Wine review — McLeish Estate, Longview and Grant Burge

McLeish Estate Hunter Valley Semillon 2011 $23
The lower Hunter Valley’s idiosyncratic semillon style doesn’t please all drinkers, though it’s followed with passion by the true believers. McLeish 2011 – winner of a trophy and gold medal at the Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show 2011 – is an excellent example of the style. The alcohol’s just 11.1 per cent and the aroma and flavour reveal a unique, delicate lemongrass-like character. The palate’s light, fresh and a little austere, in a pleasing, food-friendly way. Over time, the colour will darken from lemon to golden, the aroma and flavour will develop rich but fine honeyed and toasty characters. (Available through

Longview Red Bucket Adelaide Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $15–$17
The label says “Adelaide”, but that’s shorthand for a blend of 52 per shiraz from the Longview vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, the rest cabernet sauvignon from McLaren Vale. The Saturno family owns the Adelaide Hills vineyard and the wines are made under contract by Ben Glaetzer. In this instance it’s a clever, medium bodied wine combining the juicy, ripe flavours and pleasing aromatics of cool-grown shiraz and the structure, and leafy flavour notes, of cabernet sauvignon. It’s all about bright fruit, soft tannins – a joyous wine to enjoy right now.

Grant Burge Filsell Old Vine Barossa Shiraz 2010 $25.15 –$40
Winemaker Grant Burge says the Filsell vineyard contains one of the largest blocks of old (more than 90 years) shiraz in the southern Barossa Valley. Burge has made an impressive single vineyard wine from the block for some years now; but the 2010 really stands out after a run of drought-affected seasons. It’s full bodied, in the Barossa style, with particularly intense, bright, ripe fruit flavours and supple texture. The supple fruit comes layered with soft, ripe fruit tannins, with another structural and flavour lift from very high quality oak.  It’s a very high quality red with medium to long term cellaring potential.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 26 August 2012 in The Canberra Times