Tasting Notes - ten budget friendly reds

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Choose the right wine every time - Taste Food and Wine 2008 by Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer

Choose the right wine every time - Taste Food and Wine 2008 by Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer

There are still some great value reds around that won't burst your budget. Check out these ten budget friendly reds from Taste Food and Wine 2008.

McWilliams Hanwood Estate Merlot 2006 $9.5
We have found a veritable rash of inexpensive but tremendously accurate Merlots this year (2008) This has never happened before, so make sure you take advantage of this and stock up ASAP. This wickedly well-appointed McW Merlot is polished, plummy, velvety and more-ish.

Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz 2006 $10
The latest rendition of Bin 50 has got a lot more ‘oomph’ than you would expect for a blend of this volume at this price. A massive wave of glossy blueberry fruit rides a smooth lick of vanillin oak right up the middle of your tongue. This Shiraz carries its flavour on like nothing else for $10. 

McPherson Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $11
You gave the entry-level reds in our book quite a workout last year (2007), and you’ve asked for more, so we’ve found an entire range from McPherson for you to feast your palate upon. Line ‘em up! The good news is, no one knows this label and the packaging is very chic, so your friends will have no idea it’s so cheap – and you’ll be shaking your head in disbelief, too! With flavours of red fruits, chocolate and a shake of savoury spice, this Cabernet is party-starting giggle juice.

McPherson Merlot 2006 $11
Number two in the McPherson trilogy is a herbaceous, fresh and lively Merlot. McPherson has been doing its thing making great wine in SA for almost 40 years (and more recently in VIC) but the brand is not well known in Australia because most of it goes overseas. Now that you have the goss, you’ve got no excuse for missing out. Put a few bottles on at your next BBQ and everyone will thank you for pulling out the good stuff.

McPherson Shiraz 2006 $11
2006 McPherson Shiraz wraps up this hat trick and it’s an attractive, ripe red with fresh, spicy black cherry fruit and a clean finish. Grab a mixed dozen direct from McPherson and try them all. We know you’ll be back on the phone tomorrow – to order a case of each!

Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier 2006 $11
Once again, these guys perform miracles with their inexpensive wines. This is a wine that every aspiring winemaker should taste before cocking the SV thing up royally and taking five more years to get it right. What you get is fantastic value, dense, glossy blackcurrant fruit, an addictive nose and a refreshing finish that lingers for longer than any $11 red that we have tasted in a long time – can’t say better than that! (Except to add that you’ll find it for $8 if you look hard enough.)

Pillar Box Red Shiraz Cabernet Merlot
2006 $11.50
Downright delicious honesty in a glass, Pillar Box is a great advert for clever, inexpensive Aussie reds, but only for the brave, ‘cos there’s no clue on the label what you can expect inside the bottle! Once you get into it you’ll find lots of interesting, spicy berry flavours and a lingering, grippy aftertaste. The team behind this wine are to be congratulated (all except the overpaid designer, one assumes!).

Rosemount Shiraz Cabernet
2006 $11.50
This is an absurdly simple wine, but it gets it so right that you can’t avoid the truth – it is a well-rehearsed recipe, delivered to perfection. Fresh, plush and fruity with virtually no tannins to speak of, it’s dark in colour and in flavour. The new bottles might still look a little odd, but you can’t drink a bottle, so thank goodness its contents are this good!

De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Noir 2007 $12
It is nothing short of a travesty that you can buy this wine on special for $10. If every wine drinker in Australia were given a taste of this, the ensuing stampede would throw sales of every red wine under $15 in this country into complete mayhem. Windy Pants Pinot is yet another tremendous wine from the epic De Bortoli team. How can entry level Pinot be this good (nowhere else in the world can do it – comments gratefully received)? Steve and his team work hard, play hard, and yet they have the intrinsic, almost carnal desire to make every wine, even their everyday bottles, pass the highest standards possible before it can wear their label – an inspiration to us all. 

St Hallett Gamekeeper’s Reserve Shiraz Grenache
2006 $12
Matt Gant’s final trick for St Hallett was to make his last Gamekeepers a skyrocket of a wine. We reckon it is to show them and the world that he could make anything from anything and still keep us smiling and thirsty in equal measure. This is a legendary blend that will need a lot more than cunning winemaking to maintain its current standard in years to come. Our advice is to start with a preposterous sense of humour and a terrifying work ethic.



Reproduced with permission. © Copyright Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer 2007

VisitVineyards.com Members can purchase Taste Food and Wine 2009 from our online partner Seekbooks at a 12.5% discount, postage and handling extra.


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