A white hot bakers dozen wines for Summer under $25

Thirteen wines that will cover all your wine needs this Summer whether you are at the beach, BBQ or just chilling on the couch!



What’s hot in your glass this summer?  The summer of 2014 will be one where there are plenty of wines vying for a share of your wine glass. Moscato continues its expansion on shelves and fridges with new variants such as Banrock Station’s Red Moscato ($9). So too does Pinot Grigio or its sweeter version Pinot Gris.  I left a recent tasting feeling that Australia is doing better with this variety. What I have noticed is that more people are pouring French Champagne, enjoying the exchange rate advantage while they can.

Of course, Sauvignon Blanc still dominates our fridge space and I continue to do my bit for encouraging change. I am hearing more and more rumblings that people are beginning to switch but, I am not really encountering it. In fact, my SB loving friends are getting more and more entrenched in their repertoire. Sigh! The SBs that I have included here though are wines that are well made and offer something other than just tropical fruit and acid.

Lower alcohol wines are also doing very well. Which is great because, what is definitely not hot is drinking too much! The binge drinking culture is alive and well in Australia. Wanna be hot this Summer? Keep yourself tidy and drink in moderation is the best advice that I can give you.

Here are some great wines under $25. I have included a couple of reds that are lighter (and one or two that you can chill).

Lock & Key 2012 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir ($17)- A fresh and zesty glass of bubbles gives any glass a sense of occasion.   Enjoy the citrus lemon and white peach fruit now.  Soft and flavourful with some yeasty complexity.

Chrismont La Zona Marzemino Frizzante NV ($20) – Seriously irresistible – go seek! A lightly frizzante red with sweet cherry, rich berries, some supporting toast and vanilla spice characters – a lot jam packed into a gloriously rich ruby coloured wine.  The fizz is just there to give it a lift.

Jacobs Creek Cool Harvest Pinot Grigio 2012 ($13) – Jacob’s Creek delivers a crisp and fleshy Pinot Grigio in this cool harvest range.  It has a nice soft texture in the mouth and is a pretty wine with apple and pear fruit right up front. It is a drier style as a Pinot Grigio should be. Enjoy it well chilled.

Rymill Gt 2012 ($20) – A generous and very more-ish flow of perfumed gewürztraminer fruit from front to back of the palate.  Pure and soft fruited, ripe tropical fruit overlaying grape and musky rose. This is a wine to sip slowly and enjoy. And of course, gewurz always goes great with Asian herbs and spices.

Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($25) – A fresh and textural Savvy from the Adelaide Hills and without a doubt, one of Australia’s best Sauvignon Blanc producers.  This vintage is not flambouyant but shows ripe grapefruit, capsicum thrown together with a hand full of garden herbs and smoky mineral aromas. I can vouch that it goes superbly with yum cha.

Lindemans Bin 95 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($10) – This was a wine that surprised me, and others, on an industry tasting panel recently. It had all the hallmarks of Sauvignon Blanc with a handful of perfumed lavender character thrown in for good measure which set it aside from the competition. It delivers fleshy sweetly ripe fruit right to the middle palate.

Tahbilk 2013 Marsanne ($19) – A remarkably pretty white wine with spicy floral notes to the sun ripened pear and zesty lime held together with some minerality.  In the mouth, the floral notes become distinctly rose-like.  A dry white that is juicy, medium bodied and has plenty of taut length.

McGuigan’s Semillon Bin 9000 2013 ($13) – Not the best semillon that I have tasted this year, BUT the best under $20 it could be.  Scarce on the ground.  So pretty hard to find about now, but if you see it, grab it. Cooked apple and pear with a little residual sugar to smooth out the palate. Finishes with a crunchy apple crescendo.

Devils Corner Riesling 2012 ($18) – pure lemon lime with a light blossom note. This wine is dry, silky and flush with vibrant flavours whilst still retaining a taut acid line to the end. Don’t limit it to fish and chips, it can meet the challenge with Asian spices as well.

Innocent Bystander 2012 Pinot Rosé  ($20)  – A pale dry rosé that is a strawberry and cream classic. Some lees stirring gives a silky polished texture along the fresh long length. With its medium body, this is a great rosé for sharing with friends either with or without food.

Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Grenache ($9) – Juicy, fragrant and ripe. It is sweetly ripe plums and cloves with a savouriness to the palate. This is one of those few red wines that you can chill down for summer and enjoy without it feeling like licking an oak branch. And for the price, why wouldn’t you give it a go?

Rolling Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2012 ($19) – Having just review this wine, I am still feeling pretty impressed with it as a wine to chill down this Summer. It is a concentrated cherry and spice classic, richly dense without oak and kept fresh with a fresh line of acid. This is a more-ishly good candidate for the fridge this summer.

Lark Hill Sangiovese 2012 Dark Horse Vineyard ($25) – There is lots to love about this biodynamic wine. Ripe cherry and spice with more than a touch of lavender that is compelling. The texture is  elegantly medium bodied, silky and generous in intensity.  A good wine to enjoy with dinner.

Have a safe Holiday season!

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