Jacob’s Creek Riesling 2012 $6.90–$10
The latest Jacob’s Creek shows the superior flavour qualities of a great riesling vintage. It won silver medals in the Melbourne and Hobart wine shows, then golds in Adelaide and Canberra’s National Wine Show of Australia. Winemaker Bernard Hickin says the fruit comes from the Barossa, Eden and Clare Valleys and Langhorne Creek. The combination gives the wine well-defined lime and lemon varietal flavours and a delicious fruit sweetness ¬– though the wine remains crisp and dry with only about three grams a litre of residual sugar (below our taste threshold). This is an extraordinarily good wine at the price.
Chablis (Simmonnet-Febvre) 2010 $23.75–$25
At a chilly 47 degrees north, Chablis, the northernmost outlier of France’s Burgundy region, makes distinctive, lean and succulent, bone-dry chardonnays. The wines stand out in any tasting and make their own strong argument for the French concept of terroir – that a given location produces unique wine flavours. Simonnet-Febvre, imported by Woolworths-owned Dan Murphys, gives the succulent, rich-but-not-heavy, dust-dry Chablis experience at a modest price. It’s bright, fresh and clean – and presumably it’s the Australian influence that sees it sealed with a screw cap. This cold-grown white makes perfect drinking for a hot Australian Christmas.
Bay of Fires Tasmania Pinot Noir 2009 $32.99–$35
This beautiful, silk-smooth, trophy-winning pinot can still be found in Canberra, two years after its release. It’s a steal at the price and a wonderful wine to enjoy with Christmas ham, duck, chicken, turkey or pork. The brand belongs to Accolade Wines portfolio and made at their Bay of Fires Winery, Pipers River. Winemaker Fran Austin sourced fruit from a variety of clones and vineyards on Tasmania’s East Coast, Coal River Valley and Derwent Valley. Peter Dredge took over following Austin’s departure. But we notice his superb 2011 vintage, like the 2009, won a gold medal and trophy at the National Wine Show.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 23 December 2012 in The Canberra Times