First taste: Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier 2010 (Murrumbateman, Canberra District)

In the UK at least, Bryan Martin, the co-owner of the Ravensworth label, is best known for the wines he helps produce at Clonakilla, where he is Operational Winemaker. He’s a man of many jobs (or vocations, is perhaps more accurate). The ex-chef tells me he’s very much involved with the food industry and, in addition to writing about paddock to plate type food, grows it himself on his farm, though “not necessarily successfully, because the animals tend to become pets!”

Ravensworth wines are all 100% estate grown in Murrumbateman (Canberra District’s Shiraz hot spot) and made at Clonakilla. Aside from the Shiraz Viognier (my pick of the bunch), they include a Marsanne Roussanne and Sangiovese. Total production is around 1000 cases; all wine is sold direct (no distribution).

Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier 2010 (Murrumbateman, Canberra District 2010)

Co-fermented with 5% Viognier, this medium-bodied Shiraz is 33% whole bunch fermented, the balance whole berry.  Aged in 33% new oak, it shows a trace of charcuterie to its deliciously savoury, earthy, spicy nose & palate, with well juicy satsuma-edged blood plum, liquorice and dried herbs.  Teasingly tactile tannins lend gentle edge and grip, making for a long, lingering finish. Raring to go now and with great rustic panache, if such a thing is possible!  14% abv.

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