Grant Burge Barossa Valley ‘Hilcott’ Merlot 1999, about $18
Most of Australia’s merlot vines are very, very young. And many of the wines being made from it are very, very oaky and very, very light on definitive merlot flavour. This one is made from mature vines on Grant Burge’s ‘Hilcott’ vineyard. It’s beefed up with a compatible splash of cabernet (ten per cent). And it’s very, very good. It’s quite rich, without being heavy. It has good, plummy merlot aroma and flavour, nicely integrated with unobtrusive oak, a delightfully fleshy, plush mid palate and just enough ripe tannins to give true red-wine purchase in the finish.
Redbank ‘Sunday Morning’ King Valley Pinot Gris 2000, about $20
The French call it ‘pinot gris’, the Italians ‘pinot grigio’. Australian winemakers use either, loosely applying ‘pinot gris’ to the slightly more viscous, approximately Alsacian styles; and pinot grigio to the steely, austere Italianate versions. In this delicious drop from the Cavedon family’s King Valley vineyard, winemaker Neill Robb uses the French name for a wine that sits about half way between the two styles. Whatever you call it though, it’s absolutely delicious, offering lovely honeyed/minerally nose and scrumptious, full but very-finely textured, round, soft palate. The Chateau Shanahan tasting team rated it a perfect match with chicken and pepper sauce at Ginseng, Manuka.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2001 & 2007