Wine review — Voyager Estate and Grant Burge

Voyager Estate Margaret River ‘Girt by Sea’ Cabernet Merlot 2007 $20–$24
Voyager Estate’s ‘Girt by Sea’ is to Margaret River what Majella’s ‘The Musician’ is to Coonawarra – a richly-flavoured, finely-structured, medium-bodied red built to drink now but without losing regional identity. ‘Girt by Sea’ reveals Margaret River’s greatest winemaking strength – blending cabernet sauvignon and merlot to produce a harmonious red, based on ripe berry aromas and flavours and backed by fine, savoury tannins – a delicious luncheon red. It’s sourced from Voyager’s ‘north block’ vineyard and the vines are up to 15 years old.

Grant Burge Barossa

  • Hillcot Merlot 2008 $17–$22
  • Cameron Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $19–$25

Grant Burge’s substantial vineyard holdings cluster around the cooler southern end of the Barossa Valley in the vicinity of Williamstown – with one outlier, Corryton Park, located further east in the higher, cooler Eden Valley (but still part of the Barossa zone). Grant planted the Hillcot Vineyard to merlot in 1982 (claiming it as the Barossa’s first planting of the variety). It’s medium bodied with an appealing plummy ripeness and firm, but not hard drying tannins and a sympathetic kiss of oak. The cabernet’s a little fuller, but still finely built with clear, ripe varietal flavour and structure.

Grant Burge Baross

  • Daly Road Shiraz Mourvedre 2008 $17–$22
  • Miamba Shiraz 2007 $19–$25

But when it comes to the Barossa, the real excitement invariably lies in shiraz, either on its own or blended with the other Rhone Valley varieties. Miamba captures the ripe, tender, juicy charm of Barossa shiraz. It’s gentle and easy to drink, but there’s sufficient tannin (from both fruit and oak) to give very satisfying drinking – and probably enough to guarantee four or five years in the cellar. It’s named for, and at least partially sourced from, Burge’s Miamba vineyard. Daly Road is another classic Barossa style, combining the juicy softness of shiraz with the spicy, earthy firmness of mourvedre.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009