Wine review — Leo Buring, Oxford Landing & Mount Majura

Leo Buring 2007 Rieslings: Eden Valley $18.99, Clare Valley $18.99
Leonay DW K17 Eden Valley 2007 $36.99

These continue a great tradition that began under Leo Buring in the 1940s, passed to Lindemans in the 1960s and then, via Penfold Wine Group and Southcorp, to Foster’s in 2005. Components of the three rieslings looked good in the Barossa recently and hit the mark as finished wines. The Clare wine is the most rounded, generous and slightly grippy of the three – in a crisp, dry, varietal way. The Eden Valley wine is more delicate and racy – a nose ahead of the Clare version. And ‘Leonay’ simply blows its cellar mates away. This is sheer, intense, refined class with long term cellaring potential.

Oxford Landing Cabernet Shiraz 2006, Merlot 2006, Sauvignon Blanc 2006 $6–$8
This is one of the few budget-priced wine ranges with a name that relates to its origins. Oxford Landing is, indeed, a wine estate, established on South Australia’s Murray River in 1958 by Wyndham Hill-Smith, father of the current owner, Robert. Since Oxford Landing’s launch in the eighties, it’s been a budget champ, delivering rich, ripe flavours at the right price. The comparatively low alcohol sauvignon blanc (11.5 per cent) is right on the money in 2007 with fresh, crisp, passionfruit-like varietal flavours. Merlot 2006 is medium bodied with real-red tannins; and Cabernet Shiraz 2006 offers more robust flavours with, again, real red-wine structure.

Mount Majura Canberra District Riesling 2007 $16, Merlot 2005 $16, Shiraz 2006 $25
Tempranillo 2006 $25

Frank van de Loo’s new riesling bursts with aroma and flavour, giving it a drink-now appeal that we don’t always see in this often slow-developing variety. But it also has the fresh acidity and to develop well for several years. It’s clear from the new red releases – and a taste of the 2005 Tempranillo against the 2006 – that 2005 was a stronger year than 2006. That’s just the wines reflecting the seasons, of course. Merlot 2005 shows the chocolaty richness and firm tannin structure of the vintage; Tempranillo 2006 seems a little leaner and more acidic than the 2005; and the 2006 shiraz is just lovely – in the fine, spicy, soft cool-climate mould.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007