McHenry Hohnen Rolling Stone Margaret River 2008 $36.85
Grant Burge Corryton Park Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $34.95
These are two sensational but utterly contrasting cabernet blends from individual vineyards in the Barossa and Margaret River. The limpid, medium-bodied McHenry Hohnen wine comprises one quarter each of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot. This is all about heady fragrance, bright fruit flavours, graceful structure and seamless blending of four varieties – delicious to the last drop. Grant Burge’s cabernet (with a touch of merlot and petit verdot) comes from the Corryton Park Vineyard, near Mt Crawford, Southern Barossa. It’s plush with ripe blackberry-like varietal flavours, wrapped in luxurious, silk-smooth tannins – a solid and juicy but elegant wine, just entering its prime drinking years.
Bleasdale Bremerview Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2008 $16–18
Rolf Binder Hales Barossa Valley Shiraz 2009 $18–$22
Australian shiraz comes in all shapes and sizes, depending principally on the climate it’s grown in. Bleasdale, made by the Potts family at Langhorne Creek, near Lake Alexandrina, is medium bodied with exuberant aromas and flavours, reminiscent of ripe mulberries. It’s soft, easy to drink and very good value for money. Rolf Binder’s Barossa wine offers denser flavours, more like very ripe black cherry, with abundant but soft and smooth tannins. Binder (owner of Veritas Winery) makes the wine for the Coles-owned Vintage Cellars and 1st Choice stores.
Knappstein Clare Valley Handpicked Riesling 2010 $15–$20
Knappstein Clare Valley 8:8:18 Riesling 2009 $21–$23
In Canberra’s International Riesling Challenge, seventy per cent of the dry Clare rieslings from the 2010 vintage won medals, a powerful accolade for the season. Knappstein’s Hand Picked 2010, made by Julian Langworthy, impresses for its pure, floral and citrus varietal aroma and generous but soft, delicate and very fresh palate. It’s a delicious, versatile dry white and offers outstanding value when it’s discounted to $15. It can be cellared for four or five years. The off-dry 8:8:18 from the 2009 vintage, though, isn’t as successful. It’s a little too developed in flavour and lacks the razor sharp acidity this style needs.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010