Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley — $24–$34
- Belford Semillon 2004
- HVD Semillon 2004
These individual vineyard wines express subtle shades of the idiosyncratic Hunter semillon style. The wines are low in alcohol and tending to lemony austerity when young. But with age they soften and the palate fills with delicious honeyed and toasty flavours – without losing the crisp, fresh acidity that attenuates the flavour. Thanks to the screw cap there are no caveats in recommending these just-released near-six-year-olds (a hit and miss affair in the days of cork). They’re in beautiful condition with shimmering lemon-green colour, stunning freshness and appealing early maturation aromas and flavours – and they’ll age for many more years. These are simply extraordinary.
- Nottage Hill Chardonnay 2007 $10–$12
- Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2006 $60–$70
Hardys, now part of USA-based Constellation Brands, boasts of its shift to regional branding, begging the obvious question – is there a future for multi-region blends? It’s easy to say yes for lower priced, fruity, simpler products like Nottage Hill where ‘Australia’ or ‘South Eastern Australia’ should be sufficient provenance. But as magnificent as it its, the flagship Eileen Hardy, blended from Tasmanian, Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba grapes doesn’t jell in a world super-premium market based on regional identity. Perhaps it’s time to drop the concept, and showcase the beautiful fruit from each of those regions in separate regional brands.
Turkey Flat Barossa Valley
- Rosé 2009 $22
- Butchers Block Marsanne Viognier Roussanne 2009 $27
- Grenache 2007 $28
- Butchers Block Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2008 $27
Peter and Christie Schulz’s beautiful Barossa vineyard, near Tanunda, still produces shiraz from vines planted in 1847 – some of the oldest in the world. But the estate now has vines, as well, at Bethany, Koonunga Hill and Stonewell, producing generous, warm, friendly reds, a full, fresh white blended from three Rhone Valley varieties and one of the purest, fruitiest rosés around – blended from grenache, shiraz, cabernet and dolcetto. The reds, though, are always the highlight. The shiraz grenache mourvedre 2008 offers the full, ripe flavours of the vintage; and the grenache 2007 is high toned but savoury and destined to become even more complex with age.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010