Bunkers is a new name to me but both the chardonnay and The Box tempranillo from this Margaret River winery offer excellent value for money - and are made by the reliable Brian Fletcher. Named after one of the region's famous surf breaks, the wine is fruit-driven with melon and fig aromas and rich stone-fruit flavours on the dry palate. There's oak in evidence, but it is largely in the background with the brightness and freshness of the fruit definitely dominant. Not too complex, not too rounded, this is a really lovely drink that's seriously good at its price point. $18.
I'm a huge fan of Tasmanian pinots noir - and the first 09s from the Tamar Valley, which are just starting to creep into the marketplace, seem to tick all the right boxes. For a start, this is genuinely varietal when so many of its mainland counterparts are generic dry reds. That said, it's quite a big wine, richly textured with dark red berry flavours alongside Asian spices, soft tannins, French oak in balance and delightful savoury characters. It's young and assertive and very appealing. $34.
My first reaction when I tried this wine was "it tastes expensive". I was wrong about that, as it happens, but all the more impressed. This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, mataro and shiraz made for Whistler Wines by the very talented Troy Kalleske. It's medium bodied with characteristic Barossa aromas of dark berries and mint. Luscious sweet fruit, think black plums, dominates the palate which has intensity and soft tannins. A versatile food wine and extremely good value for around $18.
White wines do not come any crisper, fresher and more enticing than this - which was released before many other wineries had even completed their 2010 harvest. Put aside prejudices again sauvignon blanc for a moment and judge this wine on its merits. Made from Adelaide Hills fruit (arguably Australia's best region for sauvignon blanc) it has vibrant citrus and tropical fruit characters and delightfully zingy acidity. It's a million miles away in style from its herbaceous Kiwi counterparts. I can't remember the last time I guzzled an entire bottle of sauvignon, but this one just disappeared. Team it with grilled sardines or pan-fried flathead fillets. $22.
Tim Kirk is much better known for his reds than his rieslings - and this has been out in the marketplace for several months, but it is so enticing that I feel the need to wax lyrical before it has completely sold out. This has floral/herbal aromas with delightful freshness and purity on the palate, which is zingy and zesty with citrus and stone fruit flavours to the fore. Brilliant. $26.