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JOHN ROZENTALS tastes some fine wines from Margaret River’s southern Karridale area.

June 2, 2018 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

No doubt by a stroke of luck, Richard and Ros Drake-Brockman’s Hamelin Bay vineyard and winery lie at the intersection of the Bussell and Brockman Highways, in the south part of Western Australia’s famed Margaret River wine region.

The roads are named after Richard’s great-grandparents, Grace Bussell and Frederick Brockman.

Grace was probably best known for her heroism as a 16-year-old when she helped rescue the survivors in 1876 of the ship-wrecked Georgette. Frederick, who explored much of the Kimberley region, rode 300 kilometres on horseback to meet Grace and ended up marrying her.

Choosing a location for the Hamelin Bay vineyard was far from a stroke of luck, though.

Richard closely consulted Dr John Gladstones, whose research had picked Margaret River as an area of great viticultural promise, and was advised that the region’s southernmost part, Karridale, was eminently suitable, largely because of the moderating effect of its maritime location.

As it has turned out, global warming is giving increasing prominence to the cooler southern parts of Margaret River.

Whatever the climatic story, Richard and rose, and their winemaker, Julian Scott, are producing a fantastic range of wines showing both regional and varietal definition.

WINE REVIEWS

Hamelin Bay 2017 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($21.25): A blend that Margaret River seems to have virtually made its own — and it’s easy to see why. The wine is crisp and refreshing, though those in Australia’s cooler parts may have to wait a few months before getting maximum enjoyment for their dollar. Citrus flavours are particularly noticeable in a wine ideally suited to fresh, simple seafood.

Hamelin Bay 2017 Rampant Red ($17): This blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and malbec is a straight-forward medium-bodied red made for drinking with pizza or pasta at the local bistro or created in your own kitchen. Flavours of dark fruits mingle enticingly with touches of spice. Drink and enjoy rather than delve into nuances.

APERITIF REVIEW

LN Mattie Cap Corse Quinquina Blanc (about $40): This classical Corsican aperitif is a great pre-dinner alternative to sparkling wine. It’s made from a white-wine base dressed up with local, aromatically skinned cédrat lemons and the bitter cinchona bark, a quinine source also known as quinquina. Try it with tonic or soda, or just broken down a little with chilled water.

Written by John Rozentals

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