Wine review — Louee Wines, Miramar, Wirra Wirra & Cloudy Bay

Louee Wines Mudgee Rumkers Peak Shiraz 2003 $18
Louee Wines Mudgee Nullo Mountain Pinot Gris 2006 $18

A too-short visit to Mudgee recently unearthed a few exciting wines, plus three refreshing beers from the new Mudgee Brewing Company. We discovered these Louee wines at Elton’s bistro. The medium bodied shiraz, from a vineyard near Rylstone, impressed for its delicious earthy, savoury flavours – just perfect with pizza. The pinot gris showed the importance of site for this variety. It comes from Nullo Mountain Vineyard located at 1100 metres — about double Mudgee’s altitude. The altitude means a very cool ripening season. In turn, that means terrific varietal flavour, rich texture and zesty, high-acid structure. It’s worth the drive to Elton’s to try it. See

Miramar Mudgee ‘Eljamar’ Chardonnay 2005 $25
This is a lovely wine from one of the most under-rated wineries in Australia. Owner and winemaker, Ian McRae, founded Miramar in 1977 and produces delicious, understated wines from a 45-hectare estate. The chardonnays have been a Chateau Shanahan favourite for decades as they offer delicious drinking when young and, unlike most chardonnays, age very well. I’ve had ‘em and loved ‘em at up to twenty years from vintage. This latest, from a special site within Miramar’s ‘Hidden Garden’ vineyard, offers generous, bright, intense, melon-like varietal flavour without a trace of heaviness. See

Wirra Wirra ‘Hiding Champion’ Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2007 $22.95
Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007 $34.95

These are too quite different and excellent expressions of sauvignon blanc. Samantha Connew’s Adelaide Hills version is lighter, citrusy and less in-your-face varietal than the Cloudy Bay wine. It sits more towards the citrus and passionfruit end of sauv blanc’s flavour range – and it becomes more of a subtle backdrop as the bottle steadily disappears. Kevin Judd’s Cloudy Bay presents the more serious end of Marlborough’s now very broad style spectrum (ranging from thin and green to weighty, pure and intense). It’s textbook stuff – purely, unmistakably sauv blanc with the intensity, mid-palate weight and integrated, high-acid structure that characterise the best.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007