I’ve always loved Australian wines for several reasons: They’re easy to drink (and open, as they’re advocates favouring screwcaps over traditional corks*), they more often than not have funky names… And whenever I’m in the mood for a soft-flavoured jammy red with enough power to pack a punch or a crisp fresh white with an element of richness to them, this is my go-to region in the wine shop.
This is why when the wonderful people of Wine Depot invited me for wines and barbecue in the house of the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely, I couldn’t pass up the chance.
In Manila, the best place for me to source excellent wines from the land down under has got to be Wine Depot (with several branches, but my favourite is the one along N. Garcia). As they were hosting the event that evening, I knew I was in for a treat.
They featured so many great wines, but here are some of my favourites:
Pikes Clare Valley Riesling
Whenever I think back to the glass of Pikes Clare Valley Riesling I had during the event, I always think of one word: epitome. For me, the wine is the epitome of every textbook expression of what a Clare Valley Riesling should be: A beautifully well-balanced white wine with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity, and floral notes just peeking out from behind a gorgeous veil of citrus. While most Rieslings from this region will have a slight aroma of petrol**, the winemaker considered it a wine fault and has strived to eradicate it from his wines.
Montalto Pinot Noir 2015
During the evening, I asked one of the representatives of Wine Depot to point me to the direction of “the best wine of the night.” Without hesitation, he brought me to the Montalto booth and told me to try the Pinot Noir. He had good reason: I was wowed by the savoury notes of the Montalto Pinot Noir, which was offset by fruit forward characteristics and a long finish, making it a wine with more than enough complexity.
Sanguine Estate Inception Shiraz 2014
The next best thing to the best thing of the evening (I wasn’t able to sample to D’Orsa from the same label, which was ranked as the 8th Best Shiraz in the world), Inception from the Sanguine Estate line did not disappoint. A classic Shiraz with its quintessential spicy notes of black peppers and blackberries and plums, it kept things interesting because of its great structure, length, and tannin. It went brilliantly with the lamb shoulder I had.
There were a ton of wines that we sampled in the event and admittedly this post is just the tip of the iceberg… All of these wines (and more!) are available in Wine Depot stores. Cheers!
Special thanks to Her Excellency Ambassador Amanda Gorely; Ms. Liza Bautista (Senior Business Development Manager of the Australian Embassy); Mr. Brett and Mrs. Hazel Tolhurst, Ms. Grace Miranda, and Mr. Gerald of Wine Depot
*Contrary to certain beliefs, having a wine in a traditional/organic cork isn’t better than a screwcap (or vice versa).
**Petrol in wine speak doesn’t necessarily mean gasoline. We often use the word petrol to describe the smell of freshly opened tennis balls. It’s not always a wine fault.