Wine review — Alinga, Louee Wines and McKellar Ridge

Louee Nullo Mountain Pinot Grigio 2010 $25

Louee Wines, established in 1996 by Rod James and Tony Maxwell, has two vineyards at Rylstone, near Mudgee – one on Nullo Mountain at an altitude of about 1100 metres. This high, cool site produces intensely flavoured whites with a strong but delicate spine of acid. This accentuates the vivid varietal flavour in the 11-per-cent-alcohol pinot gris and sharpens up the clean, bone-dry refreshing finish. Last year Louee Wines merged with David Lowe Wines of Mudgee. Lowe, a Hunter veteran, excels at making this low alcohol, high acid, slow maturing style of white.

McKellar Ridge Canberra District

  • Shiraz Viognier 2009 $26-$28
  • Trio Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Merlot 2009 $26-$28

Brian and Janet Johnston make just 600 cases of wine each year. They are truly handmade – hand picked from their 650-metre altitude Point of View vineyard and hand plunged. Their ‘Trio’, combining three of the Bordeaux varieties, seems a bit bigger a broodier than earlier vintages – a solid, deeply fruity wine with assertive tannin but nevertheless elegant structure. In a similar solid vein, the 2009 shiraz viognier blend seems particularly ripe and full (in the fine-boned Canberra context) with noticeable seam of oak flavours through the fruit. These are excellent wines but need another few months in bottle before drinking.

Alinga Four Winds Vineyard Canberra District

  • Chardonnay 2009 $17
  • Shiraz 2008 $19

The Lunney family planted their 13-hectare Four Winds vineyard at Murrumbateman in 1998 during BRL Hardy’s push into the region. Indeed, daughter Jaime Lunney worked two Canberra vintages with Hardys and now makes the family wines. The unoaked chardonnay, sourced from Four Winds and other Canberra vineyards offers a great big gob full of ripe melon-and-peach chardonnay flavours – a simple, generous, fruity and fresh wine. The estate-grown shiraz is just lovely, and great value. It’s in the elegant, refined Canberra style – limpid colour; bright and ripe berry fruit underlying spicy and savoury characters; and a juicy, easy-drinking medium-bodied palate.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011