With Richard Slater & Grant Foulkes
2019 (Aldi) Blackstone Paddock Chardonnay,
Margaret River, Western Australia – 13.7%
RRP under $20
Credible wine show trophies, value and Margaret River seldom coincide. But it happens. This trophy-winning wine is a pale straw colour, with grapefruit and white peach notes, plus the modern wine-making touch of “struck match”. The palate is generous, complex and textured with citrus-led flavours, twang, minerals and creaminess. It’s a wine of excitement at a bargain price, with the structural integrity to reward cellaring for a few years too. Its sibling, the trophied, fragrant and juicy (Aldi) 2018 Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon is also highly recommended for shorter-term drinking – again it’s ridiculous value under $20. I haven’t recommended a wine exclusive to a store or chain before; the value here breaks my rule
Conclusion; Unbeatable at its price, and deserves the trek to Aldi. It delivers pleasure, and is versatile at the table. This wine suits roast chook, schnitzel or any fish dish, with the verve to match a creamy pasta sauce too.
2019 Mallaluka Riesling,
Hilltops Region, New South Wales – ABV: 12.2%
Mallaluka’s Riesling hails from the Freeman Vineyard in NSW, due west from Wollongong, so quite far north for the Hilltops region. We have here another unfined, unfiltered (so vegan friendly) minimal sulphur wine. But the real individuality of this wine come with its bold, rich ‘off-dry’ style where residual sugars remain to boost sweetness yet is countered with a high, fresh acidity to retain balance. Royally golden in colour with lush beeswax, soft orange blossom and lively mandarin skin filling the senses from go to woah. It’s wonderfully rich for a Riesling. It gives a nod to the old German styles of Mosel that the modern drinker often scoffs at but honestly, paired with the right food, on a balmy summer night, there ain’t much I’d rather drink. Popped in an unconventional ‘Bordeaux’ bottle and a cork to boot, this unique drop really will kick start a D&M with a long lost friend. I picked this up from Mr West bottle shop with thanks to a warm chat from the friendly staff.
Conclusion: Pair with, sweet and sour pork at your favourite BYO Chinese restaurant with sides of prawn crackers and prawn toast.