Wine review — Four Winds, Gundog, Majella, Ravensworth and Lerida Estate

Four Winds Alinga Vineyard Canberra District

  • Riesling 2009 $15.99
  • Cabernet Merlot 2008 $15.99

Gundog Estate Gundaroo Shiraz 2008 $16.99
Early in May six Canberra wineries formed a collective to market good value local wines. They’ve set up display stands in about 20 local retail outlets, says Sarah Collingwood of Four Winds Vineyard, and offer a range of wines at under $17 a bottle. Alinga Riesling 2008, made by Collingwood’s sister Jaime Lunney, is a fresh, light bodied drop with pure varietal flavour and pleasing touch of residual sugar – an all purpose refresher or good company to spicy food. Alinga Cabernet Merlot also offers great value. And Gundog Estate’s shiraz is another very good expression of Canberra’s fine-boned, ripe but spicy and savoury shiraz style.

Majella Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 $30–$33
Some call vintage 2008 a schizophrenic vintage – the story of great fruit harvested before a prolonged, intense March heatwave and shrivelled fruit harvested afterwards. There’s some of this schizophrenia in this extraordinary Majella cabernet, product of the Lynn family’s vineyard, southern Coonawarra. Coonawarra’s elegant, right? Well this one weighs in at 15 per cent alcohol, it’s as black as Hades and one sip carries a bucket of flavour. This is the beginning of the split personality: it’s so powerful and alcoholic, but, yes, it’s still elegant. Further, the strong minty, leafy aroma suggests unripeness. But no, it’s ripe, supple and ripples with soft, juicy tannins.

Ravensworth Canberra District Shiraz Viognier 2008 and 2009 $27
Lerida Estate Canberra District Shiraz Viognier 2008 $59.90
Drinking Canberra shiraz is like being on a perpetual group honeymoon – all sweet, juicy pleasure. Just as we’re getting used to Ravensworth 2008’s ripe-berry-and-spice flavours and taut, savoury dry tannins, along comes its younger sibling from the 2009 vintage. It’s all sensuous, sweet fruit from aroma to palate, with slippery, soft tannins – and a brooding, moody depth that’ll retain your interest tomorrow, too. Lerida Estate is the sauce to Ravensworth’s stock – a simmering, concentrated version of the shiraz viognier blend: bold, saucy, voluptuously fruity and with real staying power. There’s a touch of class in all these wines.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010