Wine review — Pikes, Moppity Vineyards & Richmond Grove

Pikes Clare Valley

  • ‘The Red Mullet’ 2006 $13–16
  • ‘Luccio’ 2006 $15–18
  • ‘Eastside’ Shiraz 2006 $22–27

These three reds from Pikes in the Clare Valley offer a wide spectrum of flavours. The lighter-bodied, fine, savoury and taut ‘Luccio’, a blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet, is the one to enjoy with roast meets and savoury dishes. The combination of bright fruit and fine tannic bite is delicious. ‘The Red Mullet’ (shiraz, grenache, mourvedre and tempranillo) is medium bodied, fruity and fleshy. It’s an all-rounder but surprisingly good with spicy food, thanks to the sweet fruit. And ‘Eastside’ 2006 is a full-blooded, ripe, soft, Clare shiraz. The sweet fruit and earthy shiraz flavours work well with traditional winter stews.

Moppity Vineyards Hilltops Reserve Shiraz 2006 $35
Moppity Vineyards of Young has a long connection with Canberra. It was established in 1973 and across the years sold fruit to several Canberra wineries, including Lark Hill. In 2004, Jason Brown (son of John and Robin Brown, owners of the Cand Amber liquor retail chain) bought it. He still sells grape (it’s one of the biggest vineyards in the Hilltops region at 68 hectares) but turned his focus to wine production, too. The standard wines – Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Rosé – sell at $15. I’ve not tried these. But the flagship shiraz is an impressive, deep, fragrant, spicy and supple drop. See www.moppity.com.au

Richmond Grove

  • Mount Lofty Sangiovese 2007 $19–22,
  • Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2007 $21–24
  • Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2007 $21–24

Along with Jacob’s Creek, Richmond Grove belongs to Pernod Ricard Pacific, a division of France’s Pernod Ricard. Its thorough understanding of regional wine specialties shows in these realistically priced newcomers from various parts of South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges. The strongest, perhaps is the barrel-fermented chardonnay, a delicious, fine-boned expression of the variety. Big companies have trouble with pinot, but this one is on-track. It’s on the lighter side but it offers grip and texture as well as varietal flavour. And what a terrific sangiovese it is, with bright fruit flavour and the tight, grippy tannins of the variety.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008

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