Posted: 23 Oct 2013

Wine guru Matt Skinner picks his top 5 Victorian wines

Sommelier, author and all-round good bloke Matt Skinner is famous around the world for making wine more accessible. A close friend of super chef Jamie Oliver, Matt has spent many years shaking up the stodgy UK wine establishment, but Matt lives in Melbourne with his young family and tastes wine for a living.

So it was only natural to see his name pop up as a player at the Spring Racing Carnival, where Birdcage tenants jostle for top position as the most hospitable marquee. Matt will be in charge of choosing the vino at the Lavazza Marquee, renowned as party central during Melbourne Cup Week.

For a taste of Matt’s favourites, here are his top 5 Victorian wines…

1. CRAWFORD RIVER YOUNG VINES RIESLING 2012

Henty, $27

Year on year, Crawford River’s epic Riesling offerings remain remarkably consistent, ranking among Australia’s finest. The latest installment of the Young Vines Riesling is floral, citrus charged, delicate and pure.

2. OAKRIDGE ‘THE PARISH’ CHARDONNAY 2012

Yarra Valley, $30

David Bicknell and his team continue to set the pace for modern, finely-tuned examples of chardonnay. With a less-is-more approach to production, expect layer on layer of pure stone and citrus fruit and beautifully knit oak.

3. MAC FORBES WOORI YALLOCK PINOT NOIR 2012

Yarra Valley, $75

Mac Forbes latest site-specific Yarra Valley offerings are easily his finest wines to date. Woori Yallock is the jewel in the Forbes crown boasting terrific intensity of dark and fleshy pinot fruit, fine bones and plenty of style.

4. BESTS BIN 1 SHIRAZ 2012

Great Western, $25

Following in the footsteps of the uber-successful 2011 vintage, the latest installment of Bin 1 Shiraz is right up to par. Richer and denser than last year’s offering, Bin 1 2012 – with its trademark black fruit and spice rack spices – remains one of Australian wine’s great bargains.

5. CAMPBELLS MERCHANT PRINCE RARE RUTHERGLEN MUSCAT NV

Rutherglen, $130 for 375ml

The best of Rutherglen’s “rare” fortified wines are spellbinding, with Campbells sitting among the regions finest producers. Like liquid Christmas pudding in a glass, expect smells of dried fruit, citrus peel, star anise, clove and treacle, while in your mouth it’s unctuous, intense, impeccably balanced and long.

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