Monday 22 April 2013



BIG steak off the barbecue
written all over this Shiraz…
David Ellis

HOPEFULS who flocked to Central Victoria's Bendigo with the 1850s gold rush brought with them not just a hunger for gold, but for the good life they hoped it would bring – and within five years of their arriving, others drawn by reports of the area's wonderful agricultural lands were equally rushing in to plant wine grapes to ultimately slake the thirsts of the newly-rich.

Today the rolling hills of the Bendigo region continue to produce exceptional wines, amongst them BlackJack Vineyards whose Chortles Edge label walks off the shelves as a wine that truly over-delivers at its price point.

Their just-released 2010 Chortles Edge Shiraz is a great drop, made from a vintage that was quite remarkable: 2008 and 2009 had both been bleak drought years, while 2011 and 2012 were years of torrential deluges. "You could almost say 2010 was an idyllic vintage squeezed-in between those other years," says Ian McKenzie, who shares ownership and winemaking duties at BlackJack with Ken Pollack.
"The rain we got in 2010 came just at the right time, falling mostly at night to refresh the vines and slow ripening a bit, giving us perfectly-conditioned fruit," Ian says. And the resultant wine shows it with lots of juicy shiraz fruit flavours and nice tannins to finish – making an enjoyable drop to enjoy now or to develop further over three or four years.

SEAFOOD, or cold roast chicken and
salad, will go ideally with this one.
Excellent value at $18, this one has "big steak off the barbecue" written all over it.

ONE TO NOTE: FIFTH Leg's 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc made from fruit from across West Australia's various growing regions is a wine filled with varietal zesty and vivacious fruit flavours, and highlighted with tropical notes of lychee and passionfruit.

So-named after the fossilised remains of a Tasmanian tiger with a bizarrely fifth leg were found near parent company, Devil's Lair Winery in Margaret River, this is a label to keep an eye on for good value, fresh and easy drinking wines. Pay $17.99 for the 2012 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy with seafood, or cold roast chicken and salad.


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