Lanson Gold Label Brut Vintage Champagne 2002 $50–$61.90
Woolworths-owned Dan Murphys imports Lanson and before Christmas offered it for as little as $50 and as much as $61.90 a bottle. Silly me paid the higher price, but even then I rated it the best value real Champagne of the year. We enjoyed it in a masked tasting alongside Pol Roger 2002 ($86–$114). They’re lovely wines from a great vintage and markedly different in style. We liked the power, acidity, mature flavour and structure of the Lanson. Dan Murphy fine wine manager, Peter Nixon, says the 2004 vintage will soon replace the 2002 at a comparable price.
Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling2013 $19–$23
Clare’s 2013 rieslings, in general, offer fuller, rounder more upfront fruit than the magnificent 2012s. They therefore make excellent summer drinking. At just 11.5 per cent alcohol, Tim Adams 2013, sits lightly on the palate, delivering delicate but full, pristine, lime-like varietal flavour and gentle, refreshing acidity. Adams says he sourced the wine from five Clare Valley vineyards. The wine appeals for its freshness and vivid fruit flavour now, but should evolve in tasty ways for several years if cellared at a cool, constant temperature.
Jim Barry The Barry Bros Clare Valley Shiraz Cabernet 2012 $16–$20
Tom and Sam Barry couldn’t have picked a better vintage for their new, drink-now red – a blend of Clare-grown shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. A big, round, generous mouthful of a wine, it puts all the focus on ripe, fresh fruit flavours, backed by loads of soft tannins. The basic typeset label, the brothers say, salutes “the era [1950s] when our grandparents Jim and Nancy [Barry] bought their first vineyards”. Jim Barry died in 2004 and the business is now run by his son Peter, father of Sam and Tom. The wine suits the hot weather provided it’s cooled slightly to around 18 degrees.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 26 January 2014 in the Canberra Times