Sidewood Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2014 $20.90–$25
David Metcalf included Sidewood 2014 in a recent masked shiraz tasting, alongside wines from the Grampians, Victoria, and the Barossa Valley, South Australia. The deep, savoury character of the Grampians wine and the more powerful, chocolaty Barossa, contrasted with the buoyant, sweet-berry character of the Adelaide Hills shiraz. The wine’s juicy, sweet-fruited palate, and attractive spicy undercurrent, pointed to a cool ripening area. The inclusion of whole berries in the fermentation also contributed to the wine’s lovely, pure, fruitiness. It’s soft and delicious and will probably never drink better than it does now.
Calabria Family Wines Hilltops Tempranillo 2015 $15
Griffith-based Calabria Family Wines sources grapes for this wine from the cooler Hilltops region. The region’s depressed grape prices – reflected in established vineyards currently selling at land-only prices (or discounted further for the cost of removing vines) – no doubt partly account for the wine’s modest price. The quality, however, is good and the wine captures tempranillo’s varietal character. The blueberry-like aroma carries through to a fresh, fruity, medium-bodied palate, cut with the variety’s distinctive tannins, which give a savoury edge.
Yering Station Yarra Valley Village Chardonnay 2015 $19.20–$24
The Rathbone family’s Yering Station makes four chardonnays: Little Yering ($14.40–$18), Village ($19.20–$24), Yering Station ($32–$40) and Reserve ($96–$120). There’s a correlation between price and quality, but it’s not a linear relationship, and the lower priced wines offer many of the features found in the top ones. The just-released Village Chardonnay, for example, offers mouth-wateringly ripe varietal flavours, deeply meshed in the pleasing textures and flavour subtleties derived from fermentation and maturation in oak barrels, new and old. Wine club members can buy it for $19.20. But even at full retail price of $24 you get a real drinking thrill for your money.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2016
First published 11 and 12 June in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times