WINE WORDS: Best value in Australia

HODDLES Creek Estate in the upper Yarra Valley produces arguably the best value pinot noir and chardonnay in Australia.

Planted by the D'Anna family in 1997, it became the natural extension to their 40-year-old Boccaccio Cellars and Grocery business.

Franco D'Anna (then Boccaccio's wine buyer) undertook viticultural studies and apprenticeships at nearby Coldstream Hills to become Hoddles Creek winemaker, crafting beautiful wines at incredible prices.

Wickhams Rd, Gippsland, Pinot Noir

2015: Sourced from trusted growers in nearby Gippsland rather than the Estate. Aromatic and flavoursome with meaty, savoury, blue fruits and dark cherries, smoke, fresh leather. More lightly framed than its Yarra Valley label sibling. There's pepper, spice and dark cherry juice that sit neatly within a sandy tannin frame.

Rating: 8.5/10

RRP: $18

Alc: 13.1%

1er, Yarra Valley, Pinot Noir

2014: There's a label (the Estate) sitting between the Wickhams and the 1er, but the 1er is worth every cent more. A big step up with deep English rose flower smells, rich cherry and rosewood seriousness. Thick cherry flavour is balanced by a touch of meaty, smoky bacon. 25% whole bunches (using the grapes and stalks) provide a spicy, textural lift.

Rating: 9/10

RRP: $45

Alc: 13.2%

Syberia, Yarra Valley, Chardonnay

2013: Stark packaging - the Hoddles Creek frog logo is the only hint on the front label as to the maker. Complex smells with layers of cashew meal, flinty smoke, stone fruit, hessian and a touch of rockmelon skin. Seemingly endless flavours of peach stonefruit balanced by grapefruit citrus. Oak is used perfectly, while maintaining a linear body to the wine. This is top stuff.

Rating: 9/10

RRP: $60

Alc: 12.7%

Available from XO Cellars and

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