Some hidden wine gems of Aus!

Quick note about some lesser well-known wines that I’ve really enjoyed, and/or wines that are becoming well known.

Chalice Bridge, Margaret River – Great value table wine, and won a few decent awards and gold medals (eg. Royal Hobart International Wine Shouw, and James Halliday etc). Like the Cabernet Merlot the most, follwed by the Shiraz, Cabernet and then Merlot. But they all have good body, and reasonable balance, including their whites (their Calamus red wine I got to say I’m not a fan of, but others are). Good Chardonnay and good Sem Sauv Blanc. Undecided about the Sauvignon Blanc, I tend to stick to NZ for that.

Anver’s Shiraz – from SA -McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Adelaide Hills. First tried this at Wildfire, with their “The Warrior” version with an arm and axe etched into the black heavy bottle. Was Delicious!!!! They also have a cheaper Shiraz, still good, but needs 3 years at least before I open them after buying them – it’s a big wine. I bought some bottles from Kemeny’s in Bondi and just waiting for a wee while.

Byrne and Smith wines – worked for them for Good Food and Wine show in Darling Harbour. They source a lot of grapes from little vineyards just the back of major ones like McLaren Vale. Export to America so there’s not much left in Aus, but they’re a really good bargain if you find one, especially their Thomspon’s Cabernet Tempranillo blend – give it 2 more years after release and voila! They also have a delicious Antiquarian range (one Shiraz, one Cabernet) that they release at a decent time after bottling, for eg. 2001 released in 2007/2008. And quite good value too – plus immediate drinking 🙂 Bought a case of both Cab Tempranillo and the Antiquarian Cabernet (the Shiraz 01 was getting too close to it’s drink-by date) – the Antiquarian I’ve nearly finished and this is the time to finish it; the Cab Temp I’ve still got half dozen left and they’re ageing well.

Coldstream Hills – Scenery photos on their label, which the winemaker took. Yarra Valley. Boutique style winery, but getting to be world known. Very good body across their wines, cooler climate style, which also brings an elegant structure. Their premium Reserve range is of course lovely too. James Halliday started Coldstream Hills, well known for his wine journalism.

Scorpo – First tried this at Catalina’s restaurant in 2008. Their Pinot Grigio is very well structured with good floral notes. I really enjoyed the finish, creamy but fresh as well.

Grant Burge, Holy Trinity – this GSM blend is stunning, and 2004 is still available in wine outlets, for $30 which is good value for it.

Kemey’s Hidden Labels – These are always reasonably good table wines, but Sometimes you can get Really good wine bargains from their Hidden Labels, which have the Winemaker’s name hidden on the label (really hard to find when you’ve been drinking). And some of them are really great winemakers, that had too high yield etc., so they release it under CleanSkin, for cheap-as-chips. I tend to stick to their McLaren Vales, GSMs, Barossa’s, and NZ whites, and as old as I can get.

Penfolds – Lesser-known Cellar Reserves, BIN 311 Chardonnay, and BIN 138 GSM. Also Metala Black and White labels. As noted before.

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