Wine­maker finds his spir­i­tual home

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - WINE WORDS with Re­gan Drew

AMANDALA is a spir­i­tual sym­bol in Hin­duism and Bud­dhism that rep­re­sents the uni­verse. The de­sign is a square con­tain­ing a dec­o­ra­tive cir­cle and, as good wine should, has a cen­tral fo­cus while ex­hibit­ing bal­ance.

Man­dala Wines has its home in the north­ern end of Vic­to­ria’s Yarra Val­ley at Dixon’s Creek. Charles Smed­ley, the owner and wine­maker of Man­dala Wines, ar­rived in the Yarra Val­ley in 1999, first plant­ing a pinot noir vine­yard at Yarra Junc­tion be­fore ex­pand­ing to a site about 30km away in Dixon’s Creek in 2006.

The win­ery now boasts a qual­ity res­tau­rant and func­tion cen­tre. New plant­ings of 3ha of pinot noir are also un­der way.

The 2016 re­lease wines mark its 10th an­niver­sary.

Chardon­nay, 2016

Nutty, woody oak makes for an invit­ing start be­fore pithy grape­fruit, peachy stone­fruit, light fig and even a lit­tle hessian. The palate is full with rock­melon, lime Splice, peach slices and that kiss of sweet oak. A buxom ex­pres­sion of chardon­nay.

RAT­ING: 8/10 RRP: $30 ALC: 12.3%

Pinot noir, 2016

A silky nose with plenty of cherry, sar­sa­par­illa, stalky herbs, grilled cit­rus pips. Plenty of gen­er­ous flavour with a dis­tinct blood orange el­e­ment along­side cherry red fruits, smoky oak and lay­ers of fine tan­nin. Served with lightly seared duck breast and a cherry glaze.

RAT­ING: 8/10 RRP: $30 ALC: 13.4%

Shi­raz, 2015

From the ex­cel­lent 2015 vin­tage comes this white pep­per spiced num­ber. Savoury meaty el­e­ments com­bine well with bit­ter cof­fee grounds, boy­sen­berry, plum juice, to­bacco and wafts of choco­late oak. On the palate, there’s a fer­rous blood note be­fore dark fruits and grav­elly tan­nins.

RAT­ING: 8.5/10 RRP: $32 ALC: 13.7%

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