Mt Monster Limestone Coast Shiraz 2013 $13–$16
The Bryson family owns two vineyards, totalling 170 hectares, at Padthaway on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, about an hour’s drive north of Coonawarra. By my estimate a vineyard of that size might produce around 120 thousand dozen bottles in a good year – fairly large production for a family holding in Australia. The family manages the vineyards and marketing of its Moorambro Creek, Jip Jip Rocks and Mt Monster brands. The 2013 shiraz pours deep and crimson-rimmed, offering ripe mulberry-like aromas and a generous, fruity mid palate, with soft, easy tannins.
Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Verdelho 2014 $12.80–$16
In the nineteenth century, cuttings of the verdelho vine found their way separately to the east and west of Australia direct from the Island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, about 700 kilometres west of Morocco. The vine adapted well to Australia’s hot dry conditions and over its almost 200-year history here, winemakers have used it in both fortified and table wines. These days it’s used mainly in light to medium bodied table wines and offers an alternative to our big-volume favourites, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Chapel Hill’s offer bright, fresh passion fruit- and –citrus-like flavours on a light to medium bodied palate with pleasantly tarty finish.
Tyrrell’s Belford Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon 2009 $26–$35
The Elliott family planted the Belford vineyard in the Hunter in 1933 and still controls it. However, Tyrrell’s lease and manage the vineyard which is source of some their best semillon. Typically these are very pale, minerally and delicate as young wines, gradually taking on a fuller, honeyed character with bottle age. Fortunately, Tyrrell’s hold small volumes back for later release, giving the majority of drinkers without cellars a chance to taste the glories of aged semillon. The 2009 is a great and delicious example of this unique style, currently displaying a combination of aged and youthful characteristics.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 24 and 25 January 2015 in Fairfax digital media and the Canberra Times