Evans and Tate Metricup Road Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $17.10–$24
Evans and Tate – founded in 1974 at Metricup Road, Margaret River – now belongs to Griffith-based McWilliams Wines, giving the brand much-needed stability and distribution. The wine’s prime focus is on the dazzling fresh fruit flavours of semillon and sauvignon blanc. In Margaret River, that takes on a, herbaceous, pungent dimension, reminiscent of cut grass, canned peas, lemongrass and lemon. However, winemaker Matt Byrne allowed a portion of the blend to ferment spontaneously in oak barrels and mature there on yeast lees. This added a textural richness which fattens the mid palate and adds to the overall interest of the wine.
Heartland Langhorne Creek Spice Trader Red 2013 $14–$16
In Heartland Spice Trader, the Langhorne Creek region (located near Lake Alexandrina) demonstrates why Australia’s winemakers fall over each other for its grapes. The area’s broad-acre vineyards produce large volumes of high-quality grapes that convert to rich, juicy, inexpensive wine. In Spice Trader, winemaker Ben Glaetzer captures the bright, varietal character of both varieties and beautifully balances the earthy, ripe flavours and softness of shiraz with the backbone and elegant structure of cabernet. This is very, very good wine at a bargain price.
Voyager Estate Margaret River Girt by Sea Cabernet Merlot 2012 $21.90–$28
Girt by Sea delivers an affordable and delightful, drink-now expression of the region’s great red specialty. Blended principally from cabernet and merlot (sometimes with a splash each of shiraz and malbec), it’s a rich but elegant, fine-boned red, based on sweet, ripe, red-berry flavours, with an attractive overly of cedar and tobacco-like character that seems to come partly from the oak and partly from the varietal blend. The very good 2012 vintage seems up to the very high quality of the 2011 vintage reviewed last year.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 6 and 7 June 2015 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times