Heggies Vineyard Eden Valley Chardonnay 2012 $21.85–$$30
The Eden Valley sits on the Mount Lofty Ranges and forms the eastern boundary of the Barossa region. Although the best chardonnays now come from further south on the ranges, in the cooler Adelaide Hills, Heggies Eden Valley vineyard consistently produces an exciting chardonnay at a fair price. The vineyard, belonging to Robert Hill-Smith’s Yalumba group, hosts “seven different variants of chardonnay, with three favoured Burgundian selections providing the majority of the vines”, writes winemaker Peter Gambetta. The intense flavour of those low-yielding vines comes through in this generous, shimmering fresh, smooth-textured wine.
Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Middle of Everywhere Frankland River Shiraz $19–$21
Larry Cherubino sourced fruit for Ad Hoc from various sites in Western Australia’s Frankland River region – a distinct part of the much larger Great Southern wine zone. Vines endure heat pushing down from the continent, then benefit from cool afternoon and evening air flowing up from the cold oceans to the south. The unique conditions produce generously flavoured, medium bodied red wines, often with quite a savoury, tannic bite. In Ad Hoc 2013 we enjoy exuberant, juicy, blueberry-like flavours, cut with an attractive savouriness, on a soft, smooth seductive palate. This truly is a fruit festival in a bottle.
Wirra Wirra Woodhenge McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 $26.60–$35
Wirra Wirra’s winemakers produce several shirazes and regard Woodhenge as their, “classic McLaren Vale style. The fruits are darker, the chocolate notes bitter and the olives black in a full-bodied style with trademark regional richness”. Sourced from the Seaview, Whites Valley and McLaren Flat sub-regions, the wine pulses with ripe, black-cherry-like flavours on a big, rich, warm palate. Though assertive, the tannins remain silky and sit well with the lovely fruit flavour. Oak flavours – derived from American and French barrels complement the rich, ripe fruit flavours. This is a big but well-balanced wine for drinking over the next 10 years.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 3 August 2014 in the Canberra Times