Wine review — Kilikanoon, Wicks Estate and Lake Breeze

Kilikanoon Watervale Mort’s Block Riesling 2012 $19.95–$22
Kilikanoon owns about 500 hectares of vines in South Australia, including the six-hectare Mort’s block at Watervale, southern Clare Valley. Mort Mitchell, father of Kilikanoon winemaker Kevin Mitchell, planted the block about 40 years ago. The old low-yielding vines are hand pruned and the fruit hand harvested. Even in the cool, wet 2011 season they produced the goods – a delicate, lean, taut, plank-dry, lemony riesling of amazing vitality. The lemony tartness makes it a good match with fish – much like a squeeze of lemon. The combination of tartness, delicacy and intense underlying fruit flavour suggest good medium to long-term cellaring, too.

Wicks Estate Adelaide Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $18–$20
In Australia, king cabernet lives in the shadow of shiraz. But it remains our number two red wine variety and arguably the best companion of all with roasted red meats, thanks to the interplay protein and the variety’s firm tannins. The two cabernets reviewed here today reveal different ends of its flavour spectrum – the riper, fuller, fleshier warm-climate style from Langhorne Creek; and the leafier, medium-bodied style from the cool Adelaide Hills. The leafiness and finer tannins in Wicks Estate add interest to the underlying ripe, juicy berry flavours.

Lake Breeze Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $21.85–$23
Langhorne Creek lies a little to the south of McLaren Vale, near Lake Alexandrina – a warm region moderated by cooling lake breezes. The area’s rich, fleshy reds – included in many popular blends such as Wolf Blass and Jacob’s Creek – gave it a reputation as Australia’s middle palate. Lake Breeze cabernet demonstrates this attribute deliciously. It’s pure cabernet in aroma and flavour, differentiated from the same variety grown in other regions by the sheer juicy opulence of the palate. It’s irresistible – a view supported by gold medals it won at the Adelaide, Sydney and National wine shows.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 20 May 2012 in The Canberra Times