Wine review — Williams Crossing, Curly Flat, Hanging Rock, Mount William & Jacob’s Creek Steingarten

Williams Crossing Macedon Pinot Noir 2006 $22–$25
Curly Flat Macedon Pinot Noir 2005 $46–$52

After several tastings, most recently as a judge at the Macedon Wine Show, I rate these amongst the best pinot noirs in Australia. They were in a field of 28 pinots, all from Macedon. Twenty of them won medals, with the only gold (and ultimately several trophies) going to Curly Flat 2005, an extraordinarily delicious pinot loved by all the judges. In my score sheet, Curly Flat’s yet-to-be released 2006 showed similar class, as did Curly Flat’s second label, Williams Crossing 2006.  This is also pure and scrumptious pinot in its own elegant, fine way. Surely it’s Australia’s best-value pinot.

Hanging Rock Macedon Rosé Brut NV $27, Cuvée VIII LD $115
Mount William Macedon Blanc de Blanc 2001 $35

I’m just back from judging at Victoria’s Macedon Wine Show – and dazzled yet again by the sparkling wines. In a class of 18 wines we awarded 14 medals, including 3 golds and 5 silvers. And the wines were far from homogenous – ranging from the deep, almost bronze-coloured, aged ‘LD’ series from Hanging Rock, to their very strong but delicate all-pinot Rosé and on to the fine aperitif chardonnays from Mount William – the near perfect 2001 and the mature-but-fresh 1998. There’s wonderful  drinking, too, in Cope-Williams Romsey Brut Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV and Pinot Chardonnay NV and Macedon Ridge Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2004.

Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2006 $22–28
In 1962 Colin Gramp planted the Steingarten vineyard on an exposed ridge a few kilometres to the east of his family’s historic homestead on Jacob’s Creek. The vineyard struggled but produced a number of long-lived rieslings over the years.  By the time Steingarten shifted from Orlando to Jacob’s Creek branding a couple of years back, it had become a blend of material from Steingarten and other nearby vineyards. The recently-released 2006 continues a style shift seen in recent Steingartens – away from austerity, towards softness and more easy drinkability when young. The 2006 really hits the spot. It’s terrific.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008