Wine review – Holm Oak, Long Rail Gully and Grant Burge

Holm Oak Tasmania Pinot Noir 2013 $32
At Holm Oak in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, husband and wife team Tim and Rebecca tend the vines and winemaking respectively. Rebecca Duffy notes a big Tasmanian vintage in the warm, dry 2013, with fruit flavours arriving in the fruit at comparatively low sugar levels. She also writes, “our new clones of pinot continue to perform well and this has resulted in a pinot with perfumed aroma and superior tannin structure”. The wine is of pale to medium colour density, with tonnes of ripe cherry-like pinot aroma, tinged with savoury character. The rich, smooth-textured palate reflects the aroma and finishes with quite firm but fine tannins.

Long Rail Gully Murrumbateman Pinot Gris 2013 $22
The Parker family’s Long Rail Gully vineyard quietly goes about making excellent wines at modest price. They attract little publicity, but I suspect attention will grow as more people cotton on to the quality of wine Richard Parker makes from the vines he established with his parents, Barbara and Garry, in 1998. Pinot gris provides a good test and grape growing and winemaking skills. The lacklustre variety tends to make plain wine. But Long Rail Gully’s fresh, dry version captures a meaty richness and slinky texture of great appeal.

Grant Burge Fifth Generation Barossa Shiraz 2012 $16.15–$18
We bought several bottles of this juicy shiraz at Coles, Kununurra, Western Australia. It then bounced around in the back of our four-wheel drive for a couple of weeks as we shuddered westwards on the stony Gibb River Road (and its endlessly corrugated tributaries). Even 250 kilometres of the notorious Kalumburu Road and track to the Mitchell Falls failed to dent the rich, soothing, fruity smoothness of this keenly priced Barossa gem. Alas, the corrugations did shake one part from our rented vehicle. Fittingly we left a Grant Burge bottle with our rescuer – Mitchell Plateau park ranger, John Hayward.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 10 August 2014 in the Canberra Times