Wine review — Lambert Vineyard & Gipsie Jack

Lambert Vineyard Canberra District Shiraz & Reserve Shiraz 2004 $25 & $30
At Wamboin, one of the higher and cooler parts of the Canberra District, Ruth and Steve Lambert competently produce a spectrum of elegant wine styles: riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, pinto gris, shiraz, merlot and cabernet merlot. It’s worth a drive and a taste, especially for the attractive shirazes and, in particular, the deeply fruity, graceful Reserve version. The Reserve Pinot Noir 2004 ($30), too, is appealing, as are the (perhaps not released yet) Pinot Gris 2005 ($20) and Chardonnay 2004 ($20) – the latter two being bronze medallists at this year’s regional show. See www.lambertvineyards.com.au

Gipsie Jack Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2006 $16 to $18
What’s a Marlborough, New Zealand, wine doing in a Langhorne Creek portfolio? Well, fifth-generation Langhorne Creek grower, Bill Potts, helped Marlborough grower, John Webber acquire a vineyard in Langhorne Creek. Later, John returned Bill’s favour on the warmer northern side of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Hence, the first Gipsie Jack reflects this distinctive sub-regional sourcing with its predominance of passionfruit-like aromas and flavours – a contrast to the more capsicum-like character of those from the cooler southern side of the valley. This style is at its mouth watering best when served crackling cold with salads, grilled fish and other light, fresh foods.

Gipsie Jack Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2005 $16 to $18
At Langhorne Creek recently and in Canberra a few weeks back I caught up with the team behind Gipsie Jack: former Wolf Blass winemaker, John Glaetzer, Langhorne Creek grower, Bill Potts, and his son Ben, a winemaker. This is a formidable combination, bringing together generations of grape growing experience with forty years’ winemaking expertise. The resulting wines hit smack in the sweet spot for both quality and price, giving them a real chance of success even in this crowded market. The 2005 shiraz offers plenty of bright, fresh varietal flavour and satisfying, drying, savoury tannins. Local retailers embraced the wines at the Canberra tasting, so distribution is under way.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2006 & 207

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