Wine review — Oxford Landing Estates, Quartz Hill and Paxton

Oxford Landing Estates Shiraz 2011 $6–$9
Oxford Landing shiraz provides good daily quaffing at a fair price. Though the recommended retail is around $9, it’s often discounted to around $7 and sometimes to a little below $6. It’s generally a medium bodied, drink-now style. But in the very cool 2011 it’s a little lighter bodied than usual, but still based on bright, fresh fruit flavours and soft tannins. So, it’s not for lovers of big, gutsy reds, but definitely a good buy if you like light, fresh, fruity flavours. It’s moderately alcoholic at 13 per and sourced mainly from the Hill Smith family’s Oxford Landing vineyard near Waikerie, South Australia.

Quartz Hill Pyrenees Viognier 2010 $32
Shane and Michelle Mead planted their tiny vineyard in the Pyrenees in 1995 and have their wine made by Michelle’s brother, Darrin Gaffy, at Principia Wines, Mornington.  The production is tiny but the quality is very, very high. The barrel fermented and matured Quartz Hill Viognier 2010 shows a very fine, cool climate side of viognier, a variety that tends to fatness, even oiliness. The wine ginger and apricot-like varietal flavours on a richly textured but not heavy palate. It’s deliciously fresh and the oak flavour very subtle and supportive of the fruit. (Available only by email –

Paxton MV McLaren Vale Shiraz 2011 $18–$20
The Paxton family’s extensive vineyard holdings in McLaren Vale produce a range of high quality wines at various price points.  Their MV shiraz, sourced from biodynamic-in-conversion vineyards, delivers typically generous McLaren Vale flavours, combining bright fruit with a satisfying earthy, savoury undertone. It’s an amazingly good wine at the price. The fruit comes from four Paxton vineyards – Quandong Farm, Maslin Vineyard (near the coast), Jones Block and 19th Vineyard. The diversity of fruit sourcing, a range of winemaking techniques and maturation in a mix of French and American oak account for its completeness.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 19 August 2012 in The Canberra Times