Bargains from the Tasting Bench

Bargains from the Tasting Bench

Barry Weinman: 11th April 2020

Like many other wineries in Australia, the land on which 3drops vineyards sit started life as a farm in Mt Barker. In the late 1990’s the Bradbury family diversified into olives and wine.

In 2007, the family bought the nearby Patterson’s vineyard, giving them access to mature Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Chardonnay. The old Patterson’s Pinots were memorable for their approachability and quality, so the vineyard is capable of producing quality fruit.

But the x-factor here is winemaker Rob Diletti from Castle Rock Estate, who seems to have the golden touch when it comes to producing high-quality wines. Rob makes wines for a number of Great Southern producers and his Rieslings and Pinots in particular can be exceptional.

The 2019 3drops Pinot Noir is a rare combination of quality, enjoyability and affordability and worth looking out for.

Mr Barval’s winemaker Rob Gherardi has taken an altogether different, but also common approach to establishing a winery. Buy the best available fruit possible from the best (sub) regions and apply a minimalistic approach in the winery.

Whilst the Cabernet/Merlot and Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon are impressive, the entry level Vino Rosso is the standout for me. The fruit is excellent, but it is the way that this has been handled that is important here. This is just so approachable and delicious, and great value too.

And then there is the Tudor Shiraz from Aldi. You could have knocked the panel over with a feather when the bag came off this beauty!


3drops – Pinot Noir – 2019. I fell in love with this the moment I tasted it. The nose is richly aromatic whilst the palate is silky and supple, with decent power and, more importantly, intensity. This is a great example of new world Pinot and will build with medium term bottle age. 94pts – $32.

Mr Barval – Vino Rosso – 2019 . A blend of mature Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec aged in older oak, this is all about enjoyment. It starts with fine, elegant fruit that is precise and supple, but the highlight is the finish that has a silky texture and near-seamless palate transition. 94pts – $29

Tudor – Shiraz – 2018. More restrained, with a core of dark plum fruit coated in layers of chocolate and coffee. The ripe fruit has decent power and is remarkably balanced. The tannins and acid are firm but really polished. A great food wine, capable of short-term aging. Unbelievable value. 92-93pts – $13 from Aldi.