Aussie Rules

Yesterday my parents, my brother and his fiancee jetted off to Australia for 3 WEEKS of sun, fun and no doubt gorgeous food and wine! I am not jealous at all.  As I am staying in chilly but beautiful Edinburgh, (apart from a week in Lanzarote in April - living the dream!) I thought I would join them in spirit with some delicious, sunny wines from our Antipodean friends. 

Aussie wines have taken a bit of bad rap over the last decade or so but there is, without a doubt some cutting edge winemaking producing some world class wines.  Winemakers are seeking out higher altitude, cool climate regions, adopting a more sensible use of oak (gone are the days of big yellow oaky Chardonnays) and employing methods such as early picking which means lower sugar levels in the grapes and therefore lower alcohol levels in the wines. 

Here are a couple for you to seek out, both high quality regions with some first class winemaking...

In the fridge....

2015 Tim Adams, Semillon, Clare Valley, South Australia                           Where to buy: Tesco, £10.50

Tim Adams is a producer doing wonderful things in the Clare Valley, his wines are elegant and really speak of their region. He is a producer to look out for and has a great range of wines available in the UK all for around £10 a bottle.  The Clare Valley lies just to the North-West of the Barossa Valley and is one of Australia's highest altitude regions which means it's relatively cool. This wine is made from Semillon which can be quite an undervalued grape, it's a variety that ages very well and develops gorgeous honey and toasty notes.  This wine is a pretty big, juicy number packed full of pineapple, guava, peaches and lemons. This has been barrel fermented and  oak aged so it has some lovely notes of toast and vanilla which are really well balanced and integrated into the wine. This wine is gorgeous now but would very happily cellar for up to 10 years - if you have the patience!! Try it with creamy pasta, seafood or chicken dishes. 


On the rack....

2016 Ringbolt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia           Where to buy: Tesco £10.50

I love the wines of Margaret River, this is a stunning region (see image!) and known for extremely high quality. Well known for 'Bordeaux Blends',  (they grow the same varieties originally from Bordeaux - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon) this a classic style of Cabernet Sauvignon, packed full of lush, sweet, ripe dark fruit - blackcurrants, cassis, blackberries and cherries with an underlying hint of dark chocolate and spice and subtle notes of vanilla and smoke. Interestingly, the winery is named after a ship 'The Ringbolt' that sank in the 1800s in the treacherous coastline of what is now known as Ringbolt Bay. This wine is gorgeous and frankly a bargain!