With Richard Slater and Grant Foulkes


2019 Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz

Young, New South Wales
14% RRP $34

If you believe Shiraz is always brutish and cumbersome- think again! NSW is not a State that comes to mind for Shiraz, although masters like Tyrrell’s produce serious wines from the Hunter Valley. Clonakilla – near Canberra – has magic form, producing exotic, exciting, long-living wines; its flagship Shiraz blend even name-checks Viognier. But the more affordable wine reviewed is from grapes grown around Young (cherry country). Purple and crimson colours front a fragrant spice-packed exuberant fruit melange – violets, pastille, blackcurrant essence. There are fine sandy tannins and the ripe raspberry flavours linger. This complete, delicious, lip-smacking stylish wine absolutely outperforms its price, and rewards further contemplation.

Conclusionhappy times are here with an irresistible modern wine that meshes prettiness with substance. Just about any roast, chop or a schnitzel will partner deliciously. It will deliver pleasure for many years, but is ridiculously compelling already.



2017 Hahndorf Hill Blueblood Blaufrankisch, South Australia

13.5% RRP $45

If you’ve never visited the historic village of Hahndorf, just a short drive out of Adelaide, pop it on the bucket list. It’s utterly charming. Hahndorf Hill specialises in European style wines and were the first producer in Australia to have a crack at Blaufrankisch. Blaufrankisch (sounds more like a 

sneeze than a variety of grape) is indigenous to Austria and at the risk of generalising, it’s kinda like a pinot noir. This is definitely a ‘food wine’ and will hold up to a range of gamey meats or even seafood paired with many a pan seared fruits. Chalky and floral on the nose, its fruit undertones are shy upon opening which is rare for an Australian red. But give it some time in a decanter and the air will flesh out crun

chy cherries, cranberries and earthy rhubarb over the palate and finishes with a leafy, stalky herbaceousness. You’re left with a precise, elegant, poised drop that even the wisest of Austrian wine experts would surely give a satisfactory nod.

Conclusion: Pair with sous vide venison fillet on radicchio with caramelised pear, walnuts and creamed celeriac.

Instagram: @grantfoulkes



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