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Rich pickings at Handpicked Wines

Handpicked Wines is an original and exciting new wine company which accepts few limits in its quest to produce great wine. Handpicked is a Sydney-based business which started life as a ‘virtual winery’, enlisting winemakers such as Rolf Binder in the Barossa, Peter Douglas in Coonawarra and Dominique Portet in the Yarra Valley to make special parcels of regional varietal wines. It quickly spread its tentacles overseas, sourcing moscato from Piedmont, carmenere from Chile, pinot noir from Central Otago, a red from Spain’s Calatayud region, and more.

A very special wine dinner

At the beginning of the recent Chardonnaypinotnoir2015 that I wrote about two weeks ago, hosted in the Yarra Valley by Toolangi and Coldstream Hills, a very special dinner was given for the members of the ‘expert panel’. The hosts were Toolangi owners Garry and Julie Hounsell, and Garry dipped into his private cellar for some astonishing bottles, mostly – no surprise here – red and white Burgundies. The dinner was held at the Healesville Hotel in a cosy private room and the food did the wines proud.

Bargain of the week

Wyndham Estate 2013 Bin 555 Shiraz $13.29 Soft, rich Shiraz with savoury, chocolate, mocha and earth/forest floor character together with plum and berry. Reasonably light, smooth-textured wine that many wine enthusiasts take for granted as “too commercial” and yet it doesn’t have annoying sweetness, it

Under $20

Capital Wines The Whip Riesling, Canberra District 2014 $19 This is a delicate, light-bodied, fine riesling in typically lean, restrained cool-climate style. Dried flowers, citrus fruits and a trace of malt. The finish is clean, dry and refreshing. It’s a little plain now but will

Great red at a bargain price

Yalumba 2010 Paradox Shiraz, Northern Barossa $29.95 This wine carries the “distinguished site” tag indicating that it has been designated by Yalumba as a superior and special vineyard site. Rich, dense Shiraz with an “old vine” feel to its almost chewy texture and concentrated savoury

$20-$35

Domaine Naturaliste Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River 2013 $29 This wild-yeast barrel-fermented wine is a more complex rendition of the classic regional blend. The pungent bouquet shows overt oak and herbal fruit, including cedary, snow pea-like regional overtones. It has more palate weight and