Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay 2013
This wine has been America's top selling chardonnay for 23 years. It's damn tasty - if you can look past the old fashioned label design long enough to actually pull the cork. You'll be well and truly wowed by the deliciously rich, toasty pineapple and roast peach piquancy. This classic Californian chardonnay from Santa Rosa is sewn together with spicy, caramelised characters, fresh tropical fruit and an creamy, buttery note to accentuate the finish.
No. 1 Family Estate Assemblé NV
This is the first wine released with the new "Methode Marlborough" moniker, and it's appropriate that it comes from New Zealand's fore-runners of fine fizz, Daniel and Adele Le Brun. It's a 60:40 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay. There's a soft, almost cashew-like character in the mid-palate in this new release and it's seamlessly elegant. I'd say it outstrips many French offerings that are triple the price.
The Willows Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2010
Deeply meaty on the nose and palate, this is definitely more on the savoury side for shiraz and way less jammy than most. In fact, there's a distinct roasting pan, gravy-like richness to this wine that oozes personality and depth. It also has good, solid acidity to keep it buoyant in the mouth and a layer of dried herb and pepper adds real complexity.