Cellier de Dauphins 2018 Grenache-Syrah; $ 20.
FROM France’s southern Cotes du Rhone Region, this is a blend of 80% grenache and 20% syrah (aka shiraz). It is ruby red and has 13.5% alcohol, potpourri aromas and ripe black cherry front-palate flavour. The middle plate displays blackberry, licorice, spice and savoury oak and the finish has minty tannins. It’s available at singlevineyards.com and independent bottle shops and would be a good match for veal ragu with potato gnocchi. It will cellar for four years. Cellier de Dauphins is the largest producer of Cotes du Rhone wines and is an amalgam of 13 member co-operatives with 18,000 hectares of vines. The brand name comes from the fact that many of the vineyards are on land once owned by the Dauphin, the son of the French king.
Paul Mas 2019 l’Artisan Le Pinot Noir; $ 20.
July 14 is France’s national day, marking the 232nd anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. Today we have a couple of affordable reds to toast the occasion. This quaffable pinot noir is from fourth-generation winemaker Jean-Claude Mas of southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon Region. Jean-Claude is notable in Australia for his Arrogant Frog wines with a cheeky beret-wearing frog on the label. This red has 13.5% alcohol, brick red hues, scents of violets and juicy raspberry front-palate flavour. Quince paste, peppermint, herb and cedary oak combine on the middle and ferric tannins play at the finish. At Dan Murphy’s stores and danmurphys.com.au and will go well with lamb tagine and couscous. Cellar for three years.
Lloyd (West Coast IPA); Mountain Culture; Katoomba, NSW; 8.2%; $ 17.
Mountain Culture makes and releases beers faster than the error catastrophe rate of an anthropogenic RNA virus. Yet, contrary to the effect of mutating too frequently to maintain the integrity of the information in their genomes, Mountain Culture’s rapid evolution in the Blue Mountains has gone from strength to strength. One of their recent releases is an obvious nod to 90s cult comedy classic Dumb & Dumber, featuring two boneheaded best mates, Harry and Lloyd, crisscrossing across the country to return an abandoned briefcase full of money. Lloyd is a delicious hop forward West Coast IPA variant made from 100% Citra that’s super citrusy with lots of piney, limey, tropical fruit flavours. Big Gulps Only. Mock (yeah) ing (yeah) bird (yeah) ….
100 Souls Distillery Artisan Pink Gin; $ 79.99.
There are not many drinks that quench a summer’s thirst like a gin and tonic. But can gin quench a winter’s thirst? Sure, why not. There seems no stopping Australia’s obsession with gin, and the folk at 100 Souls Distillery in the NSW Southern Highlands have produced a serious small batch of gins to be proud of. The pink gin is smooth enough to enjoy neat on ice, warming the soul on a cold evening. But for me, a gin is not a gin unless served with tonic. Floral aromas – as you’d expect from a pink gin, pair with traditional flavours of cucumber and rosemary. There’s hibiscus and rose petals in there too, and of course juniper berry – all the way from the Himalayas. I’m also tasting aniseed. Available at Dan Murphy stores.