With Richard Slater & Grant Foulkes


    2016 Knappstein Cabernet Sauvignon

    13.5% Clare Valley, South Australia

    RRP $22

    The best -Australian- Cabernet action is currently from Margaret River (with the Yarra Valley following) but exceptions can provide excellent value and pleasure. This wine is a vibrant crimson colour, showing crisp blackcurrant and fruitcake spices with a tease of integrated vanillan oak. It’s a fresh, exuberant, well-constructed red wine, redolent of mulberry, violets, and dark chocolate with intensity, persistence and fine, silky tannins. A few years cellaring will enhance its sensual attributes, but already the deep red fruit flavours and liveliness provide a terrific foil to roast or grilled meats – or harder cheeses.

    Conclusion; a wine of substance and integrity; a terrific each-way proposition to drink or keep for a few years.



    2016 Valley Vignerons Syrah

    13.0% Yarra Valley, Victoria

    RRP $27
    We mustn’t kid ourselves anymore. The warmer months are over. Let’s get stuck in to some reds. Payten & Jones’ cellar door is directly opposite the Four Pillars Gin distillery in Healesville. My wife and I tried to get in there but it was at capacity so we found ourselves chatting with Pete about what Payten & Jones do, and why. They’ve a ‘minimal intervention’ approach to their winemaking which shows in every one of their unique wines. This Syrah challenges the palate. I’d sooner recommend this to a Pinot lover than your typical ‘oaky-fruit bomb shiraz’ fan. Elegant and floral on the nose, lifted herbal notes with slippery tannins and an austere, refreshing finish. Forget what you think you know about Shiraz and challenge yourself!

    Conclusion: Pair with homemade lasagne (but put Swiss cheese in the Béchamel Sauce).


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