There’s been plenty of hype around the place recently for the wines from Sidewood in the Adelaide Hills. Understandably so. The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc received a 95 point score from James Halliday - an incredible score for a wine that retails around the $20 mark. For lovers of the Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc style, this is as crisp, pristine and restrained as you could hope for. So too, the thirst for cool climate, lower alcohol, elegant reds is extending towards varieties like Shiraz, from regions such as the Adelaide Hills.
So here we are. In 2004, vigneron husband and wife team Owen and Cassandra Inglis purchased the vineyards and have been working towards producing wholly estate grown, cool climate wines - it seems their reputation has caught up with their vision. Their impact on the national wine scene was further accelerated when they employed Adelaide Hills superstar Darryl Catlin - former senior winemaker for the inimitable Shaw & Smith.
Between an enviable position nestled high up in the Adelaide Hills (380m above sea level), years of viticulture experience between Owen and Cassandra, an experienced winemaking team and a solid reputation, Sidewood wines are consistently going from strength to strength.
To the wines:
2016 Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills
“Fermented wholly in stainless steel to preserve maximum freshness and fruit intensity, this concentrated yet fine example of Adelaide Hills savvy is an undisputed bargain. With characters of citrus blossom, snow pea and fleshy citrus fruit, there is a lovely textural complexity (thanks to the 4 months on lees in tank) to bolster the energetic fruit on the palate. Lingering flavours through the length and finish - a superstar, a no-brainer. 93 points, and $20.”
2014 Sidewood Shiraz, Adelaide Hills
“This is an exciting, fresh and juicy example of cool climate Shiraz. The already aromatic characters of the shiraz grape are accentuated by a whole berry component in the ferment - essentially contributing partial carbonic maceration to the mix. This exaggerates the flavours of ripe raspberry, blood plum and black currant. Finished off in French barriques, it is rich yet elegant, structured yet fine - absolutely everything you could want from a shiraz. Just lovely. 94 points, $26”.
We all love great wine, sure we do. But everyone needs a weekday wine. A Monday night wine. A ‘cooking’ wine – some of it might even end up in the food. So here is a list of our top 10 wines below $20 to fill the weekday nights without emptying the piggybank.
Houghton Stripe Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016
$9.99 – These guys get a lot of press – but they’re worth it. You want a reliable, fresh and crisp SSB – this is it. Change from a twenty… or two bottles – depending on how hard your day was. 90pts
Howard Park Flint Rock Chardonnay 2016
$19.99 – About 5 years ago Howard Park introduced the regionals range – same Howard Park quality that we know and love, at a fraction of the price. Usually $25, but at LB stores for $20 91 pts
Vasse Felix Classic Dry White 2016
$16.99 – Sem Sav Blanc. Vasse needs no introduction - a high-class outfit producing great wines consistently, year in, year out. This is a cracker. 91 pts
Deep Woods Estate Chardonnay 2016
$17 – this is Margaret River’s best value, under $20 Chardonnay. Great every year. Over delivers complexity, flavour and length. Love it. 93 pts
Bellewinter Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River 2016
$11.99 – bright, citrus fruit, grassy herbal notes and plenty of ripe tropical fruit. 89 pts
Willow Bridge Dragonfly Cabernet Merlot 2015
$14.99 – Reds from the Geographe might seem exotic – but they shouldn’t. A great region producing exciting wines, this being silky, spicy, plush and satisfying. 93 pts
Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz 2014
$19.99 - Margs Shiraz is an underrated style. Juicy and bright, full of life, spice and joy. A great estate. 91 pts
Stoneberry Premium Red, WA 2015
$8.99 – Change from a ten. Simple, juicy, bright – not complicated, just delicious. Exclusive to LB stores. 90 pts
Amelia Park Trellis Cabernet Merlot 2015
$14.99 – We reckon this is the best Cab Merlot from Margs at this price. Amelia Park are kicking countless goals right now. Don’t miss out on the fun. 93 pts
Houghton Stripe Red Classic 2014
$9.99 - The pigeon pair to the SSB. A blend of three varieties, cabernet dominant. Consistent like the sunrise. 90 pts
Deep Woods Estate Ebony Cabernet Shiraz 2015
$12.99 – Silky, juicy, plump and difficult not to finish the bottle. Love the sweet fruit VS the savoury spice. Great every year. 92 pts