Zeppelin Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012 $17–$22
For a modest price, Zeppelin delivers the full, ripe flavours and soft tannins of an outstanding Barossa Valley vintage. A touch of spice and savouriness adds interest to this very appealing early-drinking red. Zeppelin is a brand of Echelon Wine Partners, a marketing and distribution company owned by the McWilliam family. McWillams very wisely chose Kym Teusner as their Barossa winemaker. Teusner says he sourced the grapes from “a single low-yielding vineyard in the Angaston foothills” and used traditional methods, including fermentation in open vats, pressing with a basket press and maturation in older oak vessels.
Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2013 $12–$18
The 2012 vintage won a trophy at last year’s Royal Sydney Wine show and I’d be surprised if the 2013 doesn’t win a gold medal or two during the year. It’s a finely structured, fresh, tasty, modern chardonnay. Sourced from the cool Adelaide Hills, barrel fermented and matured (giving complexity and rich texture) and widely distributed, it’s a wine we can find even in out of the way places, and at a keen price. We bought ours from Woolworths Liquor, Batemans Bay – at a bargain two bottles for $24. You’d have to pay a lot more for a better chardonnay.
De Bortoli La Boheme Act One Yarra Valley Riesling 2013 $20
Leanne De Bortoli and husband Steve Webber’s La Boheme range includes this delicious white, made from riesling (89 per cent) plus gewurtztraminer and pinot gris. While delicate riesling drives the aromatics and citrus-like flavour, gewürztraminer adds a light but distinctive lychee-like and, with pinot gris, a slippery texture not seen in riesling on its own. It all adds up to pleasing aromas and flavours, great freshness and a satisfying feeling in the mouth. De Bortoli and Webber attribute recent improvements in their riesling-vineyard management to young winemaker Sarah Fagan.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 2 February 2014 in the Canberra Times