South Australia's picturesque Clare Valley region has a long history of quality wine production, and its time-honoured classic styles compare with wines from many more trendy districts. Whites, riesling and semillon are the headliners, and in red wine, Clare's hearty shiraz and cabernet sauvignon types rarely disappoint. For value, the region is well worth seeking out too, as many wines of admirable regional and varietal identity are available without breaking the bank.
Tim Gramp Clare Valley Watervale Riesling 2019, $20-$22
Clare-Watervale rieslings are Australian classics. This well-priced green-tinged drop smells of sour citrus fruits, floral scents and steel. Intense, dry and vibrant to taste, it finishes tangy and persistent. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over six years.
Stockists include: Cloudwine Cellars, South Melbourne, Vic; Tom's Cellars, West Pymble and North Turramurra, NSW
Mount Horrocks Clare Valley Semillon 2018, $33-$35
Quality Clare semillon with a touch of oak. Appealing aromas of lemon, apple, and herbs such as thyme. Barrel input is subtle, and more for texture and richness. Intense flavours are backed by fine, integrated acidity guiding a lip-smacking finish. Screw cap; 12.7 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over four years.
Stockists include: Mount Horrocks, mounthorrocks.com
Tim Adams Cabernet Malbec 2016, $24-$26
The cabernet sauvignon-malbec blend is a Clare tradition. This deep, dark wine offers regional mint, black fruit and balanced oak through nose and palate. It's deep, rich and full, with big layered tannins reinforcing its power and potential; Screw cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol .
Ageing? Drink over 15 years.
Stockists include: McCoppins, Fitzroy, Vic; Kent Street Cellars, Sydney, NSW