Here is a selection of my favourite Orange region wines following on from my visit in October 2010, including approximate AUD$ retail prices.
Angullong, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, $17
General manager Ben Crossing said this wine is a combination of own fruit grown at 600m which “gets ripe tropical fruits, and fruit we buy from 970m which has lifted aromatics. And by putting the two together we get a wine with more dimensions.”
Gunsmoke, citrus, and pink grapefruit, of punchy density and texture. Good flavour density, smooth citrus, nicely balanced and long. Very good.
Belgravia, Riesling 2010, $22
12.5%. Green tea, jasmine, citrus and lime pith illustrate good varietal definition. Decent intensity and density of fruit flavours with some elegance of style and a good finish.
Brangayne, Isolde 2009, $30
14%. This is chardonnay. Creamy, nutty oak aroma, followed by a smooth palate of creamy-sweet, lush-sweet fruit, of elegant intensity. Fresh-peachy fruit, good weight and texture, nicely balanced. Delicious and fresh with long finish. Very good.
This one is a third new oak, and a third malo.
Brangayne, Tristan 2005, $30
14.5%. A blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 25% shiraz, 20% merlot. This is herby, with eucalyptus and sweet blackberry fruits on the nose, which all follow through on the palate. A mouth-filling wine of lush, nicely ripe fruit and old wood, tobacco leaf, complexity. The feeling is fresh with a super intensity of flavour. Very good.
Faisan, Shiraz 2009, $23
Deeply coloured with warm plum aromas. Spicy lift to the palate of warm and bright plum and raspberry fruit, with rich, sweet-ripe, (not sweetly ripe), crunchy balance. Fresh and good.
Mayfield Vineyard, Riesling 2010, $28
This was only bottled the previous month. Lime zest and pith, good intensity of apple blossom. Some positive bruised apple phenols. Tight, with flesh to support, nicely weighted.
Mayfield Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, $28
14% dense colour. Bits of spicy vanilla and chewy dense black fruit. Oak still needing to integrate, but plenty of soft, black fruit density and intensity to allow this. Alcohol is integrated. This is big and juicy, without being too powerful or cloying.
Philip Shaw, No 11 Chardonnay 2009, $35
Philip Shaw said this “comes from older vineyards. It has a quick settle so we retain high solids, and goes to barrel.”
Fresh creamy, nutty, mealy nose, richly textured, quite full bodied, and smooth. The oak is beginning to settle nicely into a well-balanced wine of some refinement. Good
Philip Shaw, The Dreamer Viognier 2009,
Fragrant, peach blossom nose, with a clean, fresh, sparky palate, which is enticingly textured. Crunchy, fresh fruit, fresh peaches; really tasty and more-ish.
Philip Shaw, No 8 Pinot Noir 2008,
Pale cherry colour with aromatic strawberry and raspberry nose in a lovely perfume. Smooth palate attack with silky tannins, sweet aromatic fruit, and very good varietal definition. Long finish. Everything is in the right place. Very good.
Ross Hill, Jessica and Lily Sauvignon Blanc 2010, $18
13.5%. Fresh and clean, with soft grass, lemongrass, and pink grapefruit flavours, rather than in a super-zesty style. Six months on the lees add just a touch of dimension. Thoroughly decent.
Ross Hill, Chardonnay Pinnacle 2009, $27
13.5%. Cream, smooth white nuts, in a creamy texture which is both refined and balanced. Fresh and peachy-creamy; delicious. Hint of aromatic spice at the end. No overt oak (even though a quarter of it is new), just a lovely texture. Very good.
Winemaker Phil Kearny said “it has full malo on its lees. We let it go till the butteriness goes.”
My research visit to Australia in October 2010 was sponsored by Wine Australia.