Wine review — Dog Trap, De Bortoli and various beautiful Australian rieslings

Dog Trap Vineyard Canberra District

  • Shiraz 2008 $18
  • Tony Shiraz 2008 $27
  • Lyn Shiraz 2008 $27

Dog trap wines are grown by Denis Hart and Julian White at Yass and made by Roger Harris and Brian Sinclair at Brindabella Hills, Hall. The three wines come from the same batch of grapes but represent different oak maturation regimes: 12 months in old oak barrels for the standard wine; 15 months in a tank with inner French oak staves of for Tony; and 12 months in American oak barrels for Lynn. To my taste it’s an instance of less being more as the pure, cheaper wine really hits the spot. All three are at the very ripe end of the Canberra style spectrum, so the earlier picked 2009s should be even more vibrant and enjoyable.

De Bortoli

  • Windy Peak Victoria Shiraz Viognier 2008 $12–$15
  • Estate Grown Yarra Valley Syrah 2008 $24–$30
  • Reserve Yarra Valley Syrah 2007 $50

You can pluck a wine from any point in the De Bortoli range and be sure it’ll measure up to the best in its class – from the $7 Sacred Hill, to the $10 Montage to the $15 Windy Peak and up to the $30 Yarra Syrah and $50 Reserve Yarra Syrah.  These three shirazes are lovely examples of a distinctive, elegant, savoury style – contrasting, for example, to soft, round Barossa shiraz – made by Steve Webber in De Bortoli’s Dixon Creek Winery in the Yarra Valley. They offer steps up in flavour concentration, culminating in the fine, taut, tannic, complex Reserve.

Various beautiful Australian rieslings $14–$38
Australia’s beautiful, delicate dry rieslings offer some of the best value Christmas drinking possible. They cover a subtle spectrum of styles, represented in these much-loved examples, all recently savoured at Chateau Shanahan. Jim Barry Watervale Riesling 2009 $14–$17. Poverty Hill Eden Valley Riesling 2009 $18–$22. Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling 2009 $20–$25. Knappstein Clare Valley Ackland Vineyard Watervale Riesling 2009 $29–$33. Pipers Brook Tasmania Riesling 2009 $24–$28. Mesh Eden Valley Riesling 2009 $26–$29. Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2009 $27–$30. Taylor’s St Andrews Riesling 2005 $33–$38 (just released, and a very fine example of bottle aged riesling).

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009