Wine review — Domain Day, Henschke, Penfolds and Teusner

Domain Day Mount Crawford One Serious Riesling 2009 $20
Henschke Eden Valley Julius Riesling 2009 $25–$30

A couple of smart rieslings here – one from the Eden Valley, the other from neighbouring Mount Crawford. We tested them with Chinese food and both did the job well, though in this situation we preferred the vivid, sweet fruit and delicate, dry finish of the Domain Day wine by a small margin. It’s made by Robin Day, a veteran riesling maker and for years, before setting up his own vineyard, head of white wine making at Orlando. The Henschke wine has a tighter structure with rich underlying texture, suggesting a good cellaring future.

Penfolds Reserve Bin 08A Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2008 $80–$90
Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2007 $120–$130

Penfolds ‘white Grange’ project of the nineties produced the flagship, Yattarna Chardonnay and several other spin offs, like this Bin 08A from the Adelaide Hills – a taut, bone-dry, intense style showing quite strong aromas and flavours derived from maturation in barrel on yeast lees. It’s built to last. The vivid, beautiful Yattarna combines fruit from the Derwent Valley, Adelaide Hills and Henty, Victoria. But the real magic, I suspect, comes from the Tasmanian component, sourced from Derwent Estate. If Penfolds are serious about chardonnay they ought to buy this vineyard and produce an estate wine from it – that’s where the future lies.

Teusner Barossa Valley Joshua 2009 $28
Joshua is Kym Teusner’s unoaked blend of 60 per cent grenache, 30 per cent mourvedre (or mataro) and 10 per cent shiraz, sourced from very old vines (up to 95 years old, says Teusner) mainly from the Barossa’s Ebenezer, Kalimna, Greenock and Moppa sub-regions. It’s a brilliant, completely irresistible drop led by the fragrance and juicy suppleness of grenache. In fact, the fruit’s off the leash and romping as soon as the cap comes off the bottle. Under the boisterous grenache, though, lies the fine, tannic backbone and spiciness of mourvedre and the weight and richness of shiraz.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010