Wine review — Jacob’s Creek, Stanton and Killeen, Wimbirra

Jacob’s Creek $7–$11.40

  • Sauvignon Blanc 2008
  • Pinot Grigio 2008, Pinot Noir 2008
  • Tempranillo 200

Sauvignon blanc is to wine what lager is to beer – light, crisp, refreshing and best enjoyed ice cold. The Jacob’s version captures the variety’s herbal flavours and zesty, dry palate very well at the price. Pinot grigio is even more impressive as it’s so difficult to capture its pear-like flavour. This modestly priced shot at the variety succeeds in a subtle, dry, easy-to-drink way. The medium bodied pinot noir and tempranillo both provide easy drinking and good varietal flavour, the pinot with a little savoury edge and the tempranillo in a more pure, fruity way.

Stanton and Killeen ‘The Prince’ Reserva 2008 $45
If you tasted this13 per cent alcohol, fragrant, fruity, silk-smooth, elegant wine masked, you’d never pick it as a Rutherglen red. It’s inspired by some of the modern wines coming out of Portugal. And given Stanton and Killeen’s long connection with Portuguese varieties, albeit used in fortified wines, the Prince’s arrival is not surprising, but still a flash of genius. It’s a blend of four Portuguese varieties – souzao, tinta roriz, touriga nacional and tinto cao usually ripened more fully and sent to the port barrels. The Prince sets and inspired new direction for Rutherglen, well removed from the region’s traditional ponderous, alcoholic monsters.

Winbirra ‘The Brigadier’ Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2007 $35
To my taste Mornington’s pinots fall into two broad style categories – those featuring high-toned aromas and flavours reminiscent of red berries like raspberry and strawberry; and those leaning  more to flavours like dark berries. Winbirra falls into the latter style. And if the aroma seems deep and brooding rather than bright and musky, its flavour and structure more than make up. It’s full of dark berry and savoury flavours, backed by a solid but fine tannin structure.  The aroma and flavour build in complexity over time, making Winbirra a particularly satisfying pinot, with little echoes of Burgundy in its savoury flavours and grippy structure.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009