Tulloch Hunter Chardonnay 2006 $14.99
After decades in various corporate hands the Tulloch label finally moved back to the Hunter in 2001 following Southcorp’s acquisition of Rosemount Estate. A syndicate consisting of the Tulloch family, Inglewood Vineyards of Denman and the Angove family now owns the brand and out sources the winemaking. Canberra-bred Jim Chatto made the wine at Monarch Winery using fruit from the Inglewood Vineyard, Denman, and JYT vineyard, Pokolbin. Jim’s lovely touch with winemaking shows in this delicious drop’s crystal clear, rich-but-not-heavy varietal character and a more-ish, brisk freshness.
Coriole McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004 $24 to $29
Coriole’s little amphitheatre of vines sits on one of the plum sites in McLaren and for decades now, under Mark Lloyd, has produced appealing, ripe, rich reds at reasonable prices. This particular sample stood out from a few other shirazes on the tasting bench then graduated to the kitchen table and disappeared – a sure sign of quality. There were no notes taken just happy little sips with a rich winter beef and mushroom casserole. From memory, the wine started with the particularly lifted fragrance of the 2004 vintage then offered ripe, round, sweet fruit flavours and soft tannins – all seasoned with savoury, earthy edge of McLaren Vale.
Water Wheel Bendigo Shiraz 2004 $14 – $19
After the extremely difficult 2003 vintage, Bendigo winemakers probably thought the worst as an extreme two-week heat wave hit in February 2004. Fortunately, the shiraz was some way from ripeness and survived the heat to ripen in ideal, mild conditions a month later. In this instance the little berries produced a modestly priced red of an extraordinary, don’t-spit-me-out succulence. It has the impact of an essence of juicy, super-ripe black cherries of great density and weight and one-more-sip appeal. While the oak flavour is reasonably assertive, it simply can’t outweigh such lashings of ripe fruit.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2006 & 2007