Wine review – Hesketh, Paladino, Lerida Estate

Hesketh Lost Weekend Chardonnay 2014 $12
Georgina Hart’s romantic label sets the tone for a bright, fresh chardonnay, with extra flavour and structure contributed by ageing about a fifth of the blend in new French-oak barriques. Marketer Jonathon Hesketh and winemaker Phil Lehmann write, “The wine is effectively used to season the new oak, which then goes on to its real job of ageing premium reds”. While the oak adds to the dimension of the aroma and flavour, fresh melon-like varietal character of the Coonawarra fruit gives the wine delicious, drink-now appeal.

Paladino Puglia Sangiovese 2014 $15
Vintage House, a distribution business belonging to the Angove family, imports Paladino from the Rocca family of Puglia, Italy. The wine provides a medium bodied, savoury alternative to Australian red-wine styles. Savoury, in this sense, means flavours more akin to, say, black olives than ripe fruit. The wine’s lean, grippy tannins further hold the fruit in check. But the varietal flavour pushes through in a teasing, tart, sour-cherry way that works well with the tannins. The savouriness and bity tannins perfectly suit savoury foods, but don’t invite stand-alone drinking.

Lerida Estate Lake George Cullerin Pinot Noir 2014 $35
Lerida Estate dominated the pinot class at the 2015 Canberra regional wine show, winning gold medals for its 2014 estate ($26) and Josephine ($65) pinots and a bronze medal for this wine. All three come from Lerida’s vineyard, located at around 700 metres altitude, on the lower slopes of the Cullerin Range, flanking the western side of Lake George. The cool site reliably ripens pinot every year, says owner Jim Lumbers. And after years of adjusting vine management and winemaking techniques with winemaker Malcolm Burdett, the wines show more intense fruit and softer tannins – as in this light, fragrant, mildly grippy style.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 28 and 29 November 2015 in and the Canberra Times