Eden Road The Long Road Tumbarumba Pinot Noir 2013 $30
Like Clonakilla and Ravensworth, Murrumbateman’s Eden Road winery sources fruit from high, cool Tumbarumba. Pinot noir for The Long Road, says winemaker Nick Spencer, comes from the Courabyra and Maragle vineyards. Restaurant 86, Braddon, offers it by the glass, so we paired it happily with cured kangaroo fillets. It’s a lighter style pinot noir, featuring bright fruit, stemmy notes and fine, silky tannins. It offers fair value and points to Tumbarumba’s potential with the variety. The area was originally planted to pinot for sparkling wine production. The transition to table wine making demands the considerable changes to vineyard management now under way.
d’Arenberg The Sticks and Stones McLaren Vale
Tempranillo Grenache Suzao Tinta Cao 2010 $30
Chester Osborn’s “Iberian Peninsula” blend includes Spain’s tempranillo, grenache (of French origin but equally at home in Spain) and Portugal’s port varieties, suzao and tinta cao. Osborn fermented the various components in five-tonne batches, matured them in older oak barrels, then blended and bottled the wine without fining or filtration. The result is a deeply coloured red that’s surprisingly nimble and gentle on the palate – despite its deep, fruity, tarry, savoury, earthy flavours. A bonus for drinkers are the mellow, integrated flavours of a complex wine allowed to bottle age for four years before release.
Mr Mick Clare Valley Riesling 2014 $13.30–$17
During the 1970s, legendary Clare winemaker Mick Knappstein taught Tim Adams about riesling making in the historic Leasingham winery. Decades later, Adams purchased his old alma mater and resurrected one of Knappstein’s most successful wine styles – a pure, delicate, fruity riesling with the smallest kiss of residual grape sugar – marketed as Leasingham Bin 5 Riesling. Mr Mick 2014 is a beautiful, fresh, tasty, fruity and effectively dry all-round quaffer, perhaps a little rounder and fuller than the 2013 vintage.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 31 January and 1 February 2015 in Fairfax digital media and the Canberra Times