20 October 2018
Thanks for coming along this tasting! If you liked any of the wines or wanted to purchase any as a gift for the next few months, you can view each wine at Dan Murphy’s via the links below.
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The wines below are mostly $25 and above because our tasting was about trying some really special wines with distinctive characteristics. However if you prefer wines that are still great value but not as expensive, have a look at my recommendations for the $15-$25 price range.
Why Dan Murphy’s?
They have a commission program which means this website and Sightsavers can be supported financially
They have an extensive range and distribution network which means they are rarely out of stock of the specific wines recommended
They are one of the cheapest of the major online retailers
They deliver any number of bottles to you door, not just a minimum of 6 or 12
If you prefer to purchase from other wine retailers, please do. You can still use the recommendations on this site to guide your purchases.
You can also download a free guide to choosing wine at the bottom of this page.
Bracket 1: Sparkling Wine
This bracket was all about the difference between vintage and non-vintage sparkling wine.
Bracket 2: Sauvignon Blanc
This bracket was initially about the effect of decanting - it made the wine more aromatic but the taste was less appealing (because Sauvignon Blanc is not made to be decanted).
Then we compared the ‘benchmark’ examples of Sauvignon Blanc from Australia and New Zealand.
Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Adelaide Hills
A mix of passionfruit and grassy, herbal characters.
Bracket 3: Chardonnay
This bracket was all about comparing trendier, ‘sparse’ and ‘lean’, citrusy Chardonnay against big-flavoured ‘old school’ Chardonnay.
Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills
Trendier - Less aromatic, leaner but still great length and structure, more subtlety, detail and complexity.
Brian Croser BC Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills
Old School - More oak character, bigger flavour, more aromatic
Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($29 - they currently have a deal for $20 for member card holders)
Bracket 4: Merlot Vs Cabernet Sauvignon
This bracket highlighted the different attributes that Merlot and Cabernet bring to a classic Cab-Merlot blend (‘Bordeaux blend’)
Katnook Estate Merlot 2015, Coonawarra
Aromatic, (blackberry) not very ‘long’ in terms of persistence of flavour. Not too much tannin. Some bitterness in the tannins at the end.
Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Coonawarra
More ‘lifted’ or aromatic, (chocolate, mint, capsicum, blueberry, burnt toffee). Smoother, more persistent flavour, more tannin. A little ‘angular’.
Bracket 5: The Effect of Age on Cabernet
Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Coonawarra
We finished with my favourite wine of the night which was identical to the Cabernet above, except that it was five years older.
It was smoother, more integrated, had great structure and length of flavour, plus ‘secondary’ characters (a little ‘leathery’!) which added to the ‘primary’ fruit characters.
Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($48 normally or $35 for Dan Murphy’s Members)