Macedon/Sunbury Wine Region in Victoria: Wine Tasting Notes

By Jeni Port
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Craiglee has an enviable reputation as a producer of fine table wines - interior cellar view

Craiglee has an enviable reputation as a producer of fine table wines - interior cellar view

1) Bacchus Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Bruno and Jenny Tassone offer the full locally-grown food and wine experience at their cellar door which opened in January, so it's not surprising their wines are so food friendly. Cabernet sauvignon is a soft, round style rich in warm blackberry spicy fruit. It's a sensible 13 per cent alcohol too.

Bacchus Hill Winery: 100 O'Connell Road, Bacchus Marsh. Phone 5367 8176. Open Wed-Sun 10am-5pm.

2) Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir

A noted pinot noir producer, Bindi's arresting style comes largely from its shattered quartz and volcanic soils that produce wines with a super-fragrant perfume, pure fruit core and clean minerality. The Original Vineyard is one of three pinots made with real generosity of red berry, violet and plum fruit.

Bindi Wine Growers: 343 Melton Road, Gisborne. Phone 5428 2564. Sales through mailing list and retail.

3) Bress Riesling

Adam Marks, a former high flyer for a big Aussie wine company, is now enjoying life in the slow lane. A follower of the Slow Food Movement, he makes artisanal ciders and wines. His riesling is Germanic in style which means expect some residual sugar alongside a firm, spicy, expansive flavored palate of citrus and apple.

Bress Wine and Cider: 3894 Calder Highway, Harcourt. Phone 5474 2262. Open weekends and public holidays or by appointment 11am-5pm.

4) Cobaw Ridge Lagrein

Lagrein was one of those 'who cares' grapes until Alan Cooper got the Italian alpine red in his sights. He saw great potential for it in his cool climate vineyard. He was right. Lagrein is tight in structure but opens up with time in glass to reveal sour cherries, spice and pepper. Finishes dry and lean.

Cobaw Ridge: 31 Perc Boyers Lane, East Pastoria. Phone 5423 5227. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 12-5.30pm.

5) Craiglee Chardonnay

We all know Craiglee makes jaw-dropping shiraz but let's not forget the chardonnay. Just like the shiraz, this is all about subtle fruit power not oak. Wine maker Pat Carmody is a master of the understatement coaxing chardonnay's finer fruit qualities: straw, citrus, nectarine, pear.

Craiglee: Sunbury Road, Sunbury. Phone 9744 4489. Open Sun 10am-5pm or other times by appointment.

6) Curly Flat Chardonnay

Phillip Moraghan regards Geelong maker Gary Farr as his mentor, so already you are probably getting a picture of just how complex his Curly Flat wines are. His chardonnay is all about texture and layers of flavor (from fruit and oak) with fruit strong in a mineral, citrus, stone fruit intensity against a nutty, mealy background. Ages beautifully.

Curly Flat: 263 Collivers Road, Lancefield. Phone 5429 1956. Open daily 1pm-5pm.

7) Galli Estate Dos Rojo Tempranillo Grenache Mourvedre

What inspiration to blend Spanish heartbreakers tempranillo and grenache with France's earthy mourvedre. Galli Estate's brick-red soil produces an immediate vibrancy of color and liveliness of flavor to this can't-put-down red. Tempranillo brings dark macerated cherries and wild strawberries. Grenache and mourvedre contribute licorice and plum sweetness and the finish is superbly dry.

Galli Estate: 1507 Melton Highway, Rockbank. Phone 9747 1444. Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm.

8) Granite Hills Shiraz

Even the sheep wear woolly jumpers up this way! Granite Hills is high, chilly and hence, excellent for riesling and cool climate shiraz. With vineyard age (Granite Hills was planted in 1970) the wines just get better. Finely structured, the shiraz opens up on the palate with a rush of sweet fruit, spicy pepper with background herbals.

Granite Hills: 1481 Burke and Wills Track, Baynton via Kyneton. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 1pm-6pm.

9) Hanging Rock Macedon Brut Rose NV

John Ellis's champagne heroes are Bollinger and Krug, so it's not surprise that he favors richness and complexity when fashioning his own Macedon sparklings. His rosé is one of Australia's best, an elegant almost austere wine with delicate strawberry fruit and creamy palate. A wine of great finesse so don't overchill.

Hanging Rock Winery: 88 Jim Road, Newham. Phone 5427 0542. Open daily 10am-5pm.

10) Morganfield Vineyard Pinot Noir

Mark and Gina Morgan are off to a good start by not pushing their young vineyard (established 2003) ahead of itself. There is nothing worse than young vine pinot gussied up with too much oak and wine making artefact This wine is a picture of lively cherry and raspberry fruit. Top marks.

Morganfield Vineyard: 104 Ashworths Road, Lancefield. Phone 5429 1157. Open Sat-Sun and Public Hols 10am-5pm. Other times by appointment.

© Jeni Port 2006

(excerpt from The Age, November 11, 2006)


  • Macedon Ranges (Wine) (VIC)
  • Sunbury (VIC)

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March 13th, 2007
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