Wine review – Tulloch, Vinaceous and De Bortoli

Tulloch Pokolbin Dry Red Shiraz 2013 $20–$25
Tulloch make a number of Hunter Valley reds, including this fruity drink-now version. In this instance “drink-now” means the fresh, vibrant fruit flavours, medium body and gentle tannins appeal enormously and make good current drinking. However, the quality, purity and depth of fruit flavour (and the ever reliable screw cap), means the wine should evolve well for another four or five years. Grapes used in the wine were grown in the Pokolbin district of the lower Hunter Valley – a comparatively warm region that at first glance ought to make big, tannic reds. Instead the area makes idiosyncratic, medium body styles like this one.

Vinaceous Impavido Mount Barker Vermentino 2014 $22
Originally from Sardinia, the Liguria coast and Corsica, the white grape variety vermentino seems well suited to Australia’s warm, dry conditions. At Mount Barker, Western Australia, the vine encounters overall cooler growing conditions than it does, say, in the hot South Australian Riverland. Under the countervailing forces of hot inland air and cool sea breezes, the grape ripens at comparatively low sugar levels while retaining high acidity. The resulting medium-bodied wine offers fresh citrus and stone-fruit flavours, zingy, fresh acidity and a dust-dry finish. Should the retail trade support Vinaceous, the wine may drop a few dollars in price.

De Bortoli Gulf Station Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2013 $16.15–$18
De Bortoli’s modestly price pinot comes from vineyards in four Yarra Valley sub-regions: Dixons Creek, Yarra Glen, Tarrawarra and Woori Yallock. In the warm 2013 vintage, these vineyards produced a plumper wine than they did in the cooler 2012 and 2011 vintages. The ripe, warm aroma and round, soft palate retain clear varietal character. And, perhaps because of the very soft tannins, the oak influence seems more apparent than in previous years, adding backbone and subtle flavour to the wine. De Bortoli makes a number of top-end pinots. The grape resources and winemaking skills channelled into those wines greatly benefit this entry-level pinot.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 29 November 2014 in
  • 30 November 2014 in the Canberra Times