Wine review — Evans and Tate, Heartland and Jacob’s Creek St Hugo

Evans and Tate Classic Margaret River Shiraz Cabernet 2010 $13–$15
Now part of McWilliams Wines, Evans and Tate Classic offers big-company reliability, correctness and value – if not excitement. The wine’s aroma reveals a floral, sweet-fruited side of shiraz. This bright fruitiness comes through, too, on the palate. But here a little cabernet astringency kicks in, adding not only grip, but an elegant structure suited to this medium-bodied style. This is an extension of the “Classic” range, a term originally used in the eighties in conjunction with light, crisp, blended white wines. Notable early adopters were Wolf Blass and Evans and Tate.

Heartland Wines Langhorne Creek Dolcetto Lagrein 2010 $19–$22
Good fruit and very clever winemaking here from Ben Glaetzer, produces unique flavours and enjoyable drinking. It’s a blend of the northern Italian varieties dolcetto and lagrein – the former noted for its aromatics and brilliant colour, the latter for its sometimes-intimidating tannins. The blend is highly perfumed and mulberry-like on the nose with a peppery note; the vibrant fruit and pepperiness continue on the generous palate before the savoury, persistent tannins assert themselves in the finish. Heartland is the creation of Ben Glaetzer, Grant Tilbrook, Scott Collet, Geoff Hardy, Vicki Arnold, Gino Melino and John Pargeter.

Jacob’s Creek St Hugo Barossa

  • Shiraz 2008 $49.99
  • Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2010 $49.99

Half a decade ago, partly in a nod to regionality, parent company Pernod Ricard moved several upmarket Orlando wines, including St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, into the Jacob’s Creek range. Now they’ve extended the St Hugo range with these two magnificent Barossa wines – the aromatic, savoury, earthy blend and the opulent, soft, classic shiraz. At these prices, though, I can’t help thinking they should be more specific about fruit sourcing, especially regarding components from the company’s significant holdings in the vicinity of Jacob’s Creek (yes, it really exists). This was the birthplace of Orlando, creator of the Jacob’s Creek brand.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 20 November 2011 in The Canberra Times