There are thousands of wines at $10 or under, and I would review them if I received them. But wine producers tend not to send the low-priced wines, probably because they’re not very exciting and would receive bland reviews. The mixed selection of white and rosé wines reviewed this week range from $12 to $18 a bottle, but can often be found lower on special.
Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Barossa Riesling 2015: Already starting to show good riesling character and a joy to drink. 92 points and a bargain at $13, often less.
Zonte’s Footstep ‘Doctoressa di Lago’ Adelaide Hills Pinot Grigio 2015: All it should be, and a touch more. A different style (not sure if it’s one of its own, maybe there are others out there), it’s slightly riper but not overblown. 91 points and worth $18.
De Bortoli ‘Bella Riva’ King Valley Pinot Grigio 2015: Crisp, with a mixed herb character. Easy to drink but also holds the drinker’s attention long enough to register its presence. 91 points and value at $16.
Hesketh ‘Rules of Engagement’ Pinot Gris 2015: Light on the nose but some weight in the mouth with a lovely sour (good) edge. 91 points and a real bargain at just $12.
Jack Estates ‘M-R Series’ SEA Chardonnay 2013: All round, everyday chardonnay, and there is there is no need to knock it. 88 points tasted at room temperature, and a couple more when well chilled. It’s a wine better cold, and value at $12.
Hesketh ‘Lost Weekend’ Coonawarra Chardonnay 2014: A damn drinkable glass of wine, and at $12, a damn fine price also. 90 points.
Berton ‘Reserve’ Eden Valley Chardonnay 2015: Fine-tuned is what comes to my mind. It’s young, but one can see all parts are in the right dimensions and just need time to come together. 92 now but a couple more down the track and $17 is a very good price.
Berton ‘Classic’ Chardonnay 2015: The fruit for this wine comes from Padthaway yet the Bertons put it out under the no-name place of South East Australia. It’s very sound, not very demanding, but pleasurable. 91 points and a bargain at $12.
D’Arenberg ‘The Olive Grove’ McLaren Vale-Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2015: In my opinion this is too young to release. What is d’Arenberg trying to do, turn consumers away from the beauty of chardonnay or hope that by releasing such a youthful wine it will attract the sauvignon blanc crowd? It’s not a poor wine, and in time will show better, but is short-term cash flow worth long-term reputation? 89 points and in a few months will be worth the modest $15 asked.
De Bortoli ‘Bella Riva’ Sangoivese Rosé 2015: The accompanying notes say “nothing better than a chilly bottle of dry savoury rosé when the sun shines”. Looking at my notes from the tasting, this sums up the wine neatly. 91 points and $16 is a bargain.
Zonte’s Footstep ‘Scarlet Ladybird’ Fleurieu Peninsula Rosé 2015: This is not my style of rosé, but it is well made and will have followers. I like mine with more savoury character, but those who go for the fruity style will be happy paying $18. 90 points.