6 Canberra Wines vs The World

Published on 10 April 2018

In case having more than 30 cellar doors within 30 minutes’ drive of our city centre is not enough to bring out your inner oenophile, this week marks the start of the 10-day vinous extravaganza known as Canberra Wine Week. This palate-pleasing festival celebrates the finest producers of our region with everything from back vintage tastings, degustation dinners and behind-the-scenes winery tours to concerts among the vines, grape-stomping sessions and blending workshops to get involved in.

To help get you started on your wine journey, here we round up six world-class wines made on our doorstep alongside some Old World equivalents.

2016 Mount Majura Tempranillo

The flagship wine out of Mount Majura Vineyard is hailed by some critics as Australia’s finest expression of tempranillo, featuring flavours of dark red fruit and woodsy spices on a framework of silky tannins and aromas ranging from pomegranate to mint. Having scooped the Wine of Provenance Trophy at the Canberra Region Wine Show in September, this highly distinctive wine is expected to sell out soon.

2015 Contino Viña del Olivo | Rioja, Spain

This single-vineyard wine from the home of tempranillo delivers blackcurrant and liquorice aromas followed by ripe fruit flavours with well-integrated oak and cocoa notes on the palate. (Could scrap the tasting note info for the Euro wines)

2015 Helm Premium Riesling

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to riesling, but you cannot go wrong with the lemon, lime and apple deliciousness in this drop from Canberra District pioneer Ken Helm. The result of a fantastic vintage, this release has the dried-flower aroma and steely minerality you would expect of a Helm riesling, with a refreshing finish that makes it a perfect match for seafood or Asian cuisine.

2016 Keller Riesling Trocken | Rheinhessen, Germany

This dry riesling from one of the benchmark producers of the variety blends grapefruit, lime and chalky soil tones on the palate, finishing with zesty citrus acidity. Ideal with bratwurst.

2015 Eden Road Wines Gundagai Syrah

Made with fruit grown on the banks of the Murrimbidgee River, this peppery medium-bodied red from Murrumbateman-based producer Eden Road Wines packs a flavour punch far more elegant than is usually associated with Australian shiraz. Think roasted hazelnuts, blackcurrant, blueberry and pleasant spice flavours, with boysenberry and violets on the nose.

2015 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Rouge | Crozes-Hermitage, France

Black fruits, cedar and chocolate notes and velvety mouthfeel help make this medium-bodied wine one of the top-rated reds out of the Rhône.

2017 Ravensworth Charlie-Foxtrot Gamay Noir

This highly perfumed, beautifully fresh wine from Ravensworth’s ‘weird stuff’ collection is for drinking right now – if you can track down a bottle that is. Only made in small batches using natural techniques, this thirst-quenching red delivers raspberry, blueberry and plum notes with balanced acidity and soft tannins.

2014 Jean Foillard Fleurie | Beaujolais, France

This pretty drink from one of the most revered crus of Beaujolais offers powerful raspberry and cranberry flavours, candied flower aromas and fine-grained tannins.

2016 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

This revelatory red is creeping up on Penfolds Grange when it comes to cult status. When veteran critic James Halliday included this vintage in his Top 100 in The Australian, he described it as ‘truly glorious wine that draws you back again and again to explore the wealth of red fruit flavours and the majesty of its textures and flavours’.

2015 Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde | Côte-Rôtie, France

This cellar-worthy blend of red syrah/shiraz and white viognier grapes is famed for its ground spice and bramble fruit flavours, and long finish.

2017 Lark Hill Biodynamic Grüner Veltliner

A shining example of the Canberra District’s creative winemaking, this textured and well-balanced white wine serves up fig and melon aromas, a zingy citrus palate and the promise of more savoury characters with cellaring. One of the first, and best, of this variety in Australia.

2017 Domäne Wachau Terrassen Federspiel Grüner Veltliner | Wachau, Austria

With white pepper and herbal notes intermingling with lime and passionfruit, this is a classic example of Austria’s food-friendly signature grape.

Canberra Wine Week events are taking place across Canberra, Murrumbateman, Yass, Hall, Bungendore and Gundaroo from 5th-15th April.

You can also sample some of this region’s finest wines of at RAKU year-round.