Tscharke Barossa Valley The Master Montepulciano 2011 $24
Barossa winemaker Damien Tscharke claims to be the first in Australia to establish the Italian red variety, montepulciano. Best known in Italy’s Abruzzo region, montepulciano makes large volumes of wine. At its best, it’s robust and fruity with rustic tannins that work well with food. Tscharke’s medium-bodied Barossa version offers vibrant fruit flavours, reminiscent, vaguely, of blueberries with a bit of pepper and spice thrown in – all wrapped in the variety’s rustic, satisfying tannins. Tscharke’s success with the wine in such a lousy vintage, suggests even better drinking in future seasons.
Fareham Estate Clare Valley Riesling 2013 $8.99
The back label carries geologist–wine merchant David Farmer’s enlightening description of the Clare Valley, “… an area of 14 kilometres east–west by 33 kilometres north–south and straddles a north trending series of ridges and valleys of striking beauty. Five ridgelines rising to 500 metres separate the four wine valleys. The main road between the southern Clare town of Auburn and the northern town of Clare travels along the most important wine valley. Just north of Auburn is the pretty town of Watervale settled in 1851”. Farmer sourced this delicate, lime-like, dry riesling from Watervale and offers it on glug.com.au.
Hereford Heathcote Shiraz 2012 $14.25–$15
The Hereford brand – along with Grunter’s Original Wipeout, Erin Cream and Tisdall wine – belongs to the French-owned Ballande Groupe. They make Hereford shiraz exclusively for the Woolworths-owned Dan Murphy chain. The wine, sourced from Heathcote Victoria and made by David Crawford, offers a safe and easy-drinking, affordable expression of the region’s rich, savoury flavours. The soft tannins and up-front fruit make it a drink-now wine, so need to cellar. And move on to the next vintage when this one runs out.
Copyright Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 22 September 2013 in the Canberra Times