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Chris Shanahan's wine reviews

Yellow Tail Chardonnay 2014 $8.55–$10

The Casella family doesn't reveal the source of grapes for its popular chardonnay, but we can safely guess it comes from many vineyards across south-eastern Australia, with a large component from the warm, high-yielding irrigation areas. It's a smart wine, produced to the best quality possible for the volume produced and sub-$10 pricing. Made in the fresh, modern style, it offers tropical, citrus and stone-fruit-like varietal flavour on a full but lively and fresh palate. The winemaking techniques also give the wine a richer texture, say, than riesling or sauvignon blanc, as you'd expect in chardonnay.

Nick O'Leary Bolaro Canberra District Shiraz 2013 $55

Nick O'Leary makes Bolaro from Great Western clone shiraz, grown on Wayne and Jennie Fischer's Nanima vineyard, to the east of Murrumbateman. His 2013 vintage, due for release in October, reveals the great flavour intensity and solid tannin structure produced by these outstanding vines. A quick encounter with the wine hints at the delicious, spicy fruit held by those firm tannins. Tasted over a couple of days, however, the fruit's alluring sweetness reveals itself fully, albeit integrated with the wine's spicy, savoury character and beautiful tight but silky tannins.

Wilson Watervale Riesling 2014 $19

John Wilson originally established vines in the Clare Valley's Polish Hill sub-region. Today, his son Daniel makes several Clare Valley riesling, including this one from the valley's southernmost sub-region, Watervale. Daniel Wilson writes, "To the east of Watervale lies a narrow band of vineyards rooted in a base of pure white limestone. After tasting the wines of Watervale for more than a decade, we formed the opinion that the most powerful, aromatic wines from this Clare sub-region originate from this band of limestone". Wilson 2014 delivers Watervale's floral and lime-like aromas and flavours on a full but finely structured, delicate, dry palate.