Wine review — Formby and Adams, Peter Lehmann, Angullong and Cumulus Wines

Formby and Adams Leading Horse Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $17–$19
Langhorne Creek, near Lake Alexandrina, boasts two enduring wine dynasties – the Potts family at Bleasdale, founded 1850, and the Adams family at the Metala Vineyard, established 1891 by William Formby. Guy Adams, Formby’s great-great-grandson, is the fifth generation on the property. Guy’s 2007 cabernet shows the characteristics of the mild, very dry vintage. The varietal aroma and flavour are crystal clear. But the palate’s tight and firm, without Langhorne Creek’s characteristic fleshiness. However, the kernel of fruit handles the tannin easily, creating a terrific style to enjoy with high protein dishes, especially grilled or roasted steak or lamb.

Peter Lehmann Margaret Barossa Semillon 2005 $30
Going against the trend to release ever-younger vintages, Peter Lehmann recently released five absolutely beautiful wines from the 2005 vintage – a riesling, two shirazes, a cabernet and this stunning semillon, named for Peter’s wife, Margaret. Semillon’s an old Barossa workhorse white variety. It can be coarse and fat. But treated properly it makes superb wine. It has become a specialty for Lehmann, through their big volume, cheaper version, and this flagship, sourced from mature Barossa vines. It’s picked early (hence the modest 11.5 per cent alcohol), made protectively and bottle early to preserve the pure, citrusy fruit flavour, then five years’ bottle age adds its own magic.

Angullong Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2010 $15–$17
Cumulus Wines Climbing Orange Merlot 2009 $21.99

Angullong presents an appealing, subtle, gentle expression of sauvignon blanc, its flavours leaning towards the tropical-fruit-and-passionfruit end of the varietal spectrum. The vibrant, pure fruit flavours come with a soft, refreshing acidity. It provides a pleasing contrast to the more robust, acidic Marlborough styles, and the price is realistic – $15 at cellar door and around $17 retail. And from neighbouring Cumulus Wines, comes this delicious, fine-boned merlot from the outstanding 2009 vintage. It’s bright, plummy and medium bodied – fruity but not plump – finishing with persistent, fine, drying tannins. It’s an elegant, inexpensive red made for early enjoyment.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010