Bremerton Langhorne Creek Coulthard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $22–$27
In a line up of cabernets, including the $60 Voyager Estate below, Bremerton appealed for the volume of flavour it delivered at a realistic price. Langhorne Creek seems to do this with cabernet sauvignon effortlessly and reliably. Bremerton Coulthard shows the regional thumbprint – full body, fleshy mid palate and unmistakeable varietal character. The varietal character has several aspects to it: riper blackcurrant-like flavours, eucalypt and leafy notes typical of Langhorne Creek and firm tannins supporting the fleshy mid palate. Bremerton belongs to the Willson family and eldest daughter, Rebecca, makes the wines.
Beurrot by Kooyong Pinot Gris 2011 $31
Exciting’s not a word usually associated with pinot gris. But this Kooyong 2011 is exciting and certainly one of the best Australian expressions of the variety I’ve tasted. The cool ripening conditions probably contributed the tight acid backbone and intensity of pure, pear-like varietal aroma and flavour. Winemaker Sandro Mosel said he fermented the wine entirely in older barrels without yeast inoculation – meaning ambient yeasts did the hard work. This, and 10 months maturation on the spent yeast cells, contributed to the wine’s rich texture. Grapes came from the Beurrot vineyard and Meres block at Kooyong Estate.
Voyager Estate Margaret River Cabernet Merlot $51.29–$68
In the same tasting as the Bremerton wine reviewed above, Voyager Estate, showed real class – a wine to savour, and with the potential to evolve for many years given good cellaring potential. The wine comes predominantly from two blocks of vines (Old Block and Shining Star) on a gravelly slope of the Stevens Valley. Cassis-like varietal character underpins the wine, but a cedary element from the French oak and plummy merlot add to its dimension – with a little dusting of cabernet leafiness. The wine continued drinking well for days after our tasting says one of the participants, with the sweet berry flavours pushing through deliciously.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 23 September 2012 in The Canberra Times