Wine review — Taylors, Moppity Vineyards and Dalwhinnie

Taylors Promised Land South Australia $10.45 to $13.95

  • Shiraz 2010,
  • Merlot 2010
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Taylors’ entry-level reds offer a big generous mouthful of clear-cut varietal flavour at a fair price – especially at discount time, which is frequent in the big retailers. At just over a year old the flavours are all grapey and vibrant. The very aromatic shiraz offers the roundest, most opulent flavours of the trio with easy, soft tannins. In the merlot ripe, plummy aromas lead to an equally plummy palate, cut with merlot’s quite firm tannins. The generous, firm cabernet combines ripe, cassis flavours with the variety’s slightly leafy notes. It’s sourced from Clare Valley and Padthaway.

Moppity Vineyards Hilltops Lock and Key Shiraz 2009 $13–$15
In the last few years Jason and Alecia Brown’s  69-hectare vineyard, near Young, moved swiftly from near invisible near ubiquitous – driven by high quality, modest prices and clever marketing. The current release Lock and Key Shiraz clicks all of the correct wine hyperlinks – high quality, great vintage, expressive of variety and region and well priced. A winner of two gold medals and one trophy, it captures the structure and flavour now marking Hilltops as a key shiraz region. It’s ripe but spicy, and a touch savoury, generous but medium bodied, with fine, soft tannins. It’s ready to drink right now.

Dalwhinnie Pyrenees single-vineyard Pyrenees shirazes

  • The Pinnacle 2008 $80
  • Southwest Rocks 2008 $80
  • The Eagle 2005 $158

Dalwhinnie’s trio of magnificent shirazes comes from individual blocks on the Pyrenees’ estate. Winemaker David Jones employs similar winemaking techniques across the range (hot fermentation in small pots, basket pressing and maturation for about 18 months in mainly new French oak barriques). The Pinnacle gives a big warming hug – it’s packed with sweet, ripe-cherry varietal flavour and has a savoury touch, too. Southwest Rocks offers floral high notes then a tight, firm, beautifully textured palate with lovely underlying sweet and spicy fruit. The Eagle seems closed and brooding – earthy notes melding with ripe, plummy fruit, richly coated in soft tannins.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 10 July 2011 in The Canberra Times