Wine review – Mount Majura, Campbells and Stella Bella

Mount Majura Vineyard Canberra District Shiraz 2012 $32
Mount Majura’s just released 2012 shiraz won gold medals in last year’s Canberra and Region Wine Show and the Winewise Small Vignerons Awards. It backed up this success with an ‘outstanding’ rating in the Winewise Championship 2014 – where three out of five judges rated it as the best in its category. The product of a particularly cool season, the highly aromatic 2012 shiraz shows varietal spice and a strong stemmy character, derived from the inclusion of whole bunches in the fermentation. The medium bodied, silky palate reveals good fruit, seasoned with stem and spice.

Campbells Limited Release Rutherglen Durif 2011 $28
Colin Campbell chairs the Durif of Rutherglen group, formed a decade ago to promote this unique regional specialty. Campbell also makes two of Rutherglen’s leading durifs – the powerful Barkly Durif and more approachable Limited Release Durif. Campbell calls the latter, “the stepping stone to our pinnacle durif which is a fuller style and more complex”. Even in the cold 2011 season, where we might expect lighter bodied wines, Limited Release hits the palate pretty solidly. It may be a tad lighter coloured than some durifs, but the firm tannins make it almost a meal in itself, albeit without the sweet fruit of more benign seasons.

Stella Bella Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc $19-$21
We could call Margaret River the Bordeaux of the south – not only for its cabernet-based reds, but for its pungent, refreshing complex dry whites, blended from semillon and sauvignon blanc. The better examples like Stella Bella barrel ferment a portion of the blend to build the texture, body and complexity of the wine. Many vineyards contribute to this blend and all are fermented separately (one third of every batch in barrels, says the winemaker). The final blend offers ultra-fresh citrus-like fruit flavour, with the pungent and herbal character of the varieties and a fine, soft texture.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 27 July 2014 in the Canberra Times