the foothills of the Andes between 700 and 1100 metres above sea level. It has a robust backbone with a peppery nose, plus the potential to improve for a few more years. It’s extraordinary to realise this is made from ungrafted, pre-phylloxera vines and that the ratio here is one vine per bottle.