Wine review — Swinging Bridge, Kilikanoon and Domaine A

Swinging Bridge Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2011 $18.95
Marlborough, New Zealand, dominates Australia’s sauvignon blanc market. But our cooler Australian regions like the Adelaide Hills and Orange often give the Kiwis a run for their money, albeit in different styles. This one, from the Ward family vineyard at Orange, captures an exuberant, passionfruit-like, pure and fruity face of the variety. The striking passionfruit aroma, flows through to a delicious, riotously fruity palate that sings with fresh acidity and finishes crisp and dry. Vignerons Tom and Georgie Ward attribute the wine’s flesh and texture to lees stirring and partial barrel fermentation.

Kilikanoon Blocks Road Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $30–$35
We placed Blocks Road in a recent line up of cabernet from seven different Australian regions. The widely varied climates represented in the tasting delivered a range of styles, consistent with their origins – like the chalk and cheese represented today by the warm Clare Valley and cool Tasmania. Our Clare wine, from very low yielding vineyards, showed rich, ripe, intense, chocolate-like varietal flavour of the warm region. Layers of firm, ripe tannin supported the rich fruit flavours, creating a big but not heavy wine that looked better and better with increasing aeration.

Domaine A Stoney Vineyard Tasmania Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $30
From the heart of pinot noir country, in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley, comes this beautiful cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot blend. Owner Peter Althaus writes that it’s grown on a warm, north-facing vineyard. And, no doubt, intense vine management and restricted yields allow cabernet to ripen at this latitude. Despite 33 months in oak barrels, the lovely, elegant varietal aroma dominates the aroma and flavour – showing both ripe berries and an attractive leafy edge. There’s an interplay between the fruit and tannins, the overall impression being of finesse and elegance.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 15 April 2012 in The Canberra Times