Wine review — Wallaroo, Eden Road and Vasse Felix

Wallaroo Wines Canberra District Riesling 2009 $20
Wallaroo Vineyard, Hall, belongs to ABC Europe correspondent Philip Williams and family. It’s a near neighbour of Brindabella Hills Winery, where Roger Harris makes the wine. We happened on the 2009 at Taj Agra Indian Restaurant, Dickson, over Easter. What a great discovery – especially at $27, a modest mark up on the $20 cellar door price. It’s a really delicious, racy young riesling with probably years of good drinking still in it. At present it’s lemony, brisk and dry, with deep, pure riesling flavour and still with the austerity of youth. It’s an outstanding wine.

Eden Road Wines

  • Canberra District Riesling 2010 $21
  • Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2008 $45

Eden Road Wines, established in 2006, leased Kamberra Winery, Watson, from the Elvin Group until its recent purchase of Doonkuna Estate, Murrumbateman. Winemaker Nick Spencer makes wines from Canberra and surrounding districts, focusing on regional varietal specialties. Here we see the strength of Canberra riesling and Tumbarumba chardonnay, made in Spencer’s distinctive taut, slow evolving style. It all starts with grape selection of course. The pure, lean, acidic riesling is about as tight and austere as they come. Over time the lovely varietal flavour unwinds, suggesting long-term cellaring potential. Similarly the complex, three-year old chardonnay is still slowly revealing itself.

Vasse Felix Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2009 $18–$25
On a Margaret River tour late last year, Vasse Felix’s wines pushed the excitement button right across the range, from their cheaper products to the top of the line “Heytesbury” label. Their mid-price cabernet merlot, made by Virginia Wilcock, offers a pure, elegant, drink-now expression of the region’s great red specialty. The colour’s limpid and vibrant, with the aroma and palate delivering vivid, fresh berry character. There’s an irresistible juiciness to the fruit flavour. But this is cabernet, after all, and fine tannins cut through the sweet fruit to complete the red-wine equation.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011