Wine review — Vinecrest, Meeting Place & Lark Hill

Vinecrest Barossa Semillon 2006 $16
Vinecrest was one of three delicious gold medallists in a semillon class that I judged recently at the Barossa Regional Show. It passed the real-life, glass-or-two with food test at the awards presentation dinner a few days later, too. Proprietor Ian Mader tells me that it’s sourced from the central floor of the Valley and made by Mos Kaesler. As a former understudy to John Vickery, Australia’s riesling guru, Mos knows how to make bright, fresh, delicate whites.  It’s a model of the unwooded Barossa style – a wine of terrific citrusy, varietal purity. Available at the cellar door, see www.vinecrest.com.au

Meeting Place Canberra Shiraz 2003, 2004 $15
That things have not been quite right for Hardy’s Kamberra Winery shows in the backlog of stock in the market place. As smaller local wineries move into their 2005 shirazes, Kamberra offers both the 2003 and 2004 vintages of Meeting Place, with the absolutely stunning, trophy-winning 2005 not due for release until late next year. At $15 cellar door these are all exciting wines. We should all visit the Watson tasting room and stock up. And, while we’re there, take the opportunity to try the flagship Kamberra Shiraz and the sensational value Meeting Place Viognier.

Lark Hill Canberra District Pinot Noir 2004 $30
Conventional wisdom has it that pinot noir needs a cooler, wetter, more humid environment than Canberra. To test theory against reality, Paul Grimes of Meeting Place Restaurant, recently hosted a pinot noir dinner and masked tasting. In four flights of three wines each, Paul included two Canberra pinots alongside a benchmark from an acknowledged pinot region. To me the tasting confirmed the conventional wisdom. However, two Lark Hill wines – the 2000 vintage and Exaltation 2003 — were outstanding and Lamberts Reserve 2004 was delicious. Over dinner the medium bodied Lark Hill 2004 also impressed for its pure, fine complex flavours.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2006 & 2007

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