Wine review — Collector, Chandon, Freeman and Morambro Creek

Collector Canberra District Reserve Shiraz 2008 $46
Alex McKay’s Collector Reserve 2008 won four trophies at the recent Sydney Royal Wine Show, topping Aussie greats like Vasse Felix Cabernet and Best’s Bin O Shiraz. Alex sourced the shiraz from the Kyeema Murrumbatemen Vineyard – and added a few buckets of the white variety, viognier, from Kyeema and Wayne and Jenny Fischer’s vineyard. Since its release late last year the wine has largely absorbed the telltale sappy/herbal notes derived from whole-bunch fermentation, leaving just a leafy hint. This seasons the flavour and adds savouriness and grip to the deep, supple, very fine palate. This is a glorious wine and a world away from our traditional styles. See

Chandon Pinot Gris 2009 $25–$28
Freeman Hilltops Fortuna 2008 $22–$25

At a recent tasting this contrasting pair, based on the white variety, pinot gris, divided the audience. The all-pinot gris Chandon 2009 – from Victoria’s King and Yarra Valleys – appealed for its combination of brightness and fine, smooth, silky texture, probably the result of partial barrel fermentation. Brian Freeman’s wine, from the nearby Hilltops region, appealed to those with a taste for more savoury, slightly grippy dry whites. Brian blends it from pinot gris with smaller amounts of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, riesling and aleatico – source, says Brian, of those savoury, pleasantly tart tannins.

Morambro Creek Padthaway

  • Shiraz 2007 $19–$22
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $19–$22

Since the sad decline of the Lindemans brand we hear little of the Padthaway region, on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, an hour’s drive north of Coonawarra. The success of Lindemans Padthaway Chardonnay during the eighties and nineties, and for a little while this century, drew this very large producing region to the attention of wine drinkers. Alas, much of its produce disappears into anonymous multi-regional blends. But occasionally we see elegant, tasty wines like this pair from Morambro Creek carrying the regional flag. These tasty, easy-drinking wines give us a glimpse of what this region can deliver in abundance. See

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010