AUSTRALIA has between 2500 and 3000 wine producers who release 12,000-15,000 wines each year.
Within this group there are a tiny group of half a dozen or so red and white wine brands that consistently craft outstanding wines that can sell at below, and sometimes well below, $10 a bottle.
The Houghton Stripe Range is one of those.
Houghton Stripe Range Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2011
This label has consistently been the best value for money of the semillon-sauvignon blanc blend on the market.
The 2011 release appears to have a small change stylistically in that it is leaner, dryer and less overtly fruity and pungent then some of its predecessors.
This vintage is quite crisp now and it will be wonderful drinking… with food… through until Christmas 2013. Fish and salads are the match here.
17.8 points RRP is above $13, though this is fairly widely available under $10.
Houghton White Classic 2011
The 2011 vintage is the 74th consecutive release and the winery wonders if this is a record.
As with Penfolds and Shiraz, Houghton have perfected the formula for this style.
The 2011 release is more subtle than many under this label but it is full, round, dry and balanced and it has excellent depth of quality fruit.
It has some freshness but is more placid and long than lively.
This White Classic has a serious, dry, lingering finish and given this, and the fruit quality and wine making involved, it will defy anyone with a degree of wine knowledge to select this in a masked tasting as a wine that often sells on special for under $8. This really is one of Australia’s great wine bargains.
18 points RRP is above $13 and is fairly widely available at under $10.