Th e magic PRICE

DRAW­ING THE LINE AT $ 20 DOESN’T MEAN YOU NEED TO COM­PRO­MISE ON QUAL­ITY

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Drink -

Swings & Round­abouts, Tah­bilk Marsanne and Tues­ner Riebke are all great value wines.

Twenty dollars, $ 20, a lob­ster, what­ever you choose to call it. It seems to be the magic price point that we, the con­sumer, ei­ther won’t go over, won’t go near or that we judge a wine by. Does it give great value for money, does it over- de­liver and taste like it should be a $ 30 bot­tle of wine?

It’s the price at which the end user seems to judge a wine by too. Is it worth more than that, does this wine give great bang for buck, and taste like it should be a lot more ex­pen­sive? It seems to be such a yard­stick that James Hal­l­i­day, in his year- end­ing Top 100, breaks the wines into the sub $ 20, and the over $ 20 bracket. That prob­a­bly is also be­cause you have to draw a line some­where, and a lob­ster seems like an ap­pro­pri­ate mark, a sin­gle note.

I men­tion this be­cause I’m of­ten asked what a great sub $ 20 wine is.

Well, that, and if I’d please leave the es­tab­lish­ment I’m in, be qui­eter or to “stop ask­ing for Tooheys Old/ Asahi/ Coop­ers Pale on tap when we’ve told you 10 times al­ready that we don’t have it”!

But back to the wine, I was out on the week­end, and dur­ing the night I was asked two of those ques­tions, sev­eral times, and more of­ten than not it was the sub $ 20 ques­tion.

So this week I thought I would take a quick look at what’s out there in that sub $ 20 mark: MIKE PRESS CABER­NET SAUVI­GNON 2011 // There’s no way that a re­view of blind­ingly good sub $ 20 wines is not go­ing to have at least one of the Press vine­yards wines on it. Ev­ery year I ask my­self the same ques­tion – how does Mike Press do this so cheaply? Amaz­ing value, truly amaz­ing. Needs de­cant­ing or time to breathe as it’s still young but that time will help open this wine up to show a spicy, leafy red with loads of fl avour, sub­tle choco­late and oak. This will cel­lar well too. Avail­able only on­line and about $ 12.50 a bot­tle. LAKE BREEZE BERNOOTA SHI­RAZ CABER­NET 2009 // A mate put me on to this a few years ago now. At about $ 15 for a four- year- old red, it’s great value. Great colour to it in the glass, black­cur­rant and plum, with a lit­tle smok­i­ness about it. Re­ally comes alive on the tongue and very, very drink­able! Great ex­am­ple of the Aussie shi­raz caber­net blend. VASSE FELIX CABER­NET SAUVI­GNON MER­LOT 2011 // Vasse Felix of­ten has fan­tas­tic reds at the above $ 20 price point. Re­ally great wines ac­tu­ally. This one comes in at about $ 18. Great length on the wine with red and black fruits show. Has a re­ally ripe fi nish to it too. TAH­BILK MARSANNE 2012 // There aren’t too many Aus­tralian whites that can match the Tah­bilk Marsanne for value. There’s ev­ery­thing you would ex­pect in this wine – lemon and cit­rus. And it ages re­ally well to show honey and fl ower blos­som. Great wine, and is of­ten in a lot of cel­lars be­cause it will age and change with time. About $ 10. TUES­NER RIEBKE 2012 // If you are look­ing for a sub $ 20 wine that you will be drink­ing in, say an­other 20 years, then look no fur­ther. Their 2010 wine was su­perb, and this fol­lows along seam­lessly. Huge on the nose, dark fruits with oak and earth. Dark and com­plex on the tongue, with ripe tan­nins and a savoury fi nish. This is just a

su­perb wine. About $ 18. SWINGS AND ROUND­ABOUTS CABER­NET MER­LOT 2010 // Straight out of the mid­dle of the Mar­garet River dis­trict. Quite fra­grant with tomato leaf, black­cur­rant and plum. On the tongue it’s got all that com­ing through, great va­ri­etal ex­am­ple, with fi ne fi nish. Will benefi t from a few years in a dark, lonely spot too. About $ 15.

On a side note, I’ve never been thrown out of a pub, I made that bit up... peo­ple’s houses yes, but not a pub.

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