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Phil Kerney … wants a pair of pinots in Ross Hill’s Pinnacle Series.

July 22, 2017 Beverage No Comments Email Email

I wrote a few weeks ago about Orange’s Brangayne having two vineyards — one decidedly higher and cooler than the other.

They’re certainly not the only ones in the district adopting this approach. Ross Hill also has two vineyards — their ‘home’ vineyard at Wallace Lane, high on the slopes of Mt Canobolas, and the Griffin Road Vineyard, on the milder north-western edge of Orange as you head along the Mitchell Highway towards Molong and Dubbo.

If winemaker Phil Kerney didn’t have the Griffin Road Vineyard at his disposal, the only red in Ross Hill’s premium Pinnacle Series would be a pinot noir.

That’s the only red variety that Phil and Ross Hill’s owners reckon will ripen at Wallace Lane, and hence it’s the only red variety planted there.

But the Pinnacle Series label carries four reds, of which the 2015 vintages have just been released — the two I’ve reviewed here plus a 2015 Shiraz and a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, the latter already having sold out.

They formed a very solid quartet, which will expand to a quintet if Phil Kerney gets his way, by the addition of a pinot noir made 100 per cent from the Griffin Road Vineyard.

That should make for a highly interesting comparative tasting — two pinots made by the same hands from vineyards separated by a couple of hundred feet in altitude.

Visit www.rosshillwines.com.au.

WINE REVIEWS

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Pinot Noir ($40): Made from 100 per cent Wallace Lane fruit, this is a quintessential cool-climate pinot, showing subtle flavours and a medium-bodied, sinewy structure rather than beefy muscle. It’s a spicy, food-friendly wine that I’d love to try in Beijing or an Australian Chinatown with the best Peking Duck. Visit www.rosshillwines.com.au.

Ross Hill 2015 Pinnacle Series Cabernet Franc ($45): Meets all the Pinnacle Series requirements by being made 100 per cent from a single estate-owned vineyard, in this case Griffin Road, a vineyard I often pass on trips between my Molong home and Orange. Cabernet franc is a bit of a freak at Griffin Road, easily qualifying for its own individual guernsey. I really like the power and length of this wine, as well as its perfumed, herby characters. Visit www.rosshillwines.com.au.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Huntington Estate 2016 Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay ($24): The Mudgee district has a proud history with chardonnay and, in fact, claims to have been the birthplace for the variety in Australia. This is a richly flavoured, complex dry white which spent eight months sitting on yeast lees in barrel. Its fruit flavours are primarily in the stonefruit sector of the flavour wheel but there’s a hint of old-fashioned chardonnay oakiness there as well … and I like that. Visit huntingtonestate.com.au.

Written By JOHN ROZENTALS

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