Cumulus Estate Wines has released a really grand 2009 Shiraz made from fruit from its interesting vineyards high on the slopes of Mount Canobolas outside Orange in the NSW Central West.
Here, 600-plus metres above sea level on ancient volcanic soils overlaid with deep clay loam, Cumulus produces Shiraz of such excellence that it's 2008 made it into the World's Top 10 at the 2011 Syrah du Monde.
For the 2009, Winemaker Debbie Lauritz used handpicked fruit that had enjoyed an ideal growing season, conditions she said that had resulted in a moderate crop with real generosity of flavour.
These flavours in turn have come through in the wine as dark chocolate, cherry, plum and warm exotic spices on the palate, and with the finish lingering and spicy. It's a wine to enjoy now with red meat or game dishes, or hard or blue cheeses, or to tuck away in the cellar for another 10 or 15 years.
ONE FOR LUNCH
Deakin Estate in North Western Victoria has an interesting drop in a well-priced celebratory fizz that's a blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, labelling it Azahara, which is Spanish for "orange blossom" and a dedication to the orange orchards adjacent to the vineyards.
Winemaker Phil Spillman each year folds the best wines from the vintage into a modified Solera system, which cross-blends at least six past vintages so that fresh, new wine flavours are blended with progressively older and more complex flavours.
Azahara Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is a great drop for partying, or simply to enjoy with crusty Italian bread and olive oil, or Camembert or Havarti.
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