The definitive guide to Australian Wines
Sixteen of the wines selected either had no or minimal contact with oak, and 12 were from 2015. This meant their cost of production was reduced by the absence of oak, the minimal handling in the winery and their speed onto the market earning all-important cash flow.
None of this should be seen as cost-cutting: riesling, semillon, marsanne and pinot gris are unsuited to oak, and – being aromatic – positively sing in their exuberant youth. Riesling and semillon have the great advantage of developing (and changing for the better) over a 5-10+-year horizon.
Semillon sauvignon blanc blends can also develop, but over a shorter timeframe, and they do not have the capacity to change as radically as riesling, semillon or marsanne, which leaves the ultimately flexible chardonnay, coming from the Margaret River, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and Geographe, barrel-fermented, and full of complexity right from the outset, albeit changing with age.
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Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Brand's Laira Coonawarra
Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Hoddles Creek Estate
Mike Press Wines
O'Leary Walker Wines
Stella Bella Wines
Watershed Premium Wines
Willow Bridge Estate
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Wines considered to offer special value for money.