best buys

$25 & under

2015 Oakridge Over the Shoulder Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, A$23

The Over the Shoulder label has been a reliable source of very good value Yarra Valley wine for a while now, with various vintages and various varietals frequently appearing in the Best Buys section of this magazine. But this brilliant chardonnay is one of the finest I can remember: I tasted it blind alongside chardonnays twice and three times the price and it shone brightly. Lovely intensity, concentration, complexity and satisfaction. At a great price.  MA

2015 Parish Hill Grillo, Adelaide Hills, A$25

Adelaide Hills winemaker and grape grower Andrew Cottell has thought outside of the box, planting a unique selection of interesting grape varieties, including grillo, one of the staples of Sicily. This is a fantastic example. It offers attractive quince, ginger and lemon balm scents and on the palate it shows tangy juiciness with squeaky, zesty acidity. It’s a very bright, summery, appealing white destined to be served with seafood and salad.  MB

2016 Vinoque Nebbiolo Rosé, Yarra Valley, A$25

The De Bortoli/Webber family are bullish about rosé. The selection is amazing from the Villages Heathcote Grenache to the Bella Riva Sangiovese and the art nouveau clad La Boheme Act Two Pinot Noir. I love them all, but this is my favourite, under the Vinoque label. The delicate salmon pink colour and musk-like aromas belie the depth of flavour, both raspberries and loganberries with an underlying savoury earthiness. Drink with alacrity, and a prawn cocktail. PB

2015 Seresin Pinot Gris, Marlborough, NZ$24

Made from biodynamically grown grapes. A small amount of barely perceptible unfermented residual sugar (4.6g/l) helps to accentuate the wine’s pure pear/tree fruit and delicately spicy flavours while promoting an ethereal texture. A tantalisingly lingering finish reveals subtle power. Deliciously drinkable wine that is enjoyable with or without food.  BC

2016 Lenton Brae Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River, A$22

Winemaker Ed Tomlinson runs his family’s boutique winery in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, a winery notable for consistently good whites. 2016 is the 30th vintage of this blend, making it one of the area’s first. The aroma is loaded with expressive lemon/citrus and herbal fruit aromas, without the hard-edged greenness of some in the region. The wine is tight, crisp, firm and dry, with abundant flavour and good structure.  HH

2015 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier, Eden Valley, A$24

A vibrant and tightly controlled, but generously flavoured viognier whose fragrant and emphatically varietal honeysuckle-like bouquet is pristine and penetrative. There’s plenty of generous, juicy mid-palate stonefruit and tropical flavour underpinned by a fine chalkiness, but it finishes long, streamlined and refreshing with a bright, lemony acidity.  JO