Wine review — Brindabella Hills, Alinga Four Winds & Majella

Brindabella Hills Canberra District Riesling 2008 $18–$20, Shiraz 2006 $22.50–$25
Roger and Faye Harris’s delicious, lime-like riesling has at last been recognised in a top-tier wine show – the 2008 recently winning gold in Canberra’s International Riesling Challenge. The wine was also rated by the judges as one of the best ten Aussie rieslings in the show. And at the Canberra Regional Show in September, the Harris’s 2006 shiraz won silver, and went within a hair’s breadth of winning gold. Although it’s from one of Canberra’s warmest sites (on the edge of the Murrumbidgee Valley), it’s still cast in the fine, supple, district mould – a style that’s rich but subtle and all to easy to drink.

Alinga Four Winds Vineyard Canberra District Riesling 2008 $16, Shiraz 2005 $16
These are grown and made at Four Winds Vineyard by Graeme Lunney. He established vines in1998 and 1999 at the beginning of Hardy’s decade long dabble in the area, but now sells to other makers as well as making his own wine. They’re both multiple medal winners, with success at the recent regional show, Cowra, the NSW Small Winemakers Show and the International Riesling Challenge – no golds yet, but silver and bronze in these events is impressive. The riesling is in a full, round, soft style. It’s juicy and fresh and ready to drink now. Graeme’s shiraz is in the fine-boned Canberra style. It’s spicy and savoury but fleshy with fine, soft tannins.

Majella Coonawarra Shiraz 2006 $28, Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $28 and The Malleea 2005 $66
These reds, from Prof and Tony Lynn’s vineyard, rate consistently amongst the best of the region.  The shiraz is lovely, but I’d love to see the Lynns follow Wynns example and back off a little on the oak – let the elegant fruit flourish completely. The cabernet is classic Coonawarra. It’s a world-class example of the variety but costs only fraction of the price you’d pay for a Bordeaux of comparable quality. The 2006 seems a little less ripe than the 2005, but it’s got Coonawarra’s wonderful strength with elegance. And Malleea 2005 is sensational – beautifully ripe with shiraz generosity, cabernet structure and Coonawarra elegance.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008