Barry Weinman: 24th December 2020
Now that the warm weather is well and truly set in for the summer, my mind turns to that great Australian tradition called the BBQ.
Whilst sausages and overcooked steak still make an appearance, the BBQ is now being treated as a serious culinary experience by many Australians.
Wood-fired BBQs, marinated roasts, seared seafood and spiced vegetables are just some of the items making an appearance.
And as our culinary experience associated with the BBQ has changed, so too has the beverages we consume as part of the occasion. VB and Emu Export have been swapped to craft beers and deliciously flavoured, high-quality red wines.
A work of caution though. Your BBQ wines need the same care and attention as the steaks and seafoods that you are serving. Heat is your enemy! A hot BBQ and a warm day leads to warm wine.
As a wine warms, the fruit loses its finesse and freshness and the alcohol becomes more prominent.
Consider popping your reds into the fridge for 30 minutes before serving, and returning it to the fridge intermittently throughout the afternoon.
Shingleback – The Gate – Shiraz– 2018. Purple! Dense and inky, with an undercurrent of ripe fruit and liquorice that is balanced and poised. I love the supple, slightly savoury fruit and fine, polished tannins. Gets a little chewy on the close, but never loses the silkiness. Excellent fruit and winemaking. Age-worthy. 94pts – $40.
Salena Estate – ex-PRESS.ion – Shiraz – 2019. Precise and focussed fruit complemented by coffee and mocha notes. The palate is an explosion of deliciously ripe fruit, with the tannins and oak adding texture. Not as structured as the Shingleback but more immediately impactful and moreish. An affordable, well-made user-friendly wine. A BBQ champion from the Barossa. 93pts – $30
Shingleback – The Gate – Cabernet/Shiraz – 2018. Ripe berry and current, with supple oak support. Perfectly ripe fruit on the palate is silky and fine, with the Cabernet adding structure. The finish is long, supple and elegant, with a drying, textural finish that gets a touch chewy. An impressive wine that deserves time in the cellar. 95+pts – $40.
Oates Ends – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. Pretty, fragrant and approachable with hints of violet and cassis. The palate has blueberry and currant notes, with supple, savoury oak adding spice and texture. The balance and length are noteworthy. Not the most powerful wine, and all the better for it. 93pts.
Voyager Estate – The Modern – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. Fragrant, ripe and pretty, with a core of berry fruit. The palate is supple, silky, and textured, with near seamless palate transition. Medium bodied in weight, this is a wonderful drink now but ultimately will benefit from a few years in the cellar. 93pts – $45.
Balnaves – The Tally – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2014. Aromas of berry and menthol stamp this wine as Coonawarra. Depth, texture and power, supported by supple and refined tannins and oak. Closed, tight and ungiving. This wine has a very long future. 95+pts.