Wine review — Moppity Vineyards, Bowen Estate and Rutherglen Estates

Moppity Vineyards Hilltops Riesling 2010 $23
Moppity’s cheaper sibling, Lock and Key Riesling 2010, won the trophy as best riesling at the recent Winewise Small Vignerons Awards. The more expensive wine walked away without a medal. But it’s unquestionably the better wine of the two with its lovely floral aroma, fresh, intense lime-like varietal flavour and zesty, bone-dry finish. It’s not uncommon for better rieslings to flourish months, or sometimes a year or more after release as the delicate fruit flavour’s sometimes masked by high acidity. The cheaper versions, on the other hand, tend to flaunt it all from day one.

Bowen Estate Coonawarra

  • Shiraz 2008 $30
  • Chardonnay 2009 $30

There’s been some criticism of high alcohol in Australian red wines. It’s a complex subject, as even comparatively low-alcohol wines can appear hot and alcoholic, while in others like this beautiful Bowen Estate shiraz, high alcohol (15 per cent) simply disappears without trace into the sweet, ripe, supple fruit. It might be big, but it’s still graceful and elegant – a great joy to drink now and probably for a decade or more into the future. It’s made by father and daughter team Doug and Emma Bowen. Their chardonnay’s a full, vibrant style featuring pure, melon-like varietal flavour and a noticeable overlay of high-quality new oak.

Rutherglen Estates

  • Shelley’s Block Marsanne Viognier 2009 $13–$16
  • Burgoyne’s Block Mourvedre Shiraz Grenache 2008 $13–$16

Rutherglen Estate’s white blend provides quite a departure from our usual menu of white-wine flavours – led by the exotic, apricot-like richness of viognier. It’s a full flavoured drop and richly textured, though the alcohol’s a comparatively modest 13 per cent. And the red blend chips away at the Rutherglen stereotype – there’s no blockbuster here. Rather it’s fragrant and medium bodied with a delicious, gentle core of ripe-berries and spice and pleasant, rustic bite of tannin. Rutherglen Estates, with five vineyard sites, claims to be the largest grower in the Rutherglen region. We’ve been impressed with the quality and value of wines tasted to date.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010