Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2012 $28–$32
Heavy rain towards the end of February 2012 destroyed large volumes of ripe, or near ripe grapes in Canberra and surrounding districts. Clonakilla lost much of its Canberra fruit in the event. But, says Tim Kirk, they harvested most of their fruit from the Hilltops region (around Young, NSW), the day before the 200mm deluge arrived. The result is a delightfully rich red combining ripe, dark-cherry flavours with the spice and touch of black pepper we see from cooler areas. The wine’s medium bodied and shows the Clonakilla signature of great harmony and silky, juicy mid palate.
Turkey Flat Butcher’s Block Barossa Valley
Marsanne Roussanne Viognier 2012 $19.95
This is exactly the sort of white Barossa makers ought to specialise in. Made from three varieties well suited to warm, dry regions, Butcher’s Block offers texture and savouriness rather than the aromatics and fruitiness cooler regions do better. Christie Schulz polished the style over the years, treating each of the components separately, including skin contact for the viognier, early picking for the marsanne and later picking and whole bunch pressing for the roussanne – with 50 per cent of the blend matured in oak. It’s a full-bodied, richly textured dry white with subtle, underlying nectarine and apricot-like flavours.
Red Knot by Shingleback McLaren Vale
Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2012 $10.90–$15
The Davey family’s Red Knot range delivers some of the best value for money drinking in the market. Red drinkers twigged to this a few years back, and retailers responded by including the wines among their regular discounts. The wines easily deserve $15 a bottle. But they’re bargains when the price drops closer to $10 – as they were when I wrote this review. The 2012 blend leads with the lovely musk-like fragrance of grenache, supported on the soft and juicy palate by the richness of shiraz and spiciness of mourvedre.
Copyright Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 4 August 2013 in the Canberra Times