Seppelt ‘Benno’ Bendigo Shiraz 2003 $50, St Peters Grampians Shiraz 2003 $60
These are sensational reds – the top two in Seppelt’s range of Victorian Shirazes. ‘Benno’ appears indestructible having lasted a week on the tasting bench, building and strengthening over time. It has an essence-like concentration of fruit flavour and plush, fine, velvety texture. St Peters, from vineyards around the winery at Great Western, is pure magic with its ethereal aroma and taut, concentrated, savoury palate that grows in interest with every sip. This may have lasted a week on the tasting bench, too. But it didn’t have a chance. It simply had to be consumed. This is unquestionably one of Australia’s very great red wines.
Richmond Grove Watervale Riesling 2004 $13 to $18
Chuffed by a gold medal at the Melbourne Show, the Orlando PR team recently sent wine scribes a bottle of the 2004 medal winner with another of the 1999. After a year and half in bottle the 2004 tastes beautifully fresh and young with delicious, delicate, lime-like varietal aroma and flavour. The 1999, the second vintage sealed with screw cap, proved again the seal’s effectiveness. Here was a six-year-old, still with delicacy, freshness and ‘lime’ varietal character, but with that extra honeyed richness of bottle age. Chateau Shanahan bought and cellared that ’99 at about $11 a bottle and, in real terms, the 2004 can be found on special at a comparable price. This is one of Australia’s great bargain wines.
Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay 2005, $8 to $10
This was one of Australia’s early export successes, taking our ‘sunshine in a bottle’ chardonnay style to the world before being introduced to the domestic market once the supply of chardonnay grapes expanded. It’s now made on a very large scale and still offers outstanding value for money, especially on discount. Bin 65 offers bright, fresh, well defined melon and peach varietal flavours with smooth mid-palate texture, a little seasoning of oak and a fresh, clean finish. It’s generous and tasty without being overblown or over oaky
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2005 & 2007