Wine review — Grant Burge, Ravensworth & Lillydale

Grant Burge Barossa Valley Meshach Shiraz 2002 $100
Grant Burge’s flagship red comes from several southern Barossa vineyards — including a section of Grant’s Filsell vineyard, planted in the 1920s. Although finessed in recent years – partly through the use of finer French oak in conjunction with more assertive American oak – it remains an extraordinarily concentrated red, built for the long haul. It’s certainly earned its stripes amongst the country’s elite wines, even if writer opinion currently favours cooler climate styles. At the release tasting Burge previewed his sensational Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – a blend from Coryton Park in the Eden Valley and Barossa floor. It’s a sensational wine due for release in few years.

Ravensworth Canberra District Sangiovese 2006 about $22
This is an incredibly good follow up to Bryan and Jocelyn Martin’s 2005 vintage – winner of a gold medal and trophy at last year’s regional show. Bryan says he fermented both vintages on viognier skins — a little trick, he believes, that helps to brighten and stabilise colour and smooth the texture. But this is mere seasoning to a delicious wine that captures the spirit of Italy’s ubiquitous sangiovese grape. There’s a Aussie-style bright, inviting and fruity dimension to Ravensworth. But the medium body and savoury, persistent tannins that follow are Italian, and the real point of difference in a wine that ought to blossom over the never next five or six years. See www.ravensworthwines.com.au

Lillydale Estate Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2005 $16 to $20
Judges voted this mid-priced chardonnay as best chardonnay, best white wine and best table wine of Canberra’s 2006 National Wine Show of Australia. Encountered again recently it remains in the fine-boned, oak-fermented, oak-matured style that’ve now pretty well replaced the fat and overtly oak styles that dominated the market two decades ago. Delicious, melon-like varietal chardonnay flavour is the key to the wine’s great appeal. But a matrix of aromas and flavours derived from barrel fermentation and maturation on yeast lees adds subtly to the drinking pleasure. And that’s further enhanced by its silky texture and great freshness.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007

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