Dog Trap Vineyard Canberra District Shiraz 2010 $12
Dr Dennis Hart bought the Dog Trap vineyard, then contracted to Hardys, on the outskirts of Yass in 2003. He makes a small quantity of cabernet sauvignon on site but sells much of the fruit to other makers and has part of his shiraz crop vinified at Brindabella Hills, Hall, by Brian Sinclair. Brian’s boss, Roger Harris, says the vineyard grows beautiful fruit. The quality shows in this vibrant, delicious, light-style shiraz with its lovely red berry flavours and brisk acidity. It surely rates as the district’s best-value red at $12. Available at www.dogtrapvineyard.com.au
Yangarra McLaren Vale Viognier 2010 $25
Down in McLaren Vale, Peter Fraser specialises in Rhone Valley varieties, grown on a cooler, elevated, east-facing ridge. The viognier is an outstanding example of the variety, with pure apricot-like aroma and flavour and a richly textured, slightly viscous palate – but not over the top and oily as the variety can be. Fraser removed all the non-perfect berries from the bunches before naturally fermenting the wine “in older French barriques [225-litre oak barrel]. They have been lees stirred and topped monthly, and aged in barrel for nine months”, he writes. This process added a pleasing texture without inserting oak flavours.
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz 2009 $8.75–$20
Bargain alert! The big retailers periodically punish Wynns for making such good wine – by slashing the price to plain silly levels. Just a few weeks back Coles’ 1st Choice and Woolworths’ Dan Murphy outlets beat the price down to $8.75. Watch carefully as it could happen again. If it does, pile in. The 2009’s a beautifully aromatic, vibrant, cool climate shiraz featuring ripe but spicy and juicy fruit flavours and ever-so-fine, soft tannins. It’s sourced from central and northern Coonawarra and matured for just six months in older French and American oak barrels. A year after its release, it drinks beautifully, but there’s a decade or so left in it.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011