Wine review – gold medal for Cowra’s Windowrie Estate

Windowrie Family Reserve Cowra Shiraz 2016 $35
Windowrie Family Reserve won gold at November’s National Wine Show of Australia. It was one of 113 wines entered in the ‘Shiraz 2016’ class, and one of eight wines to win a gold medal in it. However, several big, expensive names – including Yalumba The Octavius and Seppelt St Peters – escaped the judges’ attention, confirming the democracy of masked tastings if not the reliability of the results.

Windowrie Family Reserve 2016 no doubt stood out to the judges for its delicious fruit character. The wine pulses with ripe, red-berry and spice flavours, supported by juicy, soft tannins – a pleasing combination that means vibrant, fresh drinking and the satisfying structure and finish of a real red.

David and Wizz O’Dea planted their first vines at Windowrie, Cowra, in 1988. They’ve witnessed and stood solid during Cowra’s massive vineyard expansion of the nineties, followed by massive contraction a decade later. They preside now over a large vineyard holding and over time have added a winery and moved steadily up the quality ladder.

In the nineties many critics, myself included, typecast Cowra as a source of mid-priced whites while doubting its potential to make decent red.

Some time back now Jason O’Dea (son of David and Wizz) and winemaker Anthony D’Onise proved otherwise. Windowrie reds, including their Pig in the House label, regularly win medals at wine shows. Taking gold at the National Wine Show is a great achievement.

Windowrie Family Reserve Cowra Shiraz 2016 is available from the Windowrie website.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2018