Wine review — Collector, Kid You Not & Deakin Estate

Collector Marked Tree Red Shiraz 2005 about $26
Collector Reserve Shiraz 2006 about $46

Former Hardy Kamberra winemaker, Alex McKay’s first two reds won’t harm the district’s reputation for shiraz. They’re both gold medallists, both sourced from Murrumbateman and both outstanding. Marked Tree Red, a blend from a couple of vineyards, shows the richness of the vintage with bright berry aromas and supple, juicy, varietal/peppery palate. Reserve, from a single block of old shiraz belonging to Andrew McEwin, seems a little less revealing in its aroma than Marked Tree – but shows its breeding in a palate of remarkable concentration and finesse. The wines will be released as soon as Alex’s licence comes through – probably in late September. Keep an eye on — and don’t miss out.

Kid You Not Viognier Roussanne 2005 & Tempranillo Graciano 2005 $22
These new-look wines from a new generation of Browns of Milawa, continues the family’s tradition of innovation. The white combines two Rhône Valley varieties – powerful, viscous viognier and shy, tangy roussanne – to produce an attractive, rich but savoury style: essentially the roussanne tames the viognier. The red brings together low acid tempranillo and high acid graciano – both Spanish varieties. It’s a fragrant, medium bodied style with an attractive spiciness. Both offer an interesting and savoury alternative to the traditional Aussie ‘fruit bomb’ style. They’re ready to enjoy now and probably won’t benefit from ageing. Can be ordered at

Deakin Estate Shiraz 2005 $10
Last week it was Oxford Landing Estate, this week Deakin Estate, another genuinely estate-based budget wine. Both are on the Murray, Oxford Landing in South Australia, Deakin Estate upstream at Red Cliffs, near Mildura, Victoria. This warm, well-watered environment produces healthy commercial crops. With modern vineyard management the vines yield fruit with good varietal flavour as well as sugar ripeness. With the economies of scale this means production of tasty, clean varietal wines at affordable prices – of the style that’ve driven our export sales to date. Deakin’s latest shiraz sits squarely in this mould, offering appealing plummy, varietal flavour at a fair price.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007