I recently tasted my way through a couple of hundred samples from Dan Murphy’s, mostly imported reds and whites, and I was amazed at the quality of many of their exclusive cheapies.
These wines focused on the under-$50 area; most were under $20. The value-for-money was impressive, and must be seriously scary for Australian winemakers trying to compete in those price categories. When you add in what Coles and Aldi are bringing in, you start to see the intensity of competition the bigger Australian companies are experiencing for the consumer’s dollar.
The origin of most wines was France, Italy and Spain, but also Chile, Germany and the US. For a sample, just try (in reds) the Zonin (tastings) and Illuminati (tastings) ranges from Italy, Montes Alpha (tastings) from Chile, the Borsao (tastings) wines from Spain, the Chapoutier (tastings) range from the Rhone Valley, even the ultra-cheapie J.P. Chenet (tastings) French varietals provide good quality for just a few bucks. And Christian Moueix’s $15 Bordeaux merlot (tasting) must be tasted to be believed.
In whites, Borsao and Riscal (tastings) from Spain, the cheaper Louis Latour white Burgundies from Saint Veran (tasting) and Macon (tasting), the amazing Simonnet-Febvre Chablis range (tastings), Pierre Brevin (tastings) from the Loire Valley, and the Arrogant Frog (tastings) line-up and its associated Jean-Paul Mas (tastings) southern French wines. The perennial Dopff au Moulin Alsace whites (tastings) and Schloss Vollrads (tastings) lower-priced German whites also stand out. I commend them all to you.