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WINE NOTES: A fairly priced 'ruby-red charmer'

Here's Robert Moyes' wine picks for July
Monday Magazine wine columnist Robert Moyes.

Chile’s Carmen Winery has produced another winner with its 2021 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon. This single-vineyard bottling has an attractive earthiness and minerality that underpins its generous flavours of cassis, cherry, blackberry, and plum. Aromatic, nearly full-bodied, and offering a round mouthfeel, this ruby-red charmer was aged in oak barrels for extra character. This will complement anything from beef stew to merguez sausages, or add some class to pizza night. It’s fairly priced at $23.

There aren’t many Sicilian wines for sale locally, but Barone Montalto is an excellent ambassador, having been making tasty, good-value wines for a quarter-century. Best known for its always-excellent blend of Nero D’Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon, their Pinot Grigio is similarly attractive. Appealingly aromatic, on the palate it offers vivid flavours reminiscent of orchard fruits such as pear, green apple, and peach. And with enough acid to add balance and some sparkle, this is a food-friendly and impressively thirst-quenching mouthful. At $15, it deserves to be on your patio this summer.

Studiedly unpretentious – their tagline is “Don’t overthink it” – Napa-based Bread & Butter believes that good wines don’t need to be complicated. Their Pinot Noir looks pale and thin in the glass but then surprises you with its ripe flavours, buttery mouthfeel, and complexity. Offering notes of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry, as well as a lick of oak and spice, this is a sophisticated crowd pleaser of a wine and it represents solid value at $28. B&B can handle spicy food, and goes well with poultry as well as fish. Yum!

For three generations the Wakefield family has produced wine in South Australia’s Clare Valley, and the Wakefield Estate Label Chardonnay ($23) is a fine example of their commitment to affordable excellence. Fresh, fruit-forward, and quite dry, this medium-bodied Chardonnay has attractive aromatics of peach and nectarine that are repeated on the palate, alongside hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Well-balanced and soft in the mouth, this is an elegant, lightly-oaked award winner that would make a fine dinner companion. (All prices include tax.