Friday 22 February 2008




david ellis

WHILE most growers in Western Australia's Margaret River harvest
around four tonnes of grapes to the acre for their reds, at Brown Hill
Estate they're generally lucky to get around one tonne.

That's because it's a dry-grown vineyard, and in 2006 this coupled
with the coolest summer for a half century saw the Brown Hill
vineyards produce just 0.8 tonnes to the acre – something that
winemaker, Nathan Bailey was in fact delighted with.

"Our pursuit of dry-grown viticulture will always producer lower
yields than the norm," Nathan says. "But we're meticulous with out
vineyard management, so the 0.8 tonnes we got to the acre was good
fruit with 1.35-degrees Baume and ample ripeness."

The resultant 2006 Brown Hill Fimiston Reserve Shiraz underwent
secondary malolactic fermentation in barrel, that Nathan says
integrated flavours better. The result is a wine with wonderful plum
and cherry flavours, nice velvety tannins and a bouquet of more-ish
rich cherry fruit with traces of dark chocolate.

Good value at $25 to go with the Sunday roast.

ONE FOR LUNCH: An interesting low alcohol (just 5%) wine to enjoy as
an aperitif or with desserts is Deakin Estate's 2007 Moscato; it's
quite spritzy and a bit like biting into a fresh-picked green apple.
Good value at $10 to kick off that next party.

BUY OF THE WEEK: Capel Vale has released a new range of early-drinking
West Australian wines aptly named Debut, the 2007 Verdelho a well
rounded drop with plenty of fruit flavours and tropical aromas. Pay
$17.95 and linger with it over roast duck.

(Need a drink? We're archived on )



BROWN Hill's 2006 Fimiston Reserve Shiraz just right with the Sunday roast.

LOW on alcohol, Deakin Estate's 2007 Moscato is just 5% by alcohol,
but big on spritzy apple flavours.


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