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Wine Reviews

Shaw Wines Riesling 2019

The Canberra wine region does two grape varieties very well – syrah (at its best, in a northern Rhône style expression) and riesling (at its best, in a dry, tight, high acid, mineral and floral expression). To the European mind, that this combination of varieties might work in the same region is unusual. As an illustration, the 2016 Master of Wine examinations included a question along the lines of “can cabernet sauvignon and riesling be successful in the same location?“. From an Australian or North American point of view, the answer was relatively easy.

Shaw Wines in Canberra have produced a first class riesling here. It has aromas of minerals, stone and lemons. The palate is dry, with linear, high acidity and excellent balance. The alcohol is low at 11%. It is approachable now and will likely cellar over the next decade, or longer. This wine sits comfortably alongside the rieslings produced by Australia’s better producers. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 11.0. Price: $30. Website: http://shawwines.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: June 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Shaw Wines Merlot 2017

The assumption that Australian merlot is no good continues to be rebutted by evidence from cool climate regions where it is most suited. This merlot from the Canberra region has correct aromas of tobacco, red fruits and smoke. The palate is medium bodied, the acidity fresh and the length on the finish medium. This wine will suit drinking now and over the next five to eight years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14.0. Price: $28. Website: shawwines.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: April 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Shaw Vineyard Estate Canberra Shiraz 2014

This is a quite serious shiraz from Shaw Vineyards in Canberra. Deeply coloured in the glass, there are aromatics that remind of pepper, vanilla and spices. The palate is full bodied with firm tannins and livened up by fresh acidity, good length and impressions of blackcurrant. While this is an enjoyable wine now, it could be expected to improve with further cellaring. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $31. Source: Sample.

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Wine Reviews

McW Reserve 660 Canberra Syrah 2016

Canberra and shiraz/syrah are a match.  I wasn’t quite taken by this wine though.  In the glass, there are aromas of smoke, pepper and roasted herbs.  The palate is more or less in balance, although the acidity is evident (the grapes are sourced from vines grown above 660 metres).  (Region: Canberra, Rating: Acceptable, Drink: now to 2023, Tasted: July, 2017, Source: Sample)

Read more:
mcwilliamscellar.com.au

Other vintages reviewed: 
Nil

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Wine Reviews

Lark Hill Chardonnay 2012

Lark Hill have fashioned a very good chardonnay here from the Canberra District.  The aromatics initially lept out of the glass, reminding of nectarine, white peach and apricot.  But within a couple of minutes they settled to cooler climate grapefruit, lemon and lime expressions of chardonnay.  The palate is an exercise in cool climate chardonnay – the high acid tension ably accompanies restrained grapefruit and lemon characters and a medium length finish.  In style, the balance and acidity reminded of white Burgundy, without the oak influence.  Another successful release from Lark Hill.  Good

Abv: 12.5%
Price: $35
Source: sample
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: 2014
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Wine Reviews

Lark Hill "Eliza" Riesling 2013

This is a late harvest style riesling from Lark Hill, and it works.  A pale intensity water-white in colour, the wine opens to aromatics of pink lady apple, lemon and watermelon.  The wine on the palate is off-dry, has an impression of high acid, and has refreshing pear, apple and lemon characters.  This successful release has achieved a lovely balance of acid, sweetness and flavour, and a refreshing off-dry style that eschews simplicity and cloying flavours.  Good

Abv: 10.5%
Price: $30
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: 2013
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Wine Reviews

Lark Hill Winery Grüner Veltliner 2013

Lark Hill is a benchmark for quality grüner veltliner in this country.  The 2013 vintage continues their strong form with this variety, and is the best release I’ve reviewed to date.  A pale yellow in the glass, with tinges of pink, the 2013 vintage has aromatics of medium intensity peach, nectarine and talc.  The palate shows towards long length, balance, and flavours of peach and nectarine, together with some almond like characters on the back palate.  There is a depth of flavour of nectarines through the middle palate, restraint and that attractive almond character, that together make this wine a near compelling offering.  Very Good to Outstanding

Abv: 13%
Price: $45
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: 2013
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Wine Reviews

Lark Hill Winery Pinot Noir 2012

Lark Hill in the Canberra district have fashioned a good pinot noir here from the 2012 vintage.  Sourced from the MV6 clone, the grapes are grown at some 860 metres of altitude in the continentally influenced Canberra District.  It’s a pale intensity ruby colour in the glass.  Once there, the wine is super aromatic, with notes of earth, cherry, undergrowth, tea tree and pepper.  The palate is dry, with high acidity, a medium body and mouth filling flavours that are quite savoury reminding of deli meats, cherry and earth, and a medium length finish.  This is a successful vintage for Lark balance of the wine, and reminds of some of the more savoury Mornington Peninsula offerings.  Good

Abv: 12.5%
Price: $35
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: 2013
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Wine Reviews

Lerida Estate Lake George Pinot Noir 2011

The vineyard for Lerida Estate’s pinot noir is situated at approximately 680m of altitude near Lake George north of Canberra.  A light intensity strawberry in colour, the 2011 “Large George” pinot noir opens to closed aromatics of strawberry, stems and red cherry.  The palate has firm cherry, twigs and some stoney characters coming through, with acidity noticeable.  Overall, this is mostly balanced, although the acid is a little pronounced reflecting I expect the 2011 vintage.  It reminds of an AOC Bourgogne.  Acceptable to Good

Abv: 12.4%
Price: $26.50
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.leridaestate.com.au
Tasted: 2013
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Lerida Estate Pinot Grigio 2012

I liked this 2012 pinot grigio from Lerida Estate in the Canberra district.  For those unfamiliar with the label, Lerida Estate has 19.6 acres planted to vines beside Lake George north of Canberra, with 2.94 acres under vine of pinot gris/grigio.  The 2012 pinot grigio has medium intensity aromatics of pear, apple and lemon.   The palate is dry, with medium length, a youthful spritz and is attractive balanced and fruity.  Its acidity seems about right and it leaves a lasting pear like impression.  This wine is ready to drink now and will appeal as a lunch style wine.  Good

Abv: 11.2%
Price: $24.50
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.leridaestate.com.au
Tasted: 2013
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