Yearly Archives: 2014

A year in Canberra wine, 2014

As the Australian wine industry moved into another round of takeovers and rationalisation in 2014, Canberra’s vignerons remained many, small and independent. They released probably more outstanding wines in the year than they ever had before, attracting a remarkable flow of wine show gongs.

Treasury Wine Estates was the largest takeover target. After months of due diligence, the publicly listed offshoot of Fosters rejected takeover bids from two American private-equity suitors. However, Treasury remains vulnerable to takeover during its restructure under new chief executive, Michael Clarke.

On a smaller scale, Accolade wines confirmed in December it had finalised plans to buy independent Barossa operator, Grant Burge Wines and expected to settle in January 2015. Accolade, owned by private equity firm CHAMP and America’s Constellation Brands, own the former BRL Hardy empire.

The industry’s long history of capital destruction continued, albeit not on the multi-billion-dollar scale seen in the first decade of the century. In November, the Board of Barossa-based Peter Lehmann Wines said majority shareholder Hess Group (86 per cent) and substantial shareholder, Margaret Lehman, had agreed to sell interests to Casella Wine Brands at $1.50 a share, valuing the company at $57million. Hess had paid over $100 million for its stake in Lehmann about a decade earlier.

Canberra boasted no takeovers on this scale. But on 11 September, high-profile Murrumbateman winemaker Ken Helm emailed, “Today our daughter Stephanie and our son in law (vineyard manager) Ben Osborne have purchased Yass Valley Wines”.

But as 2014 dawned, Canberra vignerons focused not on the grinding wheels of the industry at large, but on the coming vintage. It seemed a song of ice and fire for much of the Canberra region: frost nipped vine buds in October and intense heat waves followed in January and February.

The frost affected many, though not all vineyards. While no one escaped the heat – growers with adequate water fared better than those without. Those with inadequate supplies struggled to keep vines, let alone crops, healthy; while others saw promising, if reduced, crops ripening under protective leaf canopies.

In the end, the area produced many good white wines led by our district specialty, riesling. These unoaked wines come to market just months after vintage. They can be a little austere at first release, thanks to their high natural acidity. But in 2014, full, ripe fruit flavours made the new releases more approachable than usual.

Perhaps because of this the accolades flowed quickly and in open competition against Australia’s best. At Canberra’s International Riesling Challenge, Mount Majura Riesling 2014 won trophies as best dry riesling of the show and best Canberra riesling. About the same time, Four Winds Vineyard Riesling 2014 won gold at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show. In our local show, judges awarded gold to Jeir Creek Riesling 2014.

The depth and breadth of Canberra rieslings mean we could easily have stuck to riesling alone for this year’s top-10 whites. The pickings are rich and prices comparatively modest for these potentially long-lived wines.

We also make decent chardonnay in the region ­– for example, those of Lerida Estate at Lake George Lark Hill, high on the escarpment. But, as results in our local show reveals, higher, cooler Tumbarumba generally upstages us. Little wonder then that several Canberra makers, including Eden Road, Ravensworth and Clonakilla, source chardonnay from Tumbarumba.

Other white varieties beginning to do well in Canberra include Austria’s gruner veltliner (at Lark Hill, our highest, coolest site) and the Rhone Valley varieties, marsanne, roussanne and viognier. This seems natural enough given the success of that other great Rhone variety, shiraz.

It’s impossible to say enough good things about Canberra shiraz – a distinctive, medium-bodied, fruity-spicy style of many shades ­– especially those from the great 2013 vintage.

These are now flowing into the market and present some of the best buying opportunities to date. A masked tasting of over 50 Canberra shirazes in September left no doubts about the superior quality of the 2013s and of the keeping ability of Canberra’s best vintages, notably the 2009s and 2005s.

Based on that tasting, and several others, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier holds its place at the very top of the Canberra pile. This is superb, supple, complex to savour. However, a couple of others are moving towards it, while many more, just a rung or two down the ladder offer world-class drinking.

Nick O’Leary Bolaro Shiraz 2013 gets a special mention, for its exceptional quality and show success, including being named as NSW wine of the year and winning gold at the 2014 National Wine Show of Australia. Two other notable Canberra shirazes won gold in the same class: Collector Reserve 2013 and Lerida Estate Shiraz Viognier 2013 (top scoring gold and a trophy winner).

And the wines are far from uniform, ranging from bright, fresh, fruity and drinkable now, to more savoury, tannic wines needing time to evolve – all within the district medium bodied, spicy style.

If shiraz remains our highest achievement, other red varieties make good wines now and offer promise for the future. A November tasting of around 40 sangioveses revealed a range of styles and very good quality from a number of Canberra wineries, most notably from Ravensworth, Capital Wines and Four Winds.

The Spanish red variety, tempranillo, makes good wines, too. Mount Majura, Capital Wines and Quarry Hill all do it well. And Mount Majura throws touriga and graciano into the mix, blended and straight.

Canberra’s wine industry is, of course, best appreciated through its wines, with its shiraz and riesling, at least, acknowledged among the best in Australia.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 2 December 2014 in
  • 3 December 2014 in the Canberra Times

Canberra’s year in beer, 2014

Canberra’s embrace of the global craft-beer phenomenon tightened during 2014. We began the year with two local breweries – Zierholz and the Wig and Pen – and on 6 June we welcomed BentSpoke, Braddon, as our third.

The two-story brewpub provides great views of the brewing equipment from the downstairs bar. It serves beer, cider, wine and food on both levels and at its outdoor courtyard.

On opening night, people queued in the cold to join an enthusiastic crow inside. And in the first three days, patrons consumed 3,500 litres of beer – all brewed on site in the lead up to opening by Richard Watkins.

Watkins, partner Tracy Margrain and his backers ­ – the family behind Melbourne brewing supplier, Bintani Australia – designed and built BentSpoke from scratch in a new building on the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets, Braddon.

As BentSpoke fired up, our oldest brewpub, the Wig and Pen prepared to move from its Alinga Street home of two decades to nearby Llewellyn Hall, at the Australian National University.

Owner Lachie McOmish hoped to achieve the move in just a few weeks from September. However, McOmish poured last drinks for his loyal patrons on 30 October. And after visiting the new site on 25 November, I’d be surprised to see it open before the new year, despite the building activity underway at the time.

McOmish says the bar will be about the same size as the original. The brewing area, on the same level, will be larger, and supported by a grain mill and storage space downstairs.

Before departing the Wig and Pen to establish BentSpoke, Richard Watkins trained Dr Tom Lillicrap as the Wig’s new brewer.

The new site should attract the old enthusiasts. And concertgoers at Llewellyn Hall will at last have tasty alternatives to the lacklustre offering of the Hall’s pop-up bar.

As BentSpoke revved up and the Wig and Pen wound back for its move, our third brewer, Christoph Zierholz, eyed a new site at Kingston.

Zierholz currently brews from a brewpub in Fyshwick, with another outlet at University of Canberra. He hopes to secure a site for a brewery and beer hall at the new arts precinct, adjacent to Kingston Markets.

Certainly our thirst for varied and interesting beers seems endless. It seems likely our small city can easily absorb the output of three exceptionally innovative local brewers.

All of these brewers arose from the amateur ranks. And the depth of local interest shows in two recent events.

Canberra brewer, Kevin Hingston, won the Champion Brewer Award at this year’s Australian Amateur Brewing Championship, hosted in Canberra. Canberra brewers overall amassed the second highest aggregate, just one point behind more populous Victoria, and two points ahead of NSW.

The other event, Canberra Beer Week, held in November, attracted a beyond-capacity crowd to its one-day beer hall at Kingston. Tap takeovers and beer and food events across the city also attracted enthusiastic drinkers.
It seems Canberra can’t quite get enough of the really good stuff.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 25 November 2014 in
  • 3 December 2014 in the Canberra Times

Wine review – Tulloch, Vinaceous and De Bortoli

Tulloch Pokolbin Dry Red Shiraz 2013 $20–$25
Tulloch make a number of Hunter Valley reds, including this fruity drink-now version. In this instance “drink-now” means the fresh, vibrant fruit flavours, medium body and gentle tannins appeal enormously and make good current drinking. However, the quality, purity and depth of fruit flavour (and the ever reliable screw cap), means the wine should evolve well for another four or five years. Grapes used in the wine were grown in the Pokolbin district of the lower Hunter Valley – a comparatively warm region that at first glance ought to make big, tannic reds. Instead the area makes idiosyncratic, medium body styles like this one.

Vinaceous Impavido Mount Barker Vermentino 2014 $22
Originally from Sardinia, the Liguria coast and Corsica, the white grape variety vermentino seems well suited to Australia’s warm, dry conditions. At Mount Barker, Western Australia, the vine encounters overall cooler growing conditions than it does, say, in the hot South Australian Riverland. Under the countervailing forces of hot inland air and cool sea breezes, the grape ripens at comparatively low sugar levels while retaining high acidity. The resulting medium-bodied wine offers fresh citrus and stone-fruit flavours, zingy, fresh acidity and a dust-dry finish. Should the retail trade support Vinaceous, the wine may drop a few dollars in price.

De Bortoli Gulf Station Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2013 $16.15–$18
De Bortoli’s modestly price pinot comes from vineyards in four Yarra Valley sub-regions: Dixons Creek, Yarra Glen, Tarrawarra and Woori Yallock. In the warm 2013 vintage, these vineyards produced a plumper wine than they did in the cooler 2012 and 2011 vintages. The ripe, warm aroma and round, soft palate retain clear varietal character. And, perhaps because of the very soft tannins, the oak influence seems more apparent than in previous years, adding backbone and subtle flavour to the wine. De Bortoli makes a number of top-end pinots. The grape resources and winemaking skills channelled into those wines greatly benefit this entry-level pinot.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 29 November 2014 in
  • 30 November 2014 in the Canberra Times

Wine review – Coppabella, Fighting Gully Road, Ravensworth, Capital Wines, Lark Hill and Pikes

Coppabella “The Crest” Chardonnay 2012 $20–$30
Coppabella vineyard, Tumbarumba, NSW

Jason and Alecia Brown own the 68-hectare Moppity vineyard in the Hilltops region and the 70-hectare Coppabella vineyard at Tumbarumba. They now match the exceptional quality of their Moppity reds with three beautiful chardonnays from the higher, cooler Coppabella vineyard. Just as he did when launching the reds a few years back, Jason Brown hopes to attract retail support, and drinkers, for the whites through low everyday pricing. Certainly “The Crest” offers jaw-dropping quality for $20–$25 a bottle. This is genuine cool-climate chardonnay, with grapefruit-like varietal flavour and the thrilling acidity that gives the wine elegance, freshness and great length of flavour.

Fighting Gully Road Sangiovese 2012 $28
Aquila Audax vineyard, Beechworth, Victoria

Mount Majura’s Frank van de Loo snuck this Beechworth wine into a recent masked tasting of sangioveses from the Canberra region. The ring-in won the night in my scorebook and received high ratings from most of the vignerons present. It comes from a vineyard planted in 1997 and offers the unique sour cherry aromas and flavours of very good sangiovese. The medium bodied, harmonious palate is cut with fine tannins that give length to the finish.

Ravensworth Le Querce Sangiovese 2013 $25
Murrumbateman and Hall, Canberra District, NSW
This was my top-scoring Canberra wine in a recent masked tasting of 39 sangioveses. Maker Bryan Martin says 2013 is, “the first with a good proportion of [the much favoured] Brunello clones”. The wine comes from three Canberra vineyards, including Martin’s own at Murrumbateman. It offers the medium body and lovely, underlying cherry-like flavour of the variety. There’s great depth to the fruit this year, and it’s seasoned with pleasing herbal and savoury characters. Although the fine tannins give quite a drying tweak to the finish, they’re rounded and smooth and add deliciously to the savouriness of the wine.

Capital Wines The Foreign Minister Sangiovese 2013 $25
Hall and Murrumbateman, Canberra District, NSW

Early this month Canberra vignerons held a masked tasting of 39 sangioveses – 27 from Canberra, one from Beechworth, Victoria, and eleven from Tuscany, Italy. The Canberra group included vintages back to 2003. The 2010s showed strongly, and the current release 2013s offered a very high average quality, with a couple of rippers – notably Ravensworth and Capital Wines. Both were gold medal contenders in my scoresheet. The Capital Wines sangiovese appealed for its bright, fresh, cherry-like varietal aroma and flavour, medium body and fine, ripe tannins that washed in over the fruit flavours, giving a juicy backbone to a most enjoyable wine.

Lark Hill Sangiovese 2013 $30
Dark Horse vineyard, Murrumbateman, Canberra District, NSW

Lark Hill sangiovese split the room at the recent tasting of Canberra district sangiovese. Some loved the wine, while others, including me, couldn’t initially get past the slight but distracting pong of hydrogen sulphide – a natural by-product of anaerobic winemaking. The Carpenter family made the wine entirely in stainless steel tanks, foregoing aerobic maturation in oak barrels. The process captured the juicy, fruity richness and savouriness of the grape. A little aeration dispersed the pong, leaving the pure joy of the grape in a medium bodied, buoyant, drink-now red of great charm.

Pikes “Traditionele” Riesling 2014 $17.90–$26
Polish Hill, Watervale and Sevenhill, Clare Valley, South Australia

Very hot weather early this year threatened to bake Clare Valley’s riesling crop. But rain arrived on 14 February. To say it “saved the vintage is an understatement”, writes winemaker Neil Pike. “It gave the vines a much needed boost of moisture and delayed ripening into the cooler months of March and April. What might have been a disaster became instead a triumph, producing “elegant, pure flavours, lowish alcohol levels and excellent natural acids”, writes Pike. His aromatic “Traditionele” riesling appeals for its pure citrus flavour, juicy and rich but delicate palate and zesty, refreshing acidity. The big flavour belies the wine’s modest 11 per cent alcohol content.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 25 November 2014 in
  • 26 November 2014 in the Canberra Times

Great Australian beer festival February 2015

Australians’ exploding love for cider and craft beer means ever more events combining these lovely drinks with fine food and entertainment.

A big event on the calendar, the Great Australian Beer Festival, is to be held at Geelong Racecourse on Saturday 21 February.

The organisers are yet to announce details of entertainment and food at the event. But they expect to offer more than 200 craft beers and ciders.

Brewers supporting the event include the two big boys, Lion (Little Creatures) and CUB (Matilda Bay) as well as a number of smaller independents. These include Prickly Moses, Southern Bay Brew Co, Mountain Goat, Murray’s, Stone and Wood, Napoleone and Holgate.

The website ( provides updates on the event as it takes shape. Entry to the event costs $44 online (including online transaction fee) but will be $50 at the gate. Drink tokens cost extra.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 26 November in the Canberra Times

Beer review – 4 Pines Brewing Company and Thathcher’s Cider

4 Pines Brewing Company Brookvale Union Ginger Beer 500ml $7
Ahh, yes – sugar, alcohol and a twist of ginger make a palate pleasing combination for many. And that’s exactly what 4 Pines offers in this blend of “water, cane sugar, alcohol, fresh ginger, citric acid, natural ginger flavours, preservative”. An alcoholic soft drink, it is; beer, it is not.

Thatcher’s Gold English Cider 500ml
Thatcher’s Gold won three trophies at this year’s Australian Cider Awards: best in show, best cider and best international cider or perry. It’s available in bottle and on tap (kegged by Coopers). The cider has a bright, pale-golden colour an aroma of very ripe apples and flavour to match, with delightfully brisk acidity and dry finish.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 26 November 2014 in the Canberra Times

Wine review – Paxton, Vinaceous and Coppabella

Paxton AAA McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache 2012 $17.10–$22
Our tennis, red wine and curry group tested David Paxton’s blend of shiraz and grenache with a range of spicy flavours, including fairly hot chilli. Generally we find fresh, fruity young reds with soft tannins retain their flavours and sit comfortably with a diversity of spicy flavours and food textures. Paxton’s wine sits square in this style, offering the bright, cherry-like aromas and flavours of shiraz, combined with the musk and spice of grenache. Chilli alone knocked the fruit out momentarily, but it bounced back deliciously and soon enough the bottle emptied.

Vinaceous Red Right Hand
Margaret River Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo 2013 $22.50–$25
The distinctive Vinaceous brand brings a colourfully labelled, vivacious range of wines to your dinner table. The striking “Red Right Hand” label portrays the naked-torso flame-thrower in action – which seemed appropriate as we slurped it down with the beef vindaloo and butter chicken. The vivacity of fruit carries this red joyously across the palate. It’s a festival of summer berry flavours and spice, with a savoury undercurrent and assertive though ripe and soft tannins. The distinctive tannins most likely come from the tempranillo component of the blend.

Coppabella Single Vineyard Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2012 $20
Jason and Alicia Brown of Moppity Vineyards, Young, added chardonnay to their menu by acquiring the Coppabella vineyard in the higher, cooler Tumbarumba region. They produce three chardonnays from the site: the very serious “Sirius” 2013 ($60), the taut, slow evolving (and sensational) “Crest” 2012 ($x, one trophy, two gold medals) and the classy, entry-level “Single Vineyard” 2012 (one gold medal). From a cool vintage in a cool region, it reveals the shimmering grapefruit- and nectarine-like varietal flavour of chardonnay beautifully woven in with the textural and flavour inputs of barrel fermentation and maturation. The price is likely to be discounted below the recommended $20.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 22 and 23 November 2014 in and the Canberra Times

Wine review – Robert Stein, Rusty Fig, Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Moppity Vineyard and Houghton

Robert Stein Riesling 2014 $35
Robert Stein vineyard, Mudgee, NSW

At the excellent St Isidore restaurant, Milton, we kicked off a joyous lunch with the delicious Robert Stein riesling. Riesling can be austere when young. But winemaker Jacob Stein backed the natural lime-like varietal flavour of this one with gentle mid-palate texture. The flavour comes from the family’s 38-year-old vines, located at about 600 metres. And he uses three techniques to build texture: allowing about ten per cent of the blend to ferment naturally on skins for about a week; leaving the wine on spent yeast cells for a short period; and arresting the ferment to leave about eight grams a litre of grape sugar in the wine. Nine grams a litre of natural acid offsets this low-level sweetness, creating a mouth-watering sensation of full flavour, smooth texture and a tease of sweetness, with brisk, refreshing acidity. The wine will be released mid December and will be available at cellar door ( and selected retail outlets, including Plonk, Fyshwick.

Rusty Fig Savarino 2014 $16.50–$23
Rusty Fig vineyard, Bermagui, NSW

In 2002, Gary Potts and Frances Perkins planted the 1.6-hectare Rusty Fig vineyard between Bermagui and Cobargo. They produce red and rose wine from the Spanish variety tempranillo and two whites, verdelho and savarino (made from the savagnin blanc grape). All of the wines are made by Brian Sinclair at Brindabella Hills Winery, Hall. Rusty Fig Savarino 2014 worked well with a variety of seafood at St Isidore restaurant, Milton, recently. It provided an interesting departure from riesling, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay with its medium body, citrus-like flavours and dry savoury finish. It’s available at Plonk Fyshwick, several south coast bottle shops between Moruya and Eden and by the dozen only online (

Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Teroldego 2012 $25–$28
Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek, South Australia

What a surprise to find on St Isidore restaurant’s list a wine made from Trentino’s little-known teroldego grape – a relative of both shiraz and pinot noir. Geoff Hardy planted the variety at Langhorne Creek in 2003 and later at Kuitpo in the cooler Adelaide Hills. Hardy’s son, Sebastian, says until 2009 they made the wine from Langhorne Creek fruit then moved to blends from both regions. They now favour the material from the Adelaide Hills for its brightness and ability to develop flavour at low potential alcohol levels. The 2012 appealed for its medium body, fresh mulberry and blueberry-like fruit flavours, fresh acidity and savouriness – a tasty, refreshing red to enjoy on a hot day down the coast.

Moppity Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $30
Moppity vineyard, Hilltops region, NSW

Canberra’s neighbouring and slightly warmer Hilltops region rivals us in shiraz quality but appears to have the edge with cabernet sauvignon. Jason and Alicia Brown’s 2013 Moppity, with three trophies and two gold medals, shows what the region can do. The medium-bodied, elegant red displays pure, bright, ripe-berry varietal aroma and a palate to match – complete with juicy mid-palate flesh that easily carries the firm backbone of tannin.

Moppity Vineyard Reserve Shiraz 2013 $70
Moppity vineyard, Hilltops regions, NSW

Moppity vineyard produces a potentially confusing range of six shirazes under various Moppity and Lock and Key labels. The wines range in price from as low as $14 for the basic Lock and Key wine, to $120 for Moppity Eclipse. The quality is exceptional across the range, which has collectively won three trophies and 23 golds this year. Moppity Reserve 2013 triumphed at this year’s Great Australian Shiraz Challenge. It was the first NSW wine to take the title in the show’s 20-year history – against 400 shirazes from 60 regions. It’s a powerful but elegant, supple and savoury shiraz, with an underlying fruit flavour reminiscent of the region’s juicy, ripe, black cherries. The value pick of the range is Lock and Key 2013 (three gold medals).

Houghton Crofters Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013 $15–$19
Pemberton and Margaret River, Western Australia

Western Australia’s Houghton brand was long ago absorbed into Hardys and is now part of the Accolade Wine Group. Under Hardys, Houghton expanded its WA offerings beyond its Swan Valley base to cooler regions hundreds of kilometres to the south. Those southern areas of Western Australia pretty well own the sauvignon blanc–semillon blend category in Australia, albeit in a range of styles. Houghton’s blend from the Pemberton and Margaret River regions delivers lively grassy and passionfruit-like flavours. All the emphasis is on fruit and drink-now pleasure.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 18 and 19 November 2014 in and the Canberra Times

Canberra beer week

After teetering close to cancellation just two weeks from commencement, Canberra Beer Week launched successfully on Saturday 8 November, says organiser Anthony Young.

Red tape nearly derailed one of the signature events, says Young. But Beer Day Out, a showcase of 27 Australian and international craft brewers at Kingston markets, went ahead as scheduled, attracting an enthusiastic crowd.

Like similar events now well established in Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra’s major beer event caters to growing consumer interest in craft beers.

Canberra brewer BentSpoke, launched two new beers for the event over a “meet the brewers” brunch at the brewpub.

And food and beer matching events included New Zealand craft brews over lunch at Pod Food, Pialligo, and a beer degustation menu at Rubicon restaurant, Griffith.

Organisers expect an even bigger and more varied event next year, so keep an eye on

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 18 and 19 November in and the Canberra Times

Wine review – Houghton and House of Arras

Houghton Crofters Margaret River Pemberton Chardonnay 2013 $15.70–$19
Western Australia’s Houghton brand was long ago absorbed into Hardys and is now part of the Accolade Wine Group. Under Hardys, Houghton expanded its WA offerings well beyond its Swan Valley base, along the way benefiting from Hardys Australia-wide focus on top-end chardonnay, which ultimately stretched through Tasmania, southern Victoria, high-country South Australia and NSW and the best sites across southern Western Australia. Under the Crofters label Houghton offers a delicious, fresh, modern chardonnay style, featuring generous, crystal clear melon- and stone-fruit-like varietal flavours, seasoned with subtle oak influences.

Houghton Crofters Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $15.70–$19
While Western Australia’s Margaret River region ranks among the world’s greatest cabernet sauvignon regions, the variety also performs well further east, and further inland, at Frankland River – an area generally more noted for shiraz. The deep, crimson-rimmed 2012 offers and alluring perfume of ripe berries combined subtly with the sweet spiciness of French oak. The sweet berry and oak characters flow through to the palate. But Frankland River’s characteristic deeper savoury notes and firm tannins push through, giving grip and character, if not finesse, to a most appealing red.

A by Arras Premium Cuvee Tasmania $19.90–$25
Hardys quest for top bubblies led to Tasmania and the creation of House of Arras. Under ownership of Accolade Wines, House of Arras continues to make sparklers of extraordinary quality under winemaker Ed Carr. The top wines sell for $50 to $150 a bottle. But this new release provides an affordable, drink-now introduction to Arras. It’s a blend of pinot noir (60 per cent), chardonnay (33 per cent) and pinot meunier, sourced from Pipers River and the Derwent and Tamar Valleys. The combination gives full flavour, creamy texture, great finesse and a unique acidity that accentuates fruit flavour.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 15 November 2014 in
  • 16 November 2014 in the Canberra Times