Wine review — Williams Crossing, Curly Flat, Brindabella Hills & Redman

Williams Crossing Macedon Pinot Noir 2006 $22–$25
Curly Flat Macedon Pinot Noir 2005 $46–$52

After a long search for a location suited to pinot noir and chardonnay growing, Phillip and Jenifer Moraghan established Curly Flat in Victoria’s elevated, cool Macedon region in 1992. They hit pay dirt pretty quickly and their wines now sit comfortably with the best in Australia. The fragrant, silky pinots are particularly impressive – and after recently paying thirty-five pounds or more for mediocre Burgundy in England – in my view they’d knock the socks off competitors anywhere. Williams Crossing (from barrels that didn’t make the cut for the Curly Flat label) is phenomenal at the price, while the flagship offers a profound depth of savoury pinot flavour. See www.curlyflat.com

Brindabella Hills Canberra District Aureus (Chardonnay Viognier) 2007 $22.50–$25
Brindabella Hills Canberra District Shiraz 2006 $22.50–$25

In a case of Rhône meets Burgundy, Roger Harris blends tank-fermented viognier with barrel-fermented chardonnay to produce a delicious, fresh, richly textured dry white. While chardonnay tempers viognier’s opulence, the plush, apricot-like flavour of viognier remains unmistakable in the wine. It’s juicy and ready to drink now but I suspect that it’ll fatten up with age. So drink up. Roger’s 2006 shiraz seems richer and deeper than his fragrant, elegant 2005. Although it’s from one of Canberra’s warmest sites (on the edge of the Murrumbidgee Valley), it’s still cast in the fine, supple, district mould – a style that’s rich but subtle and all to easy to drink.

Redman Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $30–$35
Bill Redman arrived in Coonawarra in 1901 and bought land there in 1908. One hundred years late his grandsons, Bruce and Malcolm Redman, make a distinctive, elegant style of Coonawarra cabernet from their vines at the northern end of the famous terra rossa strip. It’s a style that closely maps the seasons. And if it’s a little lighter and less ripe than the wines made by some of the neighbours, it’s never been unripe either – just consistently limpid in colour with fragrant, varietal, berry aroma and elegant palate. With most wineries releasing 2006 vintage wines, Redmans is notable for holding back for a year or two, giving us something that’s ready to enjoy – even if it has the legs to cellar.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008

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