Wine review — d’Arenberg, Riddoch and Grant Burge

d’Arenberg Footbolt McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010 $18–$20
The wine bears the name of Footbolt, a racehorse whose success helped Joseph Osborn purchase d’Arenberg’s first vineyard in 1912. Osborn’s descendants, d’Arry and son, Chester, continue to run the business. The Footbolt remains one of Australia’s big-value wines. It offers robust McLaren Vale shiraz flavour and savouriness, supported by mouth coating but soft, ripe tannins. It’s exceptionally rich and satisfying at this price and has the depth to age well for five to ten years if well cellared. We recently enjoyed this by the glass at Agosti Restaurant, on the Newcastle waterfront.

Riddoch Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $14.95–$20
This is a Woolworths’ controlled brand, available through its Dan Murphy, BWS and Woolworths Liquor outlets. Through its Barossa-based Cellarmaster subsidiary, Woolworths is now a major wine producer, though the company employed the services of Katnook Estate Coonawarra winemaker, Wayne Stehbens, in putting this attractive red together. It has the deep colour, rich flavours and ripe tannins of the outstanding 2010 vintage – a varietally pure, elegantly structured Coonawarra style. It’s medium bodied and made for early drinking. The price varies from around $15 on special to $20 among the various Woolies retail brands.

Grant Burge Thorn Eden Valley Riesling 2012 $16.15–$23.95
Grant Burge’s 2012 riesling delivers the exceptionally rich fruit flavours of the vintage in a fuller, softer style than many other Eden Valley wines of the same year. Burge rates the 2012 whites as “some of the best I’ve ever made”. He attributes the exceptional fruit quality to mild days, cool nights, good sub-soil moisture, healthy vines and moderate yields. These conditions, says Burge, produced grapes with “very balanced sugar to acid ratios and flavours”. The wine reflects the quality of the grapes with its fully, citrusy varietal flavour, round, smoothly textured palate and backbone of fresh acidity.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 28 April 2013 in The Canberra Times