Wine review – Bowen Estate, Zeppelin and Heartland

Bowen Estate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $28.49–$35
Doug Bowen tends the vines and daughter Emma makes the wines. The much-loved, distinctive reds sit at the burly end of Coonawarra’s generally elegant style. In the warm 2013 vintage, that means an inky deep, ripe expression of cabernet. Remarkably, despite the wine’s power and richness, it retains pure cabernet varietal flavours, reminiscent of cassis, with no sign of porty, over-ripe character. It’s saturated with deep, luscious fruit flavour and, despite its 15.5-per-cent alcohol content, retains Coonawarra’s distinguishing elegant structure. Provided the cork seal holds, it should evolve for many years in a cool cellar. Dear Doug and Emma, please switch to screw cap.

Following publication of this review, I received this note about corks and screw caps from Joy Bowen, wife of Doug, mother of Emma:

Dear Chris,
Thank you for the write up in the Sunday Canberra Times.
We are perhaps remiss in not letting you know that we have been
bottling our red wines with cork or screw cap closures for
at least the last ten years.  Members of our mailing list and cellar door
tasters can purchase there preference – and to date cork closure sales are winning.
We also have found that the cork closure has stood above the screw cap in all of our tastings,
that is not just our preference but with trade and consumers tasters.
The once seemingly inherent and prolific problems with cork is being
addressed in earnest by cork producers and as the quality of cork improves we
feel that the prevalence of ‘cork taint’ is decreasing.  Cork producers are
very conscious of their market share loss and are actively pursuing a ‘clean
green and best’ closure.  
Hope this helps and in future we will send you our wine with screw cap closures only
Yours in wine
Joy Bowen

Zeppelin Eden Valley Riesling 2014 $17–$21
Typical of the 2014 vintage, Zeppelin riesling offers loads of upfront fruit flavour. The floral and citrus aroma suggests a wine of great richness, and the palate obliges. Here the citrus element of riesling’s varietal character takes over, both in its lemon–lime flavour and a sharp, thrilling cut and bite, like fresh-squeezed lemon juice. The lemony twist, however, never descends into sourness. Rather, it creates a delicious tension with the sweet, juicy, grape flavours. Like most Eden Valley rieslings of this caliber, Zeppelin should evolve in bottle for four or five years in the right conditions.

Heartland Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2013 $18–$20
Heartland’s owners, Ben Glaetzer, Grant Tilbrook and Scott Collett acknowledge the influence of Glaetzer’s uncle, John Glaetzer, in drawing most of their fruit from Langhorne. As long-time Wolf Blass winemaker, John Glaetzer exploited the clear varietal character and plush mid-palate of the region’s red varieties. John now assesses and buys grapes for Heartland and nephew Ben makes the wines. In the warm 2013 vintage, Heartland shiraz shows rich, ripe and soft side of shiraz, with sufficient tannin to give structure and drinking satisfaction.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 23 and 24 May 2015 in and the Canberra Times