Wine review – Wolf Blass, Tulloch and Mount Horrocks

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $12.35–$15
Wolf Blass, part of Treasury Wine Estates, produces what can be a confusingly wide range of wines. But at any price point they’re reliably up there with the best of their peers. The mid-priced Yellow Label range generally combines wines from a number of the best South Australian regions for the variety. This information isn’t revealed on the label. But very clearly by the aroma, flavour and structure of this 2012 cabernet, they are the right regions. The wine gives true cassis and leafy varietal flavour, with a generous mid palate and the firm but fine tannins that define the variety.

Tulloch Vineyard Selection Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2013 $18
Tulloch Winery, located at Pokolbin in the lower Hunter Valley, sources grapes its Vineyard Selection chardonnay from Denman, in the upper Hunter. Although a less revered location than Pokolbin, the upper Hunter nevertheless produces an appealing, generally lighter bodied style of chardonnay. For a fair price, Tulloch’s delivers a pure, peach-and-citrus varietal aroma. This varietal purity comes through, too, on the crisp, fresh, smooth palate. At a little under 13 per cent alcohol, it’s a little lighter bodied than mainstream Australian styles.

Mount Horrocks Watervale Shiraz 2012 $39
Winemaker Stephanie Toole says she crushed a portion of the whole bunches for this wine by foot. But there’s not a trace of old-sock, or any other undesirable traits in this beautifully refined but full-bodied shiraz from Watervale, at the southern end of the Clare Valley. The inclusion of whole bunches introduces stems into the fermentation and any pre- or post-ferment maceration. Provided the stems are ripe, the practice introduces desirable changes to a wine’s tannin structure and subtle, pleasing stalky notes to the aroma and flavour. That element seems barley noticeable in Toole’s very slinky, slippery shiraz.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published 25 May 2014 in the Canberra Times