Raise Your Glass
2005 Lindemans Reserve Hunter Valley Verdelho
Like the traditional vampire victim, verdelhos are supposedly to be drunk young. I took the bottle at the very bottom of the rack, on Eric Rolls’ recommendation. Like the traditional vampire, wine is best when not contaminated by light. “Always burrow down to get the most hidden bottle,” Rolls wrote. Too much wine is exposed to too much light in Australian bottleshops, he complained. This is a serious and mature, stately and sophisticated wine: wisdom fills your mouth. It has a subtle palate: smooth and marshmallowy, resonating with brandied apricots. BYO, formerly Cellarbrations, Lismore. About $14.99.
2008 Billy Goat Hill Cabernet Merlot
Mary Gillhooley’s carries the Billy Goat Hill brand. The colour-coded labels are blue and lime for reds, and orange and lime for whites. In south-west WA, Harvey River Ridge Estate winery has a Mediterranean climate, Darling Range altitude and Indian Ocean prospect. Dark maroon or plum-red in colour, it’s reminiscent of trade-route spice: berries mixed with curry, cinnamon, aniseed and paprika, but butterscotchy and plumish in the mouth. But all of these flavours are balanced in their mix and now local in origin, forming a shared wealth across national boundaries. $15.99.