Wine review – Brangayne, Clonakilla and Tim Adams

Brangayne of Orange Riesling 2014 $22
The Hoskins family owns two vineyards at Orange: the Brangayne vineyard (elevation 960 to 1,000 metres); and the slightly less cool Ynys Witrin vineyard (860 to 880 metres). Riesling, from the lower site, was harvested in the cool of a late March night and trucked about 200 kilometres north-east to Simon Gilbert’s Mudgee winery. The wine offers a style contrast to those from the Eden and Clare Valleys or Canberra. High acidity accentuates the wine’s citrus-like flavours – a hint of orange cut by zesty lemony tartness. At just 11.5 per cent alcohol, it sits light and spritely on the palate and finishes dry.

Clonakilla Canberra District Vintage 2013 (fortified shiraz) $30
The Portuguese now own the term “port”, leaving our winemakers to invent alternative names for what we once might have called “vintage port’. To winemaker Tim Kirk, though, this is just another expression of Canberra’s cool-grown shiraz – made from parcels too ripe to include in Clonakilla’s elegant, medium bodied table wines. “We made this from some of the ripest shiraz that came into the winery”, writes Kirk. Kirk arrested the still-sweet wine’s fermentation by adding very, strong, pure, grape spirit – beautifully named spiritus vini rectifacatus. And what a pure, elegant and sumptuous winter warmer it is – vibrant, spicy, sweet and harmonious, with long cellaring potential.

Tim Adams Clare Valley Cabernet Malbec 2010 $22–$26
Deep, inky malbec – the national red of Argentina and local specialty of Cahors, France – thrives in Australia, too. Our winemakers generally blend it with other varieties, though a number of straight varietals are available, notably from Langhorne Creek. It’s well established in the Clare Valley, too, and in the hands of veteran winemaker Tim Adams, adds a deep, earthy punch to cabernet sauvignon. At five years the first mellow touches of age add a lovely dimension to a vibrant, solid, chewy wine. Even so, the inherent elegance of cabernet may push through with a few more years’ bottle age.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 13 and 14 June 2015 in and the Canberra Times