1.24.2023 In her roundup of “The Best Australian Wines to Drink Right Now”, Wine Enthusiast editor Christina Pickard shines a spotlight on Cullen Wines’ Wilyabrup Cabernet-Merlot, a thrilling and affordable biodynamic gem, and Chambers’ Rutherglen Muscat, a gorgeous sweet wine in a classic style, named in a WE “Top 100” list recently. Both wines are imported by Old Bridge Cellars.
Best Bang for Your Buck: Chambers Rosewood Vineyards NV Muscat (Rutherglen)
93 Points Wine Enthusiast >>> More Chambers wines from Old Bridge Cellars
Chambers is a benchmark producer of the Rutherglen style and this late-picked Muscat offers a burnt-orange-sunset hue in the glass, with a green rim. Evoking enticing aromas of orange marmalade, honey, medjool dates and almond blossom, the palate continues along similar lines. Unctuous and intensely sweet, there’s just enough acidity keep this from syrup territory. It would benefit enormously from a creamy, salty cheese pairing. #8 Enthusiast 100 2021 —C.P.
Best Bordeaux Blend from a Biodynamic Rockstar: Cullen 2019 Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (Margaret River)
96 Points Wine Enthusiast >>> More Cullen Wines from Old Bridge Cellars
The wines from this iconic, biodynamic estate always sing of their place. 2019 was a cooler-than-average vintage but one that’s winning over this reviewer for the wines’ aromatics and elegance. Layered and highly characterful, the nose is floral, like West Aussie wildflowers, and a bit meaty, like the pan scrapings from a roast. The fruit comes in compote form, like freshly canned rhubarb, plum and currant. There’s an earthy, savory spine like beet juice, olive brine and cedar shavings. A cool eucalyptus edge adds to the vintage charm. Chiseled, sappy tannins are powerful but leave ample room for flavor. Exceptional quality at an attainable price, this drinks well now with decanter and protein at hand, or could cellar beautifully for a decade at least. Editor’s Choice —C.P.