Wine review — Hartz Barn, Sibling Rivalry and Capital Wines

Hartz Barn Eden Valley Reserve General Store Riesling 2012 $25
Sydney-based Estate Wines distributes Penny Hart’s and David Barnett’s wines in NSW, including Canberra’s south-coast holiday patch. We discovered the excellent 2011 vintage riesling at Quarterdeck Restaurant, Narooma, which prompted a request to taste the even better 2012. Typical of the vintage it reveals loads of floral, round and juicy fruit flavours. But behind the fruit lies the crisp, taut acidity of the Eden Valley region – suggesting drink pleasure in the future as well as right now. It’s available online for $25 ( and in selected restaurants along the coast for a little over $30.

Sibling Rivalry Geelong Pinot Noir 2010 $26
Sibling Rivalry, an addition to the Four Sisters brand, created by the late Trevor Mast, debuted on Chateau Shanahan’s tasting bench over the Christmas break. It’s a lovely, medium bodied pinot made to drink now and rated highly by English visitors more attuned to these lighter styles than traditional big Aussie reds. It comes from high-quality, maritime pinot country at Geelong. The winemakers applied traditional hands-on pinot techniques (like small-batch ferments and gentle hand plunging) to produce a fragrant, juicy, silky red for current drinking. It has flavour and character without heaviness.

Capital Wine Ministry Series The Swinger Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $19
Reflecting the sauvignon-blanc fatigue of so many in the wine industry (not seen in the market), Capital’s Jennie Mooney writes, “Yes, I know its just sauvignon blanc, but I want you to give this wine a little more attention please”. Well, we do. And what we find is sauvignon blanc – yelling at us with ripe, passionfruit-like aromas and flavours, plush and pleasantly tart at the same time. We think: cold salad, icy, briny oysters, as cold as the wine itself, and shade out of the 36 degree heat. Even partial barrel fermentation can’t blunt the overt sauvignon blanciness of this back slapper.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 3 February 2013 in The Canberra Times