Raise your Glass

2004 Clover Hill Pipers River Tasmania Brut Sparkling

At 49.99, the Cellars (Bangalow, Ballina, Byron), the price and fortunately the wine prevent guzzling. This is an aged chardonnay/pinot noir to sip by the glass over an extended period. It is an extraordinary honey/malt in colour (like looking down a gold tunnel) and on the palate. But very dry. Taltarni is one of Australia’s great sparkling makers, given their much cheaper but terrific pink, and given the north-eastern Tasmanian grapes, they, too, make great sparklings. My Tasmanian friend said get Bay of Fires, but this came close enough.

2009 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

On special for $29.99, the Cellars (Bangalow, Ballina, Byron), this was impossible to pass up. Like my father who discovered the central coast of NSW before everyone else and took us on school holidays to old beach-font bungalows, we can say we knew this wine before its challenging price of $30+. If you’ve forgotten what a sav blanc is supposed to taste like, this is the wine to drink and for which the phrase ‘fruit-driven’ must have been coined: a bowl of fragrant fruit in perfume and on the palate. And the absolutely best label, and name, ever.


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