d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache 2011 $18–$20
d’Arenbeg’s shiraz-grenache blend entered the Australian market decades ago as d’Arenberg “Burgundy”. But it switched to varietal labelling in 1993, at the same time honouring its creator, d’Arry Osborn. It was, and remains, a loveable, warm, generous red with considerable cellaring potential – a rare thing in wines of this price. Even in the cool 2011 vintage, the wine offers an attractive fragrance and generous soft flavours that are both fruity and earthy – with soft tannins completing the red-wine picture. It’s fifty–fifty blend of shiraz and grenache.
Heartland Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $18–$20
Grant Tilbrook, Scott Collett and Ben Glaetzer are the driving force behind Heartland Wines – a brand and winemaking operation now using only fruit from the Langhorne Creek region. “Ben [Glaetzer] had grown up immersed in the potential of Langhorne Creek through the work of his uncle John Glaetzer”, says the website. John Glaetzer made many of the early Wolf Blass reds using from fruit from Langhorne Creek, and later built his own brand on the region. Ben Glaetzer’s Heartland 2012 shows the region’s ability to produce generous, firmly structured, pure, varietal cabernet at the right price. This is outstanding at the price.
Tower Estate Coombe Rise Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon 2013 $22
Tower Estate’s 2013 semillon comes from Peter and Kaye Barnes’ Coombe Rise vineyard at Pokolbin, in the lower Hunter Valley. The wine packs a power of flavour at just 11 per cent alcohol. Although the wine is bone and dry and somewhat austere in its lemony acidity, the fruit flavour – reminiscent of lemongrass – seems very intense and lingering. From experience with this style, it should evolve over time, shedding the austerity as the fruit flavour takes on a honeyed, toasty richness.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 13 July 2014 in the Canberra Times