Lifestyle

Wines 'R' Us


R Wines produces some of the best Australian wines you will ever taste—at a fraction of what you might expect to pay for them

Jay Miller, my colleague who covers Australia, profiled the following wines from Dan Phillips and Chris Ringland, the owner and winemaker, respectively, of R Wines in south Australia. Phillips is also the innovative and highly respected importer behind The Grateful Palate. Together, they present a fascinating concept that would require many more words to adequately capture, so here is just a sample of some of their very best wines at incredible price points.

88 points

2007 Bon-Bon Rosé

The 2007 Bon-Bon Rosé is made from 100% shiraz. Medium-pink, it exhibits fragrant aromas of strawberry and rhubarb. Barely off-dry and crisp, there is ample ripe fruit and a long, refreshing finish. Drink this excellent value over the next 12-18 months with a pulled pork sandwich or other picnic cuisine. $10

89 points

2005 r Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2005 r Cabernet Sauvignon spent 12 months in seasoned French oak. It is purple with an expressive perfume of cedar, smoke, tar, and black currants. Ripe and layered on the palate, it has a medium- to full-bodied, fruit-driven personality with plenty of spicy black fruits, excellent concentration and depth, and a lengthy finish. Drink it over the next six to eight years. It is a superb value. $15

89 points

2006 Marquis Philips Holly's Blend

The 2006 Holly's Blend is 90% verdelho and 10% chardonnay, 30% of which was fermented in French oak, the balance in tank. Medium straw-colored, it exhibits a fragrant bouquet of citrus, melon, lemon-lime, and a hint of tropical fruits in the background. Supple-textured and easygoing, the wine has plenty of ripe flavors balanced by crisp acidity. Drink it over the next 12-18 months. $10

90 points

2006 Bitch Grenache

Bitch Grenache is sourced from 40- to 60-year-old vines from the Ebenezer subregion of the Barossa Valley. With the price of Côtes du Rhône soaring due to the weak dollar, I am hard-pressed to think of a better value in full-flavored grenache. The 2006 Bitch Grenache received no oak treatment. Medium ruby-colored, it presents an alluring bouquet of earth, smoke, rhubarb, cherry, and strawberry. Supple, sweet, and tasty, this wine totally overdelivers for its humble price and is an exceptional value. $10

90 points

2006 Evil Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2006 Evil Cabernet Sauvignon saw 25% of the wine aged in French oak. It reveals a fragrant bouquet of cedar and black currants. Fruit-driven, full-bodied, with tons of flavor, this cabernet is an exceptional value. It will provide pleasure over the next six to eight years. $10

90 points

2005 Pure Evil Chardonnay

The 2005 Pure Evil Chardonnay spent some time in French oak. It is light gold-colored with an attractive perfume of butterscotch, spice box, baked apple, and poached pear, more like the nose of a wine three times the price. Medium-bodied, it delivers intense, ripe, spicy flavors buttressed by good acidity and a long finish. This is an awesome value in chardonnay. $10

90 points

2007 Roogle Riesling

The 2007 Roogle Riesling is light straw-colored with a lovely perfume of mineral, spring flowers, and honeysuckle with a hint of tropical fruits in the background. Just off-dry (10 grams residual sugar), round, and intensely flavored, this is very sexy riesling at a great price. Could this be the most seductive wine of the year? $10

91 points

2006 Strong Arms Shiraz

The 2006 Strong Arms Shiraz is composed of 46% McLaren Vale, 44% Riverland, and 10% Barossa Valley fruit. It was aged in seasoned French and American oak for 12 months. Opaque purple-colored, it has a nose of cedar, spice box, and blueberry. Fruit-driven, supple-textured, rich, and easygoing, the wine has remarkable class for its giveaway price. It actually has two to three years of aging potential, but no one I know is going to defer gratification. $10

92 points

2006 Marquis Philips Shiraz

The 2006 Marquis Philips Shiraz was barrel-fermented and aged in predominantly American oak for 12 months. It offers up fragrant aromas of cedar, smoke, tar, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Full-bodied, opulent, and structured, this intense, well-balanced shiraz will evolve for two to three years and drink well through 2016. It is an excellent value. $15

Robert M. Parker Jr. is arguably the most influential wine critic in the world today. The former lawyer, who turned to writing full time about wine in 1982, devised a 100-point rating system to score wines of different vintages. This simple yet ingenious method—today much copied—not only earned Parker fame and fortune but also demystified the traditionally opaque world of fine wine for everyday buyers. He started his wine newsletter The Wine Advocate in 1978 and today it has more than 40,000 subscribers in nearly 40 countries. His first book, Bordeaux, was published in 1985. He has since published 10 books, including Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide and The Wines of the Rhône Valley and Provence, most of which have been updated several times. Initially, Parker's impact was primarily felt in Bordeaux but now he has expanded his range to include wines from all over the world, especially the U.S., Australia, Spain, as well as other regions of France. His column appears every week in BusinessWeek and on BusinessWeek.com.

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