Wine review — Coolangatta Estate and Williams Crossing by Curly Flat

Coolangatta Estate Shoalhaven Coast Savagnin 2012 $25
Coolangatta Estate, located near Nowra, produces wonderful white wines despite constant battles with fungal diseases. Their semillons, in particular, age well and perform consistently well in wine shows. Savagnin, originally misidentified as the Spanish variety albarino in Australia, seems to be another outstanding performer at the site. The Bishop family sends its fruit to Tyrrell’s in the Hunter, and it comes back as this vigorous dry white. Brisk acidity accentuates the wine’s sappy, tropical-fruit palate. And a modest alcohol content (12.7 per cent) means the fruit flavour lingers without any alcoholic heat.

Williams Crossing by Curly Flat Macedon Chardonnay 2011 $25–$28
Curly Flat makes some of Australia’s most exciting, complex chardonnays. The second label, Williams Crossing, comprises material declassified from the Curly Flat label. But even these “offcuts” have been completely barrel fermented and matured, with all the hands-on winemaking attention of its more expensive cellar mate. That means one of the best value chardonnays on the market. In the cool 2011 vintage it’s perhaps a little leaner and tighter than usual with attractive grapefruit and melon varietal flavours woven through the rich barrel-derived texture. At two years’ age it’s brilliantly young and fresh, suggesting further evolution in bottle.

Williams Crossing by Curly Flat Macedon Pinot Noir 2011 $24–$28
A recent masked tasting organised by Jeir Creek’s Kay Howell featured the 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintage Curly Flat Pinot Noirs. The 2007 appealed most of all as it showed the secondary characters outstanding pinot develops with bottle age. Curly Flat’s second label, Williams Crossing, tasted shortly after Howell’s tasting showed another, lower priced expression of the house style. It’s lighter bodied and paler coloured than the wines at Howell’s tasting. But that was to be expected in such a cold vintage. Despite its comparative lightness, the 2011 delivers concentrated, definitive pinot flavour with a backbone of firm, fine tannins.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 23 June  2013 in the Canberra Times