The Canberra wine growing region is interesting in that while it doesn’t always leap to front of mind, it does boast 140 vineyards and 33 wineries, and produces cool climate wines that are more often than not, wonderfully rewarding.
While it was first planted in the 1840s, those early pioneering efforts around Gunning and Yass didn’t last long, and it took a long-awaited 1970s “rebirth” to lead to today’s many successes there. Amongst them is Shaw Vineyard Estate that, at Murrumbateman, is amongst the highest-elevated in the region, and has been producing exceptional and affordably-priced premium cool-climates since the 1990s.
A particularly rewarding, just-released 2012 Shaw Shiraz (a variety the region is renowned for) is possibly one of owner Graeme Shaw’s best-yet – despite coming from one of the region’s wettest and more-difficult vintages. Graeme has coaxed wonderful ripe berry-fruit aromas and forward Shiraz spice and pepper notes from this, and these are reflected nicely with ripe tannins on the smooth palate.
Pay $25 and enjoy with barbecued red meats and a side of pan-fried mushrooms.
One to note: Jacob’s Creek has added an interesting new drop to its diverse portfolio of Aussie sparklings that it has been making for some 40 years – a “less bubbly” called Sparkling Lightly that it says will “dance lightly on the palate.”
The wine is the result of surveys revealing there are some amongst us to whom the enjoyment of sparkling beverages can, sadly, have a down side: it results in some-what of a full feeling. So by limiting the sugar in the second fermentation, Jacob’s Creek have achieved a very delicate sparkling character that has fewer bubbles.
Made from grapes as diverse as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, White Frontignac and Fiano, there’s a choice of a Sparkling Lightly White that’s all about suggestions of peaches and lychees, and a Sparkling Lightly Rosé that’s more raspberries and strawberries. Pay $14.99 if you like your bubbles, but with a less-full feeling.