best buy wines

Over $35 

2019 Polperro Fumé Blanc, Mornington Peninsula, A$50
A creative approach with barrel-fermented fruit macerated on its skins for 40 days before pressing off. It’s heady in sweet citrus, jalapeño, and salted cashew scents and flavours, with texture – puckering and chalky – a significant and distinct feature. The wine extends long and to a fine point, though upfront there’s plushness and weight. The sum of these parts makes for a compelling and unique experience. Best drunk with richer seafood dishes or creamy Italian fare.  MB

2019 LAS Vino Wildberry Springs Chardonnay, Margaret River, A$85
Nic Peterkin is on a roll, pushing traditional winemaking without dropping the ‘please drink me’ edge. Sourced from the 20-year-old Wildberry Springs vineyard, with 70% of the grapes fermented in ceramic eggs, the balance in barriques. Malolactic fermentation and yeast lees stirring add an extra dimension to the rich peach and melon flavours. The acid is of crisp Granny Smith apples and pink grapefruit, the finish lush and creamy. Enjoy with marron in any form; don’t overchill.  PB

2019 Neudorf Home Block Moutere Chardonnay, Nelson, A$80/NZ$82
Neudorf’s flagship chardonnay is produced from vines that have been growing in Moutere clay gravels without irrigation for over 40 years. 2019 was a hot, dry vintage that allowed the grapes to be hand-harvested without pressure. Fermented using indigenous yeasts and high solids. Bright, crisp, high energy with grapefruit/citrus, oyster shell, hazelnut and subtle baguette crust flavours supported by tangy acidity. Will benefit from bottle age.  BC

2018 Poacher’s Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Great Southern, A$35
This family owned vineyard was founded by the Taylor family in 1999, and Rob Diletti is the winemaker. This cabernet has a vivid, concentrated purple-red colour and a bouquet that explodes with blue, red and darker fruit aromas, tinged with briary, spicy overtones. Very full bodied and strongly built, it has generous tannins that are fine grained and ripely supple. Quality oak has been well handled. A big wine, superbly put together. Best in 2-23 years.  HH

2019 Swinney Grenache, Frankland River, A$42
Stylish and reserved, then impactful and expressive, it marries Old-World complexity with New-World brightness. Scents of red and blue flowers, white pepper and exotic spices, blueberries, cranberries and redcurrants become steadily more perfumed with aeration. Wound tightly around a crunchy spine of drying fine tannins, it’s medium to fullish in weight, luscious and juicy but elegant and shapely, with pristine berry/plum flavours and smoky charcuterie undertones moving long and gracefully towards a refreshing finish.  JO

2019 Apogee Alto Pinot Gris, Tasmania, A$45
This is an impressive wine with a quality that transcends what is generally expected from Australian pinot gris. An alluring, though delicate, perfume of fresh Corella pears, lemon zest and musk, plus understated accents of oak. The palate has remarkable fullness and depth with a core of natural acidity, which gives the wine compelling energy and length, allowing it to pair exceptionally well with food. It unfurls and evolves in the glass. Enjoy now or cellar for a year or two.  TP