By Fergal Gleeson
There’s more bang for your buck this week with five wine recommendations of bottles for less than $25. Slainte!
Cullen Wines Dancing in the Moonlight Rosé 2017
Vanya Cullen’s Rosé doesn’t play from the Provence playbook but dances to it’s own drum. There is an intensity of fruit to this blend of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet and Petit Verdot from the Cullen and Mangan vineyards not seen in some contemporary Rosés which are merely dry. More copper than pink in colour it has the red fruit richness of the first two varieties and the savoury finish courtesy of the latter two. The title is a playful reference to biodynamic winemaking and to wine inspired revelry. Thoroughly delicious, it has a David Copperfield like ability to disappear.
RRP $25 http://www.cullenwines.com.au
Rosily Estate Merlot 2014
No discussion of value wines in Margaret River would be complete without Rosily wines. Rosily’s wines are made with hand harvested, certified organic, estate grown fruit. When you consider that all their range, except their two reserve wines, are priced from $20-27 you’ll understand what I mean. But enough about price, this is a smooth and savoury Merlot that is medium weight and refreshing. The tannins provide a satin texture. I wish more Australian Merlot was this good. 2015 now available.
RRP $20 http://www.rosily.com.au
Fraser Gallop Cabernet Merlot 2016
The classic Margaret River red blend from a winery that is consistently excellent. This is a fresh and vibrant wine with blackcurrant and plum to the fore. My wife sometimes hides behind the couch when I pull out a Cabernet. She fears the tannins! Here they are light in a wine that showcases the fruit. Great value and very interesting to try alongside the Fraser Gallop Parterre Cabernet, it’s more structured, Bordeaux like big brother.
Deep Woods Shiraz et al 2016
Margaret River Shiraz is no lightweight. This has plenty of power and focus with dark fruit flavours and tannins. The et al refers to small amounts of Malbec and Grenache. Deep Woods Shiraz et al is a consistent medal winner vintage after vintage and it’s easy to see why. The 2016 was awarded a Gold at the Wine Show of Western Australia 2017. It has lots of depth and intensity, characteristics you associate with more expensive wines.
Cellar Door $20 www.deepwoods.wine
Watershed Senses Zinfandel 2013
Zinfandel is a hero grape in California but a rarity in Australia. It’s a muscular grape and the Watershed Zin has plummy, Christmas pudding flavours without any jammy notes. Watershed’s Zinfandel is now five years old and is showing some of those savoury bottle aged characteristics. Well worth exploring for fans of full flavoured, gutsy reds looking for some adventure.
RRP $25 www.watershedwines.com.au
This feature originally appeared in the autumn issue of Your Margaret River Region Magazine