Wine review — Wallaroo, Lerida Estate & Kosciusko Wines

Wallaroo Wines Canberra District Riesling 2007 about $20
This gold-medallist and trophy winner from the 2007 Canberra Regional Wine Show comes from two neighbouring vineyards in Hall. Because of the tiny 2007 crop Phil and Carol Williams of Wallaroo vineyard and Roger and Faye Harris of Brindabella Hills combined their riesling grapes from which Roger made and bottled the wine. Some bears the Brindabella Hills label; some the Wallaroo label. Whichever you buy, it’s the same wine inside. How does this square with the judges’ tallies – 49/60 and bronze for Brindabella Hills and 55.5/60 and gold for Wallaroo? Well, the laugh’s on us. The wines, though, are pure and delicious. See www.wallaroowines.com.au

Lerida Estate Canberra District Shiraz Viognier 2006 $50 to $60
In this year’s Canberra Regional Show, shiraz once again asserted itself as the district’s greatest variety. Excitement is the word when six out of 43 shirazes win gold medals and a pile more come in with silver and bronzes. Four of the six gold-medallists came from within the Canberra district (Lerida, Nick O’Leary, and two Lambert wines) and the other two from nearby Hill Tops region at Young (Chalkers Crossing and McWilliams Barwang). In a tightly contested taste-off for best shiraz of the show, Lerida 2006 Shiraz Viognier, from Lake George, triumphed – a very fragrant and silky smooth drop indeed. Watch www.leridaestate.com for news of its release date.

Kosciusko Wines Scius Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2005 $29.95
Not surprisingly the top bubbly from the Canberra Regional Show comes from cool Tumbarumba – source of some of Australia’s best grape material for this style. More surprising is that it comes from a newcomer to sparkling wine making. The trophy winner was made by engineer-turned-winemaker, Chris Thomas, using fruit from contract growers. It really is a lovely drop, built on the classic Champagne-region varieties, pinot noir and chardonnay. The class of the ripe-but-delicate fruit shows in the wine’s appealing flavour, tight structure and beautiful integration with the bottle-fermentation-and-maturation characters.  Available from Canberra Cellars, Belconnen and Braddon.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007

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