Well, last night was a lot of fun!

Not often do you get someone flying 14,000 miles to spend an evening drinking, but that was basically what Sarah from De Bortoli did. But then again – she’s not just anyone – Sarah’s stamping ground is the Yarra Valley and she happens to be De Bortoli’s winemaker for the region – hence, her invitation to our little soiree.

 Here’s the best of the bunch:

 2015 Estate Chardonnay £22.99 a bottle or £7/glass 6 for £110

Big, crunchy Aussie Chardonnay. This isn’t quite typical of what one expects from Aussie Chardonnay, being a much racier and cleaner drink than I was expecting. No new oak – all second, third and fourth year barrels, yet a warmth at the backnote which keeps this from being a stark mineraline rock. Instead, a bit of crunchy nut, caramel – honeycomb – yep, that’s it – honeycomb. Great aperitif wine – also good for keeping the cold out.

 2013 Section A8 Syrah £31.99 a bottle or £8/glass 6 for £145

Smooth, immaculate Syrah – definitely Syrah, not Shiraz. This has a fine-grained intensity which really showed why it’s one of their highest-level wines, with bags of slightly glowering dark fruit kept in control by some fine-grained tannins and acidity. It’s a wine which manages to be both approachable and let you know who it reckons is the boss (and to be clear, that isn’t you)

 2016 La Bohéme Syrah-Gamay £17.99 a bottle or £6/glass 6 for £85

Liquid playfulness in an opera-inspired label (Why that opera? Read the back of the bottle!) Spicy nose of red fruits with a body obvious for its rounded richness and the endless gamayish fruit. More blueberries on show than on an American pancake, with more spice chucked in for good measure. This rocks – definitely the star of the evening!

NV Particella 68 Prosecco, Sorrelle Bronca £19.99 a bottle or £6.50/glass

Probably my favourite prosecco – possibly why I had it at my wedding. Big, bold and magnificent, unafraid to scream at the skies that full flavours are magnificent – especially when it’s perfumed and as clean on the palette as this. Rich and creamy, this throws the competition into a biscuit tin!