Heggies Eden Valley Riesling 2015 $19–$23.95
Vine rows snake along contours of Heggies vineyard, meagrely nourished by lean soil and a dry climate. From this challenging site, 550 metres above sea level, Peter Gambetta makes the steely, delicate, much-loved Heggies riesling. A warm, dry season and early harvest created the 2015 now appearing on retail shelves. Water-pale colour and modest alcohol content (12 per cent), point to a delicate wine of lemon-like varietal flavour and brisk, dry finish. It’s a wine to enjoy now for its vigorous, fruity youth. Or buy a case, drink a bottle every couple of years and enjoy its evolving flavours.
d’Arenberg The Olive Grove McLaren Vale Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2015 $14.25–$15
Chester Osborne’s well-priced chardonnay combines fruit from warm McLaren Vale and cool Adelaide Hills. Fermented then matured in French and American oak barrels for seven months, it offers deliciously bright, fresh melon and citrus varietal flavours. The oak treatment contributes more to the wine’s rich texture than it does to flavour, meaning varietal fruit flavour is the star. This is a very good modern chardonnay style, offering full body, without heaviness, delicious fruit, rich texture and a dry, refreshing finish – all at a modest price.
Hay Shed Hill Block 8 Margaret River Cabernet Franc 2013 $35
Sometime before the mid eighteenth century in France’s Gironde region, the red variety cabernet franc spontaneously crossed with the white variety sauvignon blanc to produce a remarkably progeny – cabernet sauvignon. We might therefore call cabernet franc the mother of all cabernet sauvignons. The latter became the star of the cabernet family. But cabernet franc remains an important blending partner, along another offspring, merlot. Occasionally it appears unblended, as in this beautifully aromatic red from Mike Kerrigan’s Hay Shed Hill. The floral aroma leads to an elegant palate, combining floral character with ripe-berry flavours.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 31 October and 1 November 2015 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times