Tag: Canberra

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.

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

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
Vendors: www.wine-searcher.com
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: 2014

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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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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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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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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Lark Hill Dark Horse Viognier 2012 and Terra Felix Viognier 2009

Viognier, once seen as a successor to the reign of sauvignon blanc (or is it pinot gris, grüner veltliner, vermentino or the latest Greek arrival …), can be a troubling grape with its propensity for high alcohol coupled with unripe flavours.  When managed well though it can produce the goods, and here are two well-priced and good examples of completely different viognier styles.

Lark Hill Dark Horse Viognier 2012, Canberra District
The Dark Horse Vineyard suffered hail damage reducing the crop by a huge 80% and 2012 was wet and cold in the Canberra region.  The latter I suspect more than a few Australians would argue, possibly unfairly, is perfectly normal for Canberra.  Supplemented by a small amount of its fellow Rhône bedfellow, marsanne, the 2012 Dark Horse Viognier is bright in the glass, and a pale lemon in colour.  It has quite intense aromatics of flowers, musk, apricot flowers and yellow grapefruit, rounded out by some old oak.  The palate is dry with medium body, “disguised” acidity (it seemed low at first, but then suddenly was quite pronounced), a streak of spiciness, flavours of yellow grapefruit and is quite restrained, minerally even, with shortish length.  I think this is a good and expressive viognier, clearly reflects its season and is suitable for current drinking.  Good

Abv: 12%
Price: $25
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: 2012

Terra Felix Viognier 2009, Central Victoria
From rain and cold in 2012 in the Canberra region, we now move to 2009, the last year of the terrible Victorian drought.  In case I haven’t said this more than 1000 times – vintage and regions matter in Australia – I think only the ill-informed would consider the position otherwise.  Terra Felix’s viognier is from grapes grown in Nagambie, and presents strangely enough much like a Condrieu in style.  A bright gold in colour, it has pronounced intensity aromatics of honey, bright apricots, fragrant flowers, an almost kerosene like character, talc, stones and musk.  The palate is dry between medium and full bodied, with soft acidity, medium length, and a bitter-sweet fruited edge.  This is quite an interesting and complex wine, unexpectedly so for its low price, and is recommended.  Good


Abv: 14%
Price: $17.50
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.terrafelix.com.au
Tasted: 2012

Lark Hill Auslese Riesling 2012

Judging by the name of this wine, it doesn’t seem that the EU has got to the expression auslese riesling just yet.  Thus, the inventors of the terns apera and topaque, although possibly with time on their hands, will have to wait a bit longer for their next consulting gig.

Lark Hill have fashioned a very good wine here indeed.  Lemon-gold in colour, it has clearly defined medium intensity aromatics of pears, apples and lime.  Medium sweet on the palate, it is deftly offset by high acidity so the result is not cloying.  Distinctive and primary fruit driven characters of honey, cumquat, yellow grapefruit, as well as pears and apples, round things out.  This is a crisp and well defined wine where the primary fruit flavours are distinctive, and almost leap from the glass.  Lark Hill’s 2012 auslese riesling is an excellent wine that is in its exuberant youth, and I expect will evolve for many years to come.    Very Good

Abv: 9.5%
Price: $30
Source: sample
Vendor: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Website: http://www.larkhillwine.com.au
Tasted: October 2012