Wine review – Bilgavia Estate, Shottesbrooke and Mr Riggs

Bilgavia Estate Hunter Valley Shiraz 2013 $26
Leona and Phil Gunter’s shiraz comes from their vineyard in the Hunter’s Broke–Fordwich sub-region – a valley over from Pokolbin in the valley’s heartland. The Gunter’s bought the vineyard in 2011 and this is their first shiraz, made from just one tonne of grapes. Although the alcohol is a modest 12.5% per cent, this is a full-bodied style, featuring strong, earthy, spicy varietal flavours and pronounced charry and spicy flavours from maturation in oak barrels. Rustic tannins, combined with the earthy flavours, give this wine real appeal.

Shottesbrooke McLaren Vale Estate Series Shiraz 2012 $19–$20
Nick Holmes established Shottesbrooke in 1984 and today makes wine from estate-grown fruit. His 2012 delivers a lot of flavour at a realistic price. A bright and generous red reflecting the ripe, plummy, savouriness of McLaren Vale shiraz, it comes with a substantial load of tannins. These add to the savouriness of the wine and also give a firm, satisfying grip to the finish. The wine shows particular depth of fruit flavour and elegance of structure in this outstanding vintage.

Mr Riggs Watervale Riesling 2013 $20–$22
This gold-medal winning riesling is a collaboration between respected winemakers Ben Riggs and Kerri Thompson, using fruit from the Clare Valley’s Watervale sub-region. Riggs attributes the wine’s quality principally to the outstand grapes coming from the Watervale vineyard. He writes, “Hand pruning allows the best possible shaping and opening of the canopy, to maximise sunlight for growth and even ripening of the grapes”. Meticulous winemaking captured the delicacy and purity of those grapes in this exceptional rich, dry riesling.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 9 November 2014 in the Canberra Times