Two by two
Pairs of rosé, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and pinot noir are reviewed below. Rosé accounts for about 10 per cent of global wine production and is growing in popularity. Real men do drink rosé and I’m pleased they do, because otherwise they would be missing out on a great style. The two pinots are from Aldi and value for money. There are also two very different styles of cabernet; one I enjoyed, the other I didn’t. It was much the same with the Coonawarra shiraz; one was outstanding the other needed to settle enjoy the reviews. Happy drinking.
Hesketh Barossa Valley ‘Saignée’ Rosé 2015: Saignée is the French word for bleed. There is an argument that this is not the true way to make rosé wine, but let’s leave that to the winemakers. This wine has lovely salmon pink colour, is made from several varieties and drinks very well. It’s not weak and has a good savoury edge. 92 points and well worth the $20 asked.
Paradigm Hill ‘Transition’ Mornington Peninsula Rosé 2015: A rosé for grown-ups. Shiraz is the base and it’s a full-on, savoury style of wine. 94 points and pricey at $35, but if you’re used to spending that amount on wine it’s well worth the money.
Mount Avoca ‘Back Block’ Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2014: Good on the nose but it didn’t bring any descriptors to my mind. The palate has wonderful, dark, savoury flavours, with a beautiful sour edge. It’s such a good enjoyable wine and works very well at the table. 94 points and worth $35.
Mitolo ‘Serpico’ McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: There is a McVale style of cabernet and most of the time I enjoy it for the difference it offers. This wine I found disjointed and I don’t think age will fix the issue. There was a stalky edge and some spritz, which I didn’t enjoy, 88 points and far from an $80 wine.
Jack Estate Coonawarra Wrattonbuly Shiraz 2013: Exotic on the nose and there are plenty of interesting flavours as this wine crosses the palate. Its downfall at the moment is new or American oak, which comes to the fore in the middle to finish and spoils the fruit. 91 points now, with more to come if the oak settles. OK value at $22.
Zema Estate Coonawarra Shiraz 2012: Good, solid Coonawarra shiraz. Really enjoyable to drink and take to the table. 94 points and very good value at $25.
Aldi Tudor Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2014: This clearly states pinot on the nose and on entry, so it must be pinot. Not quite as feral as I like, but it’s a wine that does not deny its variety, and a good place to start exploring pinot noir at just $13. I gave it 91 points on tasting, but the better tasting note came from a friend who sampled the wine later in the day after I had put it in the fridge for a while. “Wow, this is good,” he said, without knowing what the wine was or where it came from.
Aldi ‘Vinatero’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014: Needs cooling, as it showed flat in the heat of an Australian summer. Again, another wine to start people on the mysterious journey that is pinot noir. 92 points and $17 is within bounds.