Wine reviews — Kirrihill, d’Arenberg and Henschke

Kirrihill Single Vineyard series $15.25–$16.95

  • Clare Valley Slate Creek Riesling 2010
  • Adelaide Hills Serendipity Pinot Grigio 2010
  • Adelaide Hills Barton Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2010

There’s great value in these single-vineyard whites made by Donna Stephens. The riesling, sourced from 30-year-old vines in Watervale, southern Clare Valley, offers full, rich lemony flavours with lively, delicate, refreshing acidity. The sauvignon blanc, from the higher cooler Adelaide Hills to the south of Clare, delivers sauvignon’s familiar herbaceous flavours and little more text and grip than we see in most. Pinot gris, also from the Adelaide Hills, is more spicy and pear-like in flavour, backed by a textural richness, courtesy of extended contact on yeast lees.

d’Arenberg McLaren Vale The Stump Jump range  $10.75–$11.95

  • Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2009
  • Shiraz 2009
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

d’Arenberg’s Stump Jump range delivers true regional flavours at a modest price. They’re ready to drink now, but more complex than most reds you’ll find at the price. In the blend Grenache gives a lighter colour and fragrant high notes, shiraz adds a solid, earthy flavour and richness and mourvedre contributes spice and grippy tannins. The shiraz is all McLaren Vale – its varietal fruitiness wrapped in savoury tannins, managing to be full flavoured but not plump, and finishing fairly firm. The cabernet, too, is purely varietal with its tight, lean-but-tasty palate and firm, tannic finish.

Henschke Barossa Henry’s Seven 2009 $30.60–$34

This juicy and lovely wine combines shiraz, grenache, viognier and mourvedre – seemingly a blend of blends, combining two distinct Rhone valley styles. In the northern Rhone’s Cote Rotie area, co-fermented shiraz and viognier (a white variety) produce one of the world’s great red styles – shiraz of great fragrance and finesse. Canberra’s Clonakilla is modelled on this style. Further south, grenache, shiraz and mourvedre dominate earthier, medium bodied, multi-varietal blends. In Henry’s Seven, Stephen Henschke captures the high toned fragrance and plump fruitiness of viognier and grenache, but tempers it with the more savoury character of shiraz and spicy grippiness of mourvedre.

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