Brokenwood Indigo Vineyard Beechworth Chardonnay 2010 $30
Hunter based Brokenwood planted its Beechworth, Victoria, vineyard in 1999 – the chardonnay inspired by the beauty of wines made by neighbour Rick Kinsbrunner’s Giaconda winery. Brokenwood’s version, made in the Hunter by Iain Riggs and P-J Charteris, is a wine of exceptional purity and finesse – built on an underlying rich but delicate stone-fruit (white peach and nectarine) varietal flavour. Clean, refreshing acidity accentuates the flavour and fine-ness, giving buoyancy and life to the rich texture, derived from a wild yeast ferment and maturation on lees in barrel. It’s easy to drink now but should evolve well for some years.
Taylor’s Estate Clare Valley Shiraz 2009 and Tempranillo 2009 $17–$18.95
Family-owned Taylors owns about 550 hectares of vines in the southern Clare Valley. By my estimate that equates to about 400 thousand dozen bottles. They play on a big scale and claim their shiraz accounts for 29 per cent of Australian red wine sales, though that seems unlikely. Whatever their market position, Taylor’s wines offer excellent value. The shiraz delivers the pretty fruit of the vintage – a big, juicy, soft warm red that slips down all too easily. The tempranillo is a fair interpretation of this Spanish red variety, with vibrant blueberry like fruit and savoury, quite firm tannins.
Coriole McLaren Vale Shiraz 2009 $28
A thoughtful letter from owner, Mark Lloyd, charts the course of wine fashion since his father produced the first Coriole shiraz in 1970 – from big, to light to natural (but sometimes microbially spoiled) to super-ripe, extractive and oaky (for the American market) and back to a more balanced style over the last decade. The 40th vintage exemplifies that last style beautifully – delivering on the Lloyd family’s 40 years of honing their grape-growing and winemaking skills. It’s deep and generous, in the Vale style, but supple and evenly balanced with a savoury vein running through the ripe shiraz flavours.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 24 July 2011 in The Canberra Times