Peter Lehmann Clancy’s Barossa Red Blend 2013 $11.40–$15
In the wine industry, new ownership or new marketing staff typically spells packaging changes, with the hope of increased sales. It seldom works, especially where the marketer shows little understanding of a brand’s underlying values. It came as no surprise therefore to see Peter Lehmann’s new owner, the Casella family, blast the publicity trumpets for its repackaging of the entry-level Clancy’s label. It seems to me, though, that the Barossa story comes second to the Banjo Patterson Clancy’s theme. However, the medium-bodied, soft wine behind the label offers easy drinking and fair value.
Zind-Humbrecht Terroirs d’Alsace Riesling 2011 $35–$46
On a cool night at Chairman and Yip’s new Barton home, a riesling from France’s Alsace region provided an interesting contrast to Australian styles. At five years the cork-sealed wine showed the deep gold colour of bottle age, but was otherwise fresh and lively with no sign of oxidation or cork taint. Typical of Alsace riesling, the wine’s distinctive, strong, ripe flavour came on a richly textured, slightly viscous palate with a firm, dry bite to the finish. It’s a unique and enjoyable style, suited to the Chairman’s richer dishes, but a little strong for the more delicate ones.
Mount Trio Porongurup Shiraz 2014 $22
The Porongurup range, a half-hour’s drive north of Albany, Western Australia, provides slightly cooler growing conditions than low lying areas in the vicinity – though both share the tug-of-war between hot continental air and cooler sea air to the south. The cooler conditions produce another subtle shade of wine flavours for the vast Great Southern region. Although Mount Trio shiraz weighs in at a hefty 14.5 per cent alcohol, it’s lively and fresh, laden with ripe-berry flavours and not as heavy on the palate as the alcohol level suggests. Bright fruit, smooth texture and soft tannins make for easy current drinking.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 21 and 22 May 2016 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times