Wine review — Leasingham, Blackjack and Paddy Borthwick

Leasingham Bin 7 Clare Valley Riesling 2012 $16.15–$23
It’s a brand without a home. But there’s no denying the juicy, drink-now charm of trophy and gold medal winning Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling. The press release describes Leasingham “as one of the Clare Valley’s oldest wineries, established in 1893”, implying a continuing connection with the brand. In fact, Constellation Wines Australia sold the winery to Clare winemaker Tim Adams and wife Pam Goldsack in January 2011. The newly formed Accolade Wines, with Champ Private Equity and Constellation as shareholders, acquired the Leasingham brand. The brand has no connection, other than by name, with the historic, and now renamed winery.

Blackjack Chortle’s Edge Bendigo Shiraz 2010 $18–$20
Winemaker Ian McKenzie describes 2010 as an “idyllic vintage lodged between the drought years of 2008 and 2009 and the deluges that were to follow in 2011 and 2012”. The benign season created an impressive Chortle’s Edge, Blackjack’s entry level shiraz, sourced from the Turner’s Crossing and Fielder family vineyards, Bendigo. It’s a medium bodied red, with ripe red-berry varietal flavours, overlaid with spiciness and a gently savoury grip – consistent with the regional style. Ian McKenzie and Ken Pollack make it in open fermenters, hand plunging the fruit and maturing the wine in older American oak barriques.

Paddy Borthwick Wairarapa Riesling 2011 $25
New Zealand’s Wairarapa region, a little to the northeast of Wellington, lies at around 41 degrees south, not far north of Marlborough. The sunny but cool location produces fine riesling, more akin to German than mainland Australian style, though not quite as delicate as the Germans. Paddy Borthwick’s 2011 thrilled a few drinkers down the coast over the Easter break with its intense, delicate Germanic aroma and equally intense, finely structured palate. We noted riesling’s familiar lime-like flavours with a touch of green apple (the German element) and a hint of sweetness, nicely balanced by brisk acidity.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 14 April 2013 in The Canberra Times