Wine review – Pikes, Coriole and Ross Hill

Pikes Clare “Traditionele” Valley Riesling 2013 $20–$23
The Pike family makes several Clare Valley rieslings, ranging from the soft, drink-now “Traditionele” to the more austere, long-lived “The Merle”, from the Clare’s Polish Hill sub-region. We grabbed a bottle of Traditionele 2013 from Richmond Cellars on a recent visit to Melbourne – then enjoyed it with excellent Vietnamese food just a few doors away. The delicious, citrusy flavours of the aromatic riesling worked with widely varied food and seasonings, ranging from the gentle sweetness of steamed rice to prawns, pork, egg and eggplant to the more assertive flavours like pepper, mint and chilli.

Coriole Redstone McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 $18–$20
Fruity, soft shiraz makes a good companion to spicy food – so Coriole Redstone joined Pikes Traditionele at our Melbourne Vietnamese dinner. Surprisingly, the bottle shop offered the 2010 vintage, which proved sturdier and more tannic and savoury than the current release 2012. Most outlets will, however, offer the 2012. This vintage shows a particularly fragrant, lively and fruity side of the variety, cut by soft, savoury tannins, with a lift of alcoholic warmth in the finish.

Ross Hill Orange Cabernet Franc Merlot 2012 $25
The best wines of St Emillion and Pomerol (districts of France’s Bordeaux region) reveal the symbiotic blend of the related varieties cabernet franc and merlot. Cabernet franc is a parent of both cabernet sauvignon and merlot. It joined with sauvignon blanc to create cabernet sauvignon, and Magdelaine noir des Charentes to form merlot. The floral fragrance and light body of cabernet franc lends an elegance to its blend with merlot, which introduces earthier flavours and stronger tannins. Winemaker Phil Kerney’s version, made from Ross Hill’s Griffin Road vineyard, at 750 metres elevation, captures that appealing fragrance and elegance.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 8 June 2014 in the Canberra Times