Wine review — Kooyong Estate, Kingston Estate and Crittenden Estate

Massale by Kooyong Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2010 $25.95–$30
Haven and Ballewindi Vineyards, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

I tried and like this wine on its release in mid 2011. Months later it appealed to me more than two more expensive companions in a three-cornered taste off – Mac Forbes Woori Yallock Yarra Valley 2010 and Vosne-Romanee (Mugneret-Gibourg) 2009. The colour’s vibrant and crimson rimmed. The aroma suggests ripe, black cherry with savoury and earthy notes. The vibrant, juicy palate reflects a spectrum of pinot flavours, including savouriness. Fine fruit and oak tannins permeate the fruit, providing structure under the signature slippery pinot texture. Fruit was sourced from the Kooyong’s Haven and Ballewindi vineyards.

Kingston Estate Barossa and Clare Valleys Shiraz 2010 $10.45–$15
Bill Moularadellis’s Kingston Estate, though based on the Murray River, sources fruit from other top wine-growing regions – in this instance shiraz from the Clare and Barossa Valleys. These warm regions give the wine its pure, ripe, cherry-like varietal aroma and fleshy, juicy fruit flavours. Ten years ago we would’ve expected a blend at this price to be beefed up with vanilla-like oak flavours and huge tannins. But in the modern style, this one let’s the fruit do the talking, with sufficient tannin to give structure and a dry, satisfying finish. There’s lots of flavour for your money here.

Crittenden Estate Los Hermanos Saludo al Txakoli 2011 $25
This is brother and sister Rollo and Zoe Crittenden’s take on an idiosyncratic white from Spain’s Basque region. They write, “Traditionally, three varieties have been used for Txakoli – hondarrabi zubi, hondarrabi beltza and petit manseng, chosen for their natural acid retention and vibrant flavour at low alcohol. With the first two varieties unavailable in Australia, we have used petit manseng, grown in the King Valley”. It’s built to enjoy with savoury food – pale coloured and low in alcohol with tart, vibrant acidity and the further tingle and teasing bite of light, spritzy carbon dioxide.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 1 April 2012 in The Canberra Times