Ingram Road Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2010 $18
A growing number of high quality cheaper wines highlights Australia’s maturing pinot growing and making skills. In this instance Helens Hill Estate’s second label, Ingram Road, delivers the aroma, flavour and structure of decent pinot at an affordable price. It has floral and cherry-like varietal aromas that flow through to a vibrant, medium bodied palate, supported by fine, firm tannins and completed by earthy and savoury notes. Scott McCarthy makes the wine from estate-grown fruit 0ff 12 and 13-year-old vines. It’s an early drinking style – enjoy any time over the next two or three years.
Kingston Estate Coonawarra Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon $10.45–$15
Bill Moularadellis’s Kingston Estate, based on South Australia’s Murray River, sources grapes from growers across the state. In this wine Bill delivers good cabernet flavour and structure by combining material from Coonawarra and Wrattonbully, just to the north east of Coonawarra. The wine has a youthful, deep colour and buoyant, sweet, ripe blackcurrant aroma. The palate’s full and rich with juicy, sweet blackcurrant flavour and cabernet-like drying astringency. It offers very good value for money, especially when it’s discounted to between $10 and $11. Drink now to two years out.
Fox Creek JSM McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc $21.85–$24
This is an original and clever blend, based on shiraz but using the two cabernet varieties to add different dimensions. First impression is of a highly aromatic red with buckets of slurpy, sweet, juicy fruit on the mid palate. The aromatic high notes come, presumably, from the cabernet franc component. And the big, soft palate and soft tannins start with shiraz. However, two cabernets affect the palate, too – cabernet sauvignon tightening up the structure with its solid tannin and adding mint and chocolate notes. The cabernet franc adds a lively, racy element. It’ll probably never be better than it is now in its exuberant youth.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 2 October 2011 in The Canberra Times