Wine review – Moss Wood, Grove Estate, Lerida Estate, Mr Riggs, Mount Monster, Greywacke

Moss Wood Cabernet SauvignonMoss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – wine of the week
Moss Wood vineyard, Wilyabrup, Margaret River, Western Australia
$95–$125

Moss Wood cabernet rates among Australia’s greatest wines. It’s of a quality Hemingway surely had in mind when he wrote, “Wine is one of the most civilised things in the world and one of the most natural things that has been brought to the greatest perfection”. In its almost 50-year journey, Moss Wood’s cabernet reflects the best the best the vine and winemaker can do on a particular site at Wilyabrup, Margaret River. Lush and layered, fragrant, substantial and built for long cellaring, this is world-class, pure, cabernet.

Grove Estate The ItalianGrove Estate The Italian Nebbiolo Sangiovese Barbera 2015
Grove Estate vineyard, Hilltops region, NSW

$21.90–$25
“It’s one of the fruitiest things you’ve ever seen”, says winemaker Bryan Martin of barbera grown in the Hilltops region. The Italian red variety, the junior component of Grove Estate’s three-way Italian blend, stamps its character on the wine as soon as it’s poured. Fruit and more fruit mark the aroma and harmonious, delicious, medium-bodied palate. Acid gives freshness, too, and soft tannins support the fruit, while leaving it as the star act. Yum. Sophisticated, low-intervention winemaking gives the wine great purity, drinkability.

Lerida Estate Lake George Shiraz Viognier 2014Lerida Estate Shiraz Viognier 2014
Lerida vineyard, Lake George, Canberra District, NSW

$85
Lerida’s new release hits the market with solid credentials: two trophies from the NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show, and gold medals from the same wine show and the Winewise Small Vignerons Awards. However, showing the vagaries of wine judging, it missed out on a medal in the Canberra Regional Wine Show 2015, and I gave it a silver-medal score in a masked tasting in November 2015, where it was shaded by another Canberra wine from the stellar 2013 vintage. It’s a comparatively big, gorgeous expression of the regional style, with supple, mouth-filling, sweet fruit, supported by fine tannins.

Mr Riggs Watervale RieslingMr Riggs Riesling 2015
Kate’s block, Churinga vineyard, Watervale, Clare Valley, South Australia

$21.65–$24
Winemaker Mr Riggs – Ben to his friends – sources fruit for this wine from Watervale, the Clare Valley’s southernmost sub-region. It presents varietal, lemon- and lime-like citrus flavours on a delicate, bone-dry palate. The delicious fruit gives the wine a succulent mid-palate – and an impression of sweetness – before racy acidity cleans the palate, leaving a lingering, dry finish.

Mount Monster ShirazMount Monster Shiraz 2014
Mount Monster vineyards, Padthaway, South Australia

$13–$17
The Bryson family’s extensive vineyards at Padthaway (an hour’s drive north of Coonawarra on South Australia’s Limestone Coast), produce a number of wines under the Mount Monster, Morambro Creek and Jip Jip Rocks labels. The comparatively cool, maritime climate produces intensely flavoured, medium-bodied reds, like this appealing shiraz. Ripe and juicy, with cassis-like flavours, a touch of spice, and soft, easy tannins, it offers very good current drinking at a modest price.

Greywacke Pinot GrisGreywacke Pinot Gris 2014
Brancott Valley and Rapaura, Marlborough, New Zealand
$28–$34
With David Hohnen, Greywacke’s Kevin Judd put Marlborough in drinkers’ minds in the eighties with the creation of Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc. It wasn’t the first of the variety from the region, but it was the first to capture people’s attention. Judd later established Greywacke. He remains at the top of Marlborough’s quality pile with wines like this Alsacian-inspired pinot gris. An intentional whiff of sulphur in the aroma doesn’t appeal to me, but the thoroughly juicy, delicious palate forgives all. Delicate, intense, pear-like varietal flavours sits in a silky, plush texture of a sweetish but irresistible palate. High acidity offsets the sweetness in an harmonious expression of this wine style.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 13 July 2016 in the Canberra Times  and CT app

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