Wine review — Seppelt, Tim Adams, Knappstein, Shaw Vineyard Estate & Crittenden Estate

Seppelt Drumborg Riesling 2008 $29–32
Seppelt’s Drumborg Vineyard, located in the very cool Henty Region, near Portland in southwestern Victoria, was planted by Karl Seppelt way back in 1964. It was a prescient, if bold, move at the time, and one we can be grateful for now, almost half a century later. This rates amongst the finest of the 2008 rieslings. It has an exquisitely delicate flavour and fine structure more akin in its intensity to Champagne than mere table wine. It’s delicate enough to be enjoyable now. But the spine of bracing acid that helps fix the flavour also suggests good long-term cellaring.

Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling 2008 $22
Knappstein Clare Valley Hand Picked Riesling 2008 $22
Shaw Vineyard Estate Murrumbateman Premium Riesling 2008 $22

Many of the 2008 vintage rieslings offer terrific, drink-now fruit flavour and seem more advanced than usual in their ageing. These are three good, subtly different examples of that style – two from the Clare Valley and one from Canberra. Tim Adams’ wine is surprisingly soft and full-bodied for such a low-alcohol wine (11.5%), but it’s fresh, crisp and a pleasure to drink now. Knappstein is classically floral with a juicy, deliciously fresh palate. And Graeme Shaw’s wine pips the other two with its deep, super vibrant flavour.

Crittenden Estate Los Hermanos King Valley Albarino 2008 $28–30
Following the feast of Italian varieties of recent years we’re seeing a trickle of Australian produced wines from Spanish varieties – the red tempranillo and graciano and white albarino. And who better to go Spanish than the Crittenden family, one of the earliest and greatest Australian champions of Italian varieties. Second generation Zoe and Rollo Crittenden sourced this lovely drop from the King Valley. It’s a modest 12.5% alcohol but has a richly textured palate and, crunchy, pear-fresh flavour and pleasantly tart, dry finish. It’s a terrific summer drink. See www.crittendwines.com.au for details.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008

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