This is classically styled riesling from Castle Rock Estate in Porongurup, a sub region of Great Southern in Western Australia. Its aroma reminds of lemon and stones, and its palate is dry and has firm, linear acidity. This wine can be approached now or cellared for 5 to 8 years. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $20. Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au. Source: Sample. Review: September 2019.
Robert Oatley’s Finisterre riesling is the second very good riesling from Great Southern I’ve tasted in recent times and has a piercing mineral and saline character that I am hoping is an expression of terroir. The other riesling – an outstanding one at that – was from Frankland Estate (reviewed here).
I remain unsure why I had not discovered this region earlier, although obscurity is a candidate. The Great Southern wine region – already in a remote part of south western Australia – is further divided into five subregions, namely Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mt Barker and Porongurup. You can read more here from the Great Southern Wine Producers Association. Were I in charge, and I am most certainly not, I would just call them all Great Southern. In my humble opinion, the world has too many subregions to meaningfully remember them all.
Oh, and the second wine reviewed is a nice refreshing rosé from De Bortoli in the Yarra Valley. Both wines suit warmer weather.
Robert Oatley Finisterre Riesling 2013, Porongurup
Pure, lemon and mineral nose. The palate is fresh, with a piercing saline core and finish. Terroir characters? I hope so. Rating: Good to Very Good
La Bohème Act Two Dry Pinot Noir Rosé 2016, Yarra Valley
Baroquely labelled, this pinot noir rosé is from the De Bortoli stable. It’s a good one too. A light towards salmon pink in colour, this is a dry, fruity and medium bodied rosé style. Rating: Good
This is an exciting wine. It is among the best young rieslings I have tasted and is from Frankland Estate in the Frankland River region in Great Southern in Western Australia. And here I was hoping to buy less wine over the next couple of months … Its aromatics are saline, with a mineral and lime overlay. The palate has wonderful length on the finish and is dry with a medium, even slightly plumper, body and flavours reminding of lemon, lime and minerals, bound together by a saline seam of fresh acidity. Utterly delicious.
Rating: Very Good to Outstanding
Read more: http://www.franklandestate.com.au
From the coolish Great Southern region in Western Australia, Plantagenet has crafted this pleasant if unspectacular shiraz. A bright ruby in colour. A medium intensity aroma of spice, herbs, plums, graphite and anise. And pepper. A palate with medium-high acidity, medium length and a plummy flavour. Its positive is that it is a perfectly pleasant shiraz. Its negatives are that it is around $45 for a wine that has a resemblence to a typical commercial South Australian shiraz. 83 points
Somewhere, at some point, I read something nice about a Houghton’s wine, now part of the Accolade Wines stable. That’s the sort of rigorous analysis that can pop into the mind when faced with 100 bottles that look the same. Although on this occasion, I in fact bought the wine because I was feeling grumpy about Bordeaux prices that never go down – even though the Australian dollar is at lifetime highs – and largely it boiled down to revenge on an inanimate object. Normal. The wine was a black as night. It was in fact night when I consumed this wine, but I am fairly certain its blackness was in fact independent of this. My haste to purchase also led me to miss the region hidden in the middle of the label in capitals, namely “Great Southern”. Which being south of Margaret River, is generally cooler. And so no surprises, there was some mint on the nose of this cabernet blend. And cedar. Mint and I are friends, but not generally in wine. On the palate, there was a healthy serving of vanilla oak. By healthy, I mean really obvious. Medium to “medium plus” acidity, medium tannins and quite good length were there. But the wine was a touch raw, and maybe a touch unbalanced – the acidity was very pronounced. But it had enough promise to give it 87 points, as it might “settle down”.