Wine News Ė February 2008

By Franz Scheurer


Richard Hamilton Slate Quarry Riesling 2007

Every Richard Hamilton wine from McLaren Vale I have ever tried I liked. So it was no surprise that the Slate Quarry Riesling was perfectly attuned to my taste buds. Itís steely, flinty but ripe and full of fruit, acidic yet not exclusively a food wine and expected to age for about 5 years. I must admit that lately I have become Ďsaturatedí with Rieslings and blasť about most of them, but I really like this wine. Itís different in as much that it was planted in 1975 on a cooler, south-facing area of the Estate, producing small volumes of intensely flavoured fruit but maintaining the attributes of its terroir. RRP $ 13.95 and a bargain at that price!

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Oakridge Wines Ė A terrific outcome!

Oakridge is located at Coldstream, Victoria in the heart of the Yarra Valley. It has a winery capacity of 500 tonnes, 10Ha of vineyards and a vibrant cellar door and cafť. Oakridge began as a small family company in 1978. It was the subject of a float in 1997 and in 2001 it was acquired by Evans & Tate. On the 20th of December 2007 Oakridge once again reverted to family ownership under the guidance of the incredibly gifted David Bicknell. Evans & Tate never took Oakridge seriously and neglected their wines. Against all odds, the team stayed together and itís very rewarding to see Oakridge Wines rise from the ashes. Congratulations to David, Leigh and the team.

Oakridge Wines Pty. Ltd.

864 Maroondah Highway

Coldstream VIC 3770

Tel.: 03 9739 1920


Haselgrove Vincentís Breeze Shiraz 2005

Another star from McLaren Vale and another bargain! At a RRP $ 14.99 this is simply superb. Full bodied, purple and weighing in at 14.5% a/v this is no shrinking violet. It will make you sit up and take notice and, without much thought, pour a second glass. The best way to describe this wine is to say itís moreish. Made by open and static fermentation and aged for 14 months in French and American barriques this is a powerful but easy drinking Shiraz. Although made to last about 5 years itís perfect drinking now. Spicy aromas translate to plummy, toasty flavours with hints of white pepper, finishing soft and long.

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Dragon Xanadu Unoaked Chardonnay 2007

It seems we have finally succeeded in making unoaked Chardonnay without loosing depth in favour of flavour. Although this wine does concentrate on unadulterated Chardonnay fruit it is a lot more complex than expected. This wine displays lots of stone fruit with a touch of over-ripe Grapefruit it is medium bodied, mouth-filling with a long and dry finish. Itís crisp but rounded and works as a stand alone aperitif and shines with simple down-to-earth food like oven-roasted cauliflower and yoghurt.


Nonino ŔE Uvarossa

Nonino ŔE Uvarossa is 700ml of ultra-smooth 38% a/v grape distillate made from ripe, indigenous red grape varieties, using Schioppettino, Refosco and Fragolino. Due to the ripeness of the fruit and the artisanal pot still distillation most of the essential oils carrying the all important aromas and flavours survive and give the spirit an unrivalled richness. Aromas of red berries turn to soft spice in the mouth with a long finish not unlike an aged red wine. This is a superb distillate and a long way from the often rough grappa you no doubt have been served at one stage or other.

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Audrey Wilkinson Museum Reserve Semillon 2006

WOW! What a wine! Itís unmistakably Hunter and has a lot more up-front fruit flavour than expected. Pale yellow with a definite green tinge, this is a vibrant, young wine with lots of fruit on the nose and a light touch of lanolin or wet sheep on the palate. This is a lovely wine and deserves food of the simplest kind: freshly shucked oysters or even better, a mother-of-pearl spoon and a large tin of caviar.

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Hungerford Hill Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2007

The cool climate of Tumbarumba produced some excellent wines and this Chardonnay is proof. Light toasty aromas tickle the nose and hints of stone fruit, mainly nectarines, satisfy the palate. I was quite surprised to see an alcohol level of 13% as I expected it to be lower. This is a great New World Chardonnay and I would enjoy this wine young, as I donít believe it will get better with age.

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Hungerford Hill Tumbarumba Pinot Noir 2006

Another terrific wine from Tumbarumba. This area really needs more exposure. This Pinot Noir is not as feral as many but it shows terrific red berry aromas with cigar box and slightly stalky aromas on the palate. Itís vibrant, lively and moreish. It works particularly well paired with a Bruny Island Cheese Company TOM on a girolle.


Palandri Vita Novus Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

This wine honours the settlers of the remote southwest corner of Western Australia, looking for a new life (Vita Novus). Margaret River is renowned for its Cabernet and this is a good example of cassis forward fruit combined with subtle tannins, retaining the Margaret River terroir of spice and mint. For those of you who like green capsicum flavours in Cabernet: this wine is not for you, but if you enjoy forest berries and a hint of mint, then you will like this wine very much. Drink it young or cellar it properly, this is a wine worth drinking. Enjoy!

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