2021 Tahbilk Marsanne 13%
    Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, RRP $19

    The white grape Marsanne’s “original home” is France’s (northern) Rhone valley. Sometimes blended with Roussanne and Viognier, it can easily stand alone.

    Tahbilk’s Marsanne is a bargain cellaring certainty and a very safe bet on wine-lists.

    Vast experience with this variety is boosted by an especially expressive year. Bright and pale in colour, it shows pear but also some tropical passionfruit, jasmine, melon, and blossom aromatics. It’s dry and vibrant, with a comforting stony feel and mineral tanginess. 

    Why bother with non-descript Pinot Gris/Grigio when this patriotic, unoaked Victorian provides a bigger, better bang for bucks?

    Conclusion:  Chicken – marylands, stir fry with ginger – or seafood – white fish or mussels. This wine can easily be found for much less than its RRP and will provide satisfaction now and over the next ten years.  The historic Tahbilk cellar-door is well worth a trip (with many museum wines and an eye-opening “1927 vines” Marsanne) plus a bonus easy walk through the wetlands. 


    Grant Foulkes Says

    *Mandi Wines Sangiovese 2020 Mildura
    RRP $25
    ABV 13%

    On a chilly June evening I strolled into Mr. West in Footscray for a browse. To my delight, there was a tasting session unfolding right at the door with all of latest releases from a producer I’d never heard of; ‘Mandi Wines’. I was run-through the entire range in great detail (some varieties I’d never heard of) with each wine possessing its own individuality, drinkability and affordability. Without going into too much detail, the winemakers behind this operation are pioneers at introducing lesser known, old world varieties to the Australian wine mainstream. This Sangiovese offers far more than the price tag. Subtle savoury notes coat the palate offering smoky char, soft cooking spices, cacao and tobacco. Often, young Sangiovese can be overly acidic. But this little number has a soft, smooth texture which is ready to drink. The cherry and black forest fruit notes aren’t overly sweet but offer plush, gluggable characteristics. I’d be surprised if you didn’t love this wine, especially at the price. Mandi Wines are an excellent platform for any wine drinker looking to get a little more adventurous with their wine choices. After trying one of these bottles, you’ll want to try the whole range.

    Pair with: Seared chorizo in pearl cous cous, charred capsicum, capers and dustings of turmeric and smoked paprika.


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